SF
Good-giants

O-Line guru: Giants trio can restore unit’s glory days

There are three Giants a certain offensive-line guru finds intriguing, believing they have the potential to anchor the position group for years to come.

They are not newcomers Kevin Zeitler and Mike Remmers. It is not Nate Solder, entering year No. 2 for the Giants. That is the veteran trio viewed widely as the answer to all those nagging offensive-line questions that befuddled the team for so many years.

They are Will Hernandez, Jon Halapio and, yes, Chad Wheeler, youngsters believed to possess greater upside than the elders on the line.

“Where the fans and the organization should probably be most excited is with Hernandez and Jon Halapio,’’ former NFL center LeCharles Bentley told The Post. “Those two guys, that’s your future. That’s what people should be excited about. As well as Chad Wheeler. That guy at times he flashes really good potential.

“If it’s me, on the outside looking in, get away from the flash and dash, get away from the Solders and Remmers, you know what those guys are. Hernandez, Halapio, Wheeler, that’s the guys in the building right now that I’m saying ‘We got a shot to turn this thing around.’ ’’


Giants' revamped offensive line is Eli Manning's last hope
Bentley has the credentials to consider him an expert. He was an All-American at Ohio State and the Dave Rimington Trophy winner as the top college center in 2001. He was a 2002 second-round draft pick of the Saints but a serious knee injury curtailed his career after only five years. He made the Pro Bowl twice and is the owner of Offensive Line Performance in Chandler, Ariz., offering state-of-the-art training for top-level centers, guards and tackles.

Giants general manager Dave Gettleman attacked the offensive-line problem and Bentley likes what he sees. With (from left to right) Solder, Hernandez, Halapio, Zeitler and Remmers in the lineup, there is reason to believe the solutions are finally on the roster.

“I feel this group can be good enough,’’ Bentley said.

“You got three guys, you know who they are,’’ Bentley said. “You know what Solder is, you know what Zeitler is and you know what Remmers is. Those are your culture builders. Then you have three guys that are your future, they have talent, they’re cheap and they’ve shown potential. If you can get all of that to mesh, the youth with that mentality and that culture, now you got the opportunity to have something special.

“Now you’re getting back to the culture days when you had Shaun O’Hara and David Diehl, where you don’t have great athletes or great football players but you have a great identity, and that allows good football players to look great in that system. That’s what you have in this room right now.’’

Here is Bentley’s rundown:

Remmers

“I think Mike’s a solid player. I believe Mike probably got a bit of a bad deal in Minnesota when he was thrown in at guard. I don’t think that’s the best fit for him. He’s a tackle, a right tackle specifically. He’s played at a high level at times throughout his career but obviously he’s on the back end and we’ll see how it works out.’’

Zeitler

“He’s not someone who’s going to disappoint you and he’s not going to consistently ‘wow’ you. He’s a guy that in terms of room and rebuilding strategy he’s the player you would want in the building. Any time you’re bringing in guys like this, they aren’t the long-term solution but he’s definitely going to be a part of answering many of the questions the organization is trying to get answered over the next 24 months.’’


Solder

“I believe any lineman that is coming out of that New England system, first of all they’re lucky, because you’re playing with the greatest quarterback and head coach to ever do it. That allows certain players that can play within that system to maybe be thought of a bit more than they probably really are as players in terms of their capabilities. You don’t have to be a great player to play with Tom Brady. You have to be good enough and Tom Brady can make you look like you’re great. I think Nate Solder was a benefactor of that system and once you get him out of that system, he struggled early on in New York but then he found his bearings and he went back to being a solid pro he’s always been.’’

Hernandez

“With offensive lineman, you’re either good or you’re not. Like being pregnant, you’re either pregnant or you ain’t. Some people said ‘Well he’s a good run blocker but he struggled in pass protection.’ The kid can play football. He has the mentality, he has the physical skill set. I feel he has the desire to be better. He has the opportunity to be an elite guard in the National Football League, for sure.’’

Halapio

“When you watch his film and you watch him play, this dude is a football player, period. Now, he doesn’t have the pedigree everyone loves to talk about but not everybody in this league is going to be one of those 4 percenters that has the pedigree. He’s the type of person you want to do well because he’s had to fight for every single thing throughout his career. I thought last year if he had stayed healthy he would have finished as one of the top five centers in the league in terms of performance. With Hernandez, with Zeitler next to him, that dude, end of the year, if he’s healthy, he will be a top-five center in the National Football League.’’

Wheeler

“I’m not the GM but if I were in that seat, Remmers is my just-in-case. I’m not bringing in Remmers to be the starter, I’m bringing Remmers in to create and help establish more of a culture and identity I’m looking for. He’s a guy that can start, if need be. I want to get my young guys an opportunity. I don’t want Chad Wheeler to be comfortable, hell no. I want to bring a guy in who is going to make him work, he’s gonna have to earn that starting position. If he beats out a veteran like Mike Remmers that’s your sign that he’s one of your cornerstone pieces as you move forward.’’



Contact Info

If you have comments or questions, please feel free to contact us.
Sample

Neil S. Schwartz

Email: neilsschwartz@gmail.com

Jonathan Feinsod

Email: jonathan@sffootball.net

Players Association

The union for professional football players in the NFL.
NFLPA

NFL Players Association (NFLPA)

The National Football League Players Association is the union for professional football players in the National Football League. Established in 1956, the NFLPA has a long history of assuring proper recognition and representation of players’ interests.