Mike Solari said a lot of words about Ereck Flowers on Wednesday when he met with the media, but the one that jumped out was the one everyone in the organization is hoping will ring true.
That’s what the Giants need from their third-year left tackle, their still-younger-than-some-of-the-rookies veteran who struggled at times last year. Solari, the offensive line coach, said Flowers has shown not just improvement, but also a desire to improve that many believe could have been lacking in past offseasons.
“I think Ereck has shown, by his commitment and what he’s done so far in the offseason, that it’s important to him,” Solari said. “And Ereck has shown just in the sense of where he is at right now that he is better than what he was last year.”
The Giants are banking on it. They did not draft an offensive lineman this spring until the sixth round and did not wade very deeply into the free-agent market of left tackles. That was a clear indication the Giants are counting on Flowers.
He seems to have reciprocated that commitment.
Flowers and possible starting right tackle Bobby Hart spent the offseason in New Jersey training at the Giants’ facility. They both lost weight and became stronger, all noticeable in a quick visual observation.
“Just by what he’s done in the weight room,” Solari said of Flowers, “he’s leaner, he’s quicker. Stronger. He’s better.”
Solari said none of that will matter much until training camp when the players get into pads and resume full contact work. Until then, it’s all projection. But the coach has been encouraged by Flowers’ attention to detail in technique and willingness to work enough to give an absolute answer when asked about the offensive line in 2017.
“We have to do better as an offensive line, and we will,” Solari said. “It’s going to always be a work in progress because it’s still a young group, still a young group. But there is no doubt in my mind that we will be better.”