Dave Gettleman will be looking for the next Shaun O’Hara.
No, not the one who was a three-time Pro Bowler, a captain for the Giants, and the center on a Super Bowl-winning offensive line that remains to this day 10 years later the gold standard for the unit within the organization.
Rather he wants the version of O’Hara before he came to the Giants. The undrafted player who was unheralded and relatively unproven in four seasons with the Browns.
“I’d like to think that was a pretty good hit,” Gettleman said of the signing on WFAN earlier this week. “It isn’t necessarily that you have to sign the stars or whatever. You have to work at the evaluation process. You have to grind through the tape because there are guys there. There always are.”
It may not seem like it, especially on the offensive line. In fact, some of the better players available may actually be leaving the Giants, including D.J. Fluker and Justin Pugh. Weston Richburg is also a free agent-to-be.
The premier name on the offensive line market figures to be tackle Nate Solder of the Patriots.
“Right now it may appear that he’s the only guy,” Gettleman said when that was suggested, “but we’re gonna find out.”
Gettleman has said repeatedly that rebuilding the offensive line is a priority.
“It’s a big man’s game, it’s a tough man’s game, it starts up front,” he said.
He also indicated that he’d prefer to have that situation stabilized before the Giants get to the draft in April.
“The whole purpose of free agency is to set up your draft,” he said. “In an ideal world you never go into the draft saying, ‘I’ve got to have a . . . ’ whatever that ‘a’ is. You don’t want to be in that spot. Now you’re shopping hungry.”
So the Giants will be spending money in free agency?
“We’ll use free agency,” he said. “There’s always the trade route. There’s always the waiver wires. You have to do your film work. It’s not pretty, it’s not easy, but you have to get it done.”
That’s what they did in 2004 when they needed a center and found a hidden gem in O’Hara.
“You’ve got to get into the film and you’ve got to dig it out,” he said. “There’s always guys there that can play that have been underlooked.”
Notes & quotes: The Giants’ interview with former Broncos associate head coach Eric Studesville scheduled for Thursday was postponed due to the snowstorm that hit the area. It will be rescheduled for early next week . . . The Giants plan to be in Foxborough on Friday to interview both Patriots coordinators, Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia, for their head coaching vacancy. Then they are scheduled to be in Minnesota on Saturday to meet with Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur before going to Philadelphia on Sunday to interview Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. They are expected to interview Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks next week.