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Giants’ offensive line remains a work in progress

Ol coach Dave DeGuglielmo discussed where things stand entering final week of regular season

New York Giants v Seattle Seahawks
Andrew Thomas
Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

The New York Giants offensive line remains a work in progress with a number of young players in key roles. Against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, the line allowed five sacks as the Giants lost, 27-13.

“It wasn’t good enough … it’s not good enough as a group, it’s not good enough individually, it’s not good enough in terms of how I got them ready to go,” said offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo during a Tuesday videonconference.

“What was a real problem and I addressed this with the players at game time and I’ve said it to them since is when things get tight we need to put more emphasis on fundamentals, not less. That’s something that we’ve gotta keep working on as we go forward.”

DeGuglielmo took over the line in Week 12 after Marc Colombo was fired.

‘We need to sustain our run blocks longer, we need to be better on our double teams and we need to continue to develop an impenetrable pocket. Right now that’s not happening not because of talent and not because it’s not being instructed — it’s not being put into play like it is in practice sometimes,” DeGuglielemo said.

“There’s a lot invested in a quarterback. We need to keep him safe. That’s the No. 1 thing that needs to improve.”

Here are a few other things DeGuglielmo touched on.

Why Will Hernandez has consistently played less than Shane Lemieux ...

The Giants are rotating seven offensive linemen. Hernandez and Lemieux are sharing the left guard spot, but Hernandez, the 2018 second-round pick, is clearly the backup. Since returning from the Reserve/COVID-19 list in Week 10, the most snaps Hernandez has played is 26. He played only 10 Sunday against the Ravens. Lemieux has played no fewer than 34 snaps in any of the last eight games.

DeGuglielmo was purposely vague on this one.

“If we had a perfect … knew how many plays or how many reps a drive would be we could work that out better but sometimes when your number’s called it’s a three-play drive and then when your number’s not called it’s a 12-play drive. The numbers, the disparity, that just kinda happens. That’s just the way it goes,” DeGuglielmo said.

“I don’t think there’s any reason for one guy or another. We’re just trying to get reps to all the players that are good enough to play.”

On rookie right tackle Matt Peart ...

Peart had a difficult game against Baltimore. He played 17 snaps, which is still the most he has played in a game since DeGuglielmo took over the offensive line from Colombo.

“Matt does some really good things. He’s a good athlete, he’s a very, very large human being. He’s a smart kid. But there’s a combination of things,” DeGuglielmo said.

“Sometimes you need to play him and then not play him in order to maintain a balance of getting enough taste of what the game is and then not putting him in a position where he could slide down the slippery slope of confidence.”

DeGuglielmo referred to the third-round pick’s “tremendous upside.”

“I like the kid. I think he has a tremendous upside but as you saw [vs. Baltimore] there were a few times out there where he didn’t look like he was in tune with what was going on in terms of his fundamentals and his pass sets. It looked a little big,” he said.

“It’s not about being down on Matt Peart. It’s about maintaining that balance between getting experience and not losing your confidence in yourself.”

On rookie left tackle Andrew Thomas ...

The education of the Giants’ fourth overall pick has continued throughout the season.

“He’s a tremendously aware guy. He sees things that most rookies don’t see,” DeGuglielmo said.

“He’s got talent .... I see the competitiveness that it’s going to take for him to have a solid career.”

The well-traveled offensive line coach, though, revealed his true feelings about rookies.

“He’s a rookie. Rookies and kickers, they all go in the same bucket with me, they’re all over there,” DeGuglielmo said. “Rookies and kickers, they’re their own little grouping of individuals. You need them, they’re necessary, they’re very important to your program but it always takes time for a rookie — any rookie — to elevate his game to what the others would be. He’ll get there. I promise you this guy will get there.”