When Ereck Flowers appeared on Monday to have a rough practice, the New York Giants corner of the Internet was set ablaze with the always-bubbling-close-to-the-surface Flowers hatred that exists in the fan base.
The day after that rough practice, coach Ben McAdoo defended the beleaguered left tackle.
“I thought Olivier Vernon came out with his ‘A’ game yesterday,” McAdoo said. “Ereck did some good things in practice, too. It wasn’t all one-sided.”
He did so again on Thursday when he was pressed on whether or not he had seen improvement from the third-year left tackle.
“Ereck, I thought, was a bright spot in the game vs. the first opponent we played,” McAdoo said. “I think he got his hands inside, had a couple nice strikes and punches. I thought he was bending pretty well and I look forward to him taking a jump this week.”
This would seem to back up McAdoo’s assertion:
Last but not least:— Ryan Smith (@PFF_Smith) August 12, 2017
Ereck Flowers played 18 snaps (12 pass blocks) and DID NOT allow a pressure, hit or sack. Same for Bobby Hart as well.
As for that rough practice? McAdoo asserted that what you see on game days is more important — and, honestly, that is pretty close to impossible to argue with.
“When you practice, you go out and you practice, you make mistakes and you fix the mistakes. That’s part of practice. That’s why we practice, to go out and play aggressive,” McAdoo said. “We make mistakes in practice and then the way to get better is to fix those mistakes and not repeat mistakes. So, mistakes happen in practice, it is a part of it, but the games reps are really valuable.”
Is McAdoo perhaps handling Flowers with kid gloves, trying to build his confidence in the face of criticism rather than further tear him down? Perhaps. It is also probably the right thing for him to do, especially since the Giants don’t really have a good Plan B beyond letting Flowers play left tackle and sinking or swimming with whatever happens.
Despite all the words, scrutiny, video analysis, etc., that have been spent on Flowers thus far in training camp and the preseason we won’t truly know the answer to the “is Flowers better?” question until we see him line up in games that matter.