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For Giants’ Marcus McKethan, opportunity arrived in a hurry

With little real preparation, McKethan has been thrust into the starting lineup

New York Giants v San Francisco 49ers
Marcus McKethan
Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Ready or not, opportunity with the New York Giants is here for second-year guard Marcus McKethan. When the Giants face the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night, McKethan will make his third consecutive start at right guard.

McKethan’s preparation for the role has hardly been ideal. He blew out his knee during the ‘FanFest’ at MetLife Stadium in 2022, missing not only the entire season but never getting in a single preseason snap thanks to his torn ACL.

The Giants moved slowly with the former fifth-round pick in training camp, and 20 snaps in the final preseason game was his only real action.

Then, suddenly, after a disastrous performance by starting right guard Mark Glowinski in the season-opener against the Dallas Cowboys, McKethan found himself in the starting lineup Week 2 against the Arizona Cardinals.

Hey, Marcus, ready or not go help solve our offensive line issues!

“I feel like I’ve done okay. I could definitely do better and that’s all my mindset is. Just do better and make sure I’m more consistent,” McKethan said in the Giants’ locker room on Friday. “That’s the biggest thing. Just make sure I’m consistent down in and down out.”

McKethan was good in his debut, posting a 69.2 overall Pro Football Focus grade while allowing a sack and two hurries against Arizona. In Week 3 against the San Francisco 49ers, McKethan allowed three hurries and had a miniscule 3.9 PFF pass-blocking grade while posting an overall 28.3 score.

McKethan downplayed the difficulty of his sudden ascension into the lineup.

“It is never truly easy, but I feel like me and our coaches do a pretty good job of preparing us for the game,” he said. “They’re letting us know all the looks we could possibly see, everything that’s scouted and make sure we know it going into the game. So, usually I just feel pretty comfortable and I just have to go out there and play.”

Offensive coordinator Mike Kafka was complementary of the work McKethan has done in his first two NFL starts.

“He’s done a nice job for a young player,” Kafka said. “He come in and he’s played physical. I think he has a nice calm demeanor about him, and he’s got some poise and he’s a big, strong physical kid. He has all the tools, so as a young player, learning, developing, and growing, I think you’re seeing him getting better each and every week.”

“I feel like I stay pretty even keeled throughout the game,” McKethan said. “Of course, I’m excited. Of course I get the jitters, but I feel like for the most part I like to stay just locked in in my zone. Not too up, not too down, just even.”

At 6-foot-7, 335 pounds, McKethan is a massive man and unsurprisingly came to the NFL with a reputation as a better run than pass blocker.

“I feel like I’m a little bit more comfortable with run blocking, but you’ve gotta be able to do both,” McKethan said. “I just want to constantly improve on my pass pro, cause like you said, I’m naturally a run blocker, so I feel like I can focus a little bit more on my pass pro and make sure I just keep developing that.”

As the Giants search for answers on their offensive line, it would be a huge plus — for 2023 and beyond — if McKethan settles in and shows he can handle the right guard spot.