That is what New York Giants right tackle Bobby Hart told Dan Duggan of NJ Advance Media this week. That’s pretty bold stuff from a guy who among the worst right tackles in the league last season, and was benched for the Giants’ playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers.
Whether he is the best or not remains to be seen. Coming off an outstanding preseason, though, Hart has reason for confidence. Per Pro Football Focus, Hart did not allow so much as a quarterback hurry in 49 pass-blocking snaps. His PFF grade of 75.8 was the best among Giants’ offensive tackles. Hart was PFF’s 67th-ranked offensive tackle a season ago.
Offensive line coach Mike Solari has noticed the difference in Hart this season.
“Bobby’s ascended as a football player. Again, it’s like I said earlier, on and off the field in his preparation and his techniques, his confidence as a football player. You see that on film throughout the preseason,” Solari said. “Compared to last year where he was at, he is a more confident football player and rightfully so. He has put in a lot of work and he’s invested his time wisely.”
Of his “best right tackle” statement, the 23-year-old Hart told Duggan he knows he has to walk the walk, not just talk the talk.
“I just have to act like it every day. You just can't act like it some days and then some days you don't. It's just an every day thing. ... One-hundred percent I did not do that last year. But it just takes a total commitment, having your mind and everything together for you to be able to go out there and make that statement."
The offseason training regimen Hart and Ereck Flowers went through, spending much of their offseason at the Giants’ East Rutherford facility, has gotten a great deal of attention. Solari said Friday that he sees the results.
“He’s bigger, he’s stronger right now. When I say he’s bigger, he’s leaner and he worked hard in the offseason,” Solari said. “Again, he’s young. He just turned 23 the other day and here’s a guy that is playing in his third year in the NFL, I mean, wow. So, Bobby is an ascending football player. It’s exciting to see and it’s exciting to see where his career will takeoff.”
So much has been written and said about the Giants’ offensive line, most of it about whether Flowers will ever justify being the ninth overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft or someone will finally replace John Jerry at right guard.
No matter what happens at those two spots, though, the offensive line will be better if Hart’s improvement is as dramatic as it appears to be.