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BBV mailbag, 10/26: Questions about Nate Solder, Evan Engram, Dave Gettleman, more

The mail’s here!


Seth Weissman asks: Do you think B.J. Hill, Dalvin Tomlinson, Dexter Lawrence, Olson Pierre and RJ McIntosh are a good group of defensive linemen? I ask because prior to the season beginning, I was optimistic about their youth and potential. But, they seemingly cannot stop the run against mediocre (at best) teams. If you do think they’re a good D-line, how do you reconcile the success opposing teams are having on the ground?

Ed says: I do think it’s a good group. I think Lawrence is showing signs of being a very good player. I think Tomlinson has played better than I thought he would. Hill hasn’t made the impact this season the Giants hoped, but he’s still a second-year player with time to grow and improve. The other guys are just depth.

As for run defense, there is so much more to run defense than the defensive linemen. First, realize there are a lot of times when the Giants have only two true defensive linemen in the game. Second, you need linebackers to fill gaps and make plays. Outside linebackers to properly set the edge. Cornerbacks and safeties to hold their ground and make plays.

The run defense hasn’t been good enough, but that’s not solely because of the linemen. It’s the whole group.

Rob Wengrzyn asks; I get the Giants seeing if they can move Nate Solder, as his play has been good, but not worthy of the contract. My question is, who would replace him at LT if he were to exit?

Ed says: Rob, I’ve said this in other places but that is perhaps the biggest issue with trading Solder right now. The Giants absolutely do not have another good left tackle option on the roster. Nick Gates and Chad Slade are really guards. Spencer Pulley is a center. Eric Smith is a young tackle, but a kid who was undrafted and in three seasons with three teams (Giants, New York Jets, Miami Dolphins) has never played in a game. Sunday against Arizona was bad for the Giants all the way around, offensive line included. Still, trading Solder really puts Daniel Jones at risk, and that’s a hard pill to swallow.

Jtroyka asks: Recently I suggested that maybe GM Gettleman might do some good by providing some “coaching” to Shurmur before Shurmur gets further onto a hot seat. A response claims that Shurmur reports directly to, and only to, team ownership. Can you provide any clarification? Is Gettleman the general manager is the usual sense, including some control over the coaches, or does Shurmur operate totally independent of Gettleman?

Ed says: I don’t know who you asked or where that person or person(s) are getting that idea from, but the belief that Shurmur reports to Mara and bypasses the general manager is a bunch of nonsense.

Dave Gettleman is the general manager. He is Shurmur’s boss. The two of them work together. Gettleman has final say over the roster, with input from the coaching staff. Shurmur gets final call on who plays and how they are utilized during games, with input from the GM.

Do they always see eye-to-eye? Probably not, but I think they have the same team-building philosophy. In the end, any head coach staying or going is an ownership decision. Still, Shurmur needs Gettleman’s support to keep his job.

I seriously have no idea where people get some of this stuff from.

Jerry Panza asks: I am wondering if the Giants believe this being his contract year coming up will even consider offering Engram a contract. He still has the dropsies and he is absolutely devoid of blocking skills. DO you see them sitting him and giving someone else a chance?

Ed says: Jerry, you’re mad at Evan Engram right now. I get it. He dropped two passes on Sunday, one that could have been a game-changing big play. But, guess what? Those are the only two passes he has dropped this year. He dropped three passes all of last season. Yes, he dropped 11 as a rookie and he’s not perfect, but “still has the dropsies” is way too strong.

As for his blocking, I will again disagree that he is “devoid” of blocking skills. He should never be asked to block someone like Chandler Jones one-on-one, and he isn’t a guy you want as the lead blocker on a running play. He gives effort and he can block in space. It’s up to the coaching staff to use him correctly and not put him in situations where he is likely to fail.

Why would you sit the guy? As long as he is on the roster he is the best tight end the Giants have. You want to throw the ball to Rhett Ellison all the time? He can’t do the things Engram can do? Kaden Smith? Garrett Dickerson? Please.

Now, there are teams interested in trading for Engram. I know that. If the Giants get an offer they think they can use to make them better in the long run, so be it. But, no one in his right mind is going to intentionally sit Engram for Kaden Smith or Garrett Dickerson.

In terms of his contract, he’s in the third year of his four-year rookie deal. Right now, that isn’t really even a consideration.

Jeff Newman asks: Ed, play GM for a day. What moves do you make prior to the trade deadline. Who do you trade away and who do you bring in and what do you get back and give up to make those moves?

Ed says: Jeff, the only move I’m aggressively trying to make is trading Janoris Jenkins. The Giants need to find snaps for Corey Ballentine and Sam Beal the second half of the season, and Jackrabbit doesn’t have a future with the Giants. Might as well get something while you can.

I would move Alec Ogletree, too, if I could find a taker. I’m not trading away Nate Solder, Evan Engram or Golden Tate. I don’t want to make life any harder for Daniel Jones than it already is.