Weston Richburg is moving from left guard to his natural center position for the New York Giants this season. Let's focus on Richburg as we continue our series of player-by-player profiles of the 90-man roster the Giants will bring to training camp.
2014 Season in Review
Drafted in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft as the Giants' center of the future, Richburg never got a legitimate chance to compete for that job last season. Chris Snee retired. Geoff Schwartz got hurt -- twice. Brandon Mosley had a back problem. James Brewer and Adam Snyder were, well, James Brewer and Adam Snyder. Somebody had to play left guard for the Giants. They selected Richburg, who played valiantly but not always effectively in 2014 while both learning the NFL ropes and a new position.
Richburg started 15 games and compiled a -14.3 Pro Football Focus grade, behind only Walton (-19.6) and right guard John Jerry (-16.3).
The season was a struggle for Richburg, but he offered a mature perspective when asked about it.
"Ten years from now looking back I think that will be something I'm most grateful for, being thrown in at something I'm not real comfortable with, learning from that experience," Richburg said. "I think it's going to help me throughout my career."
2015 Season Outlook
If you are familiar with WWE you know that part of the schtick for Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson when he comes back to a city for the first time in many years is to lean into the microphone and proclaim "Finally ... The Rock has come back to (insert name of city)."
Well, perhaps it lacks the dramatic effect, but "Finally ... Richburg is returning to center." The position he was drafted to play, and where he could excel for several seasons.
"He learned an awful lot last year but I knew that he was going to be a player for a very long time and I know I'm using that, but I believe it because he likes the game of football," Offensive line coach Pat Flaherty said during mandatory minicamp. "He really has embraced the center position because you are the voice of everybody to start out and the quarterback may change things, but you are telling everyone what to do. I think that Weston has a little bit of boss man in him and he likes that."
The middle of the offensive line was an issue for the Giants a season ago with Richburg at left guard, Walton at center and John Jerry at right guard. This year, the plan is for Justin Pugh to play left guard, Richburg to play his natural center spot and Geoff Schwartz to play his comfy right guard position.
Richburg will be in the middle of all of that, in charge of the line.
"I feel very comfortable," Richburg said. " I like the leadership role that's there. I feel very comfortable making calls and being the guy that has to communicate with the quarterback. I really enjoy that."
Like a boss man should.