There were other players besides Osi Umenyiora to speak with during today’s open locker room session. One of the guys on my checklist was David Diehl, the team’s starting left tackle. In the last few weeks, Jerry Reese has said a few times that he wants second-year tackle Will Beatty to compete for a job on the offensive line and he’s also said that they see him as having left tackle skills.
Diehl said he was unaware of those comments, but he had a very strong response to them.
“That’s fine,” he said. “Let’s go. Bring it on. I’m not scared. I’ve never been scared of work, I’ve never been scared of competition. If that’s what it is, it is. Nothing is guaranteed.”
“Being in the NFL, regardless of how many starts I’ve had in the past doesn’t mean anything,” he added. “It doesn’t guarantee anything. You still have to come out and continue to prove yourself year in and year out. I’m always one for a challenge and I always prepare that way anyway. Go ahead, challenge me. It only makes me a better football player.”
One of Diehl’s best attributes – his versatility – could hamper him in this competition. If the Giants want to have both Diehl and Beatty on the field at the same time, somebody will have to move from left tackle. With Diehl able to play either tackle and even either guard, it might mean he’d be on the move.
“I don’t know how things are going to pan out or how they are going to work,” Diehl said. “I’m competing and working out and doing everything as if I’m the starting left tackle of this team like I was the last three years. The only thing I can do is control myself and that I’m doing whatever I can to make us a better football team.”
Diehl said that besides the push of competition from Beatty, he’s also driven by another challenge.
“I’m not the only one sitting here working out with a chip on my shoulder,” he said. “Last year didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to. Sitting there watching the Super Bowl, I was miserable. Especially when you’ve gotten there not too long before and you’ve played in that game and you’ve had that feeling of holding that trophy, it makes you, honestly, it pissed me off. It makes you want to get back and the next day, that Monday, I was in the gym at 7:30 in the morning working out getting ready to go for another season because we need to push ourselves harder and work harder and make sure a season like last season, especially that last game, doesn’t ever happen again.”