Giants offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan did not deny that Ereck Flowers has struggled at left tackle at times this season, but he did offer last year’s first-round pick some measure of confidence as far as the possibility of moving him to a less demanding position.
“He’s our left tackle and our players are our players,” Sullivan said Thursday. “There’s no magic potion, there’s no easy answer in terms of trying to do the things that we can from a technique standpoint, from a fundamental standpoint and schematically, trying to get him and all of our players to be successful.”
Flowers has been called for the second-most holding penalties in the NFL this season. On Sunday against the Cowboys, he allowed a blistering sack of Eli Manning that forced him to fumble the ball.
Sullivan suggested that the anticipated return of Justin Pugh (knee) to left guard might help Flowers in terms of stability. Pugh also has played tackle, so he certainly can provide some insight for Flowers during the game.
Ultimately, though, it’ll be up to Flowers to grow into the job.
“It’s just a matter of continuing on a day-to-day basis, working the technique, working the fundamentals,” Sullivan said. “There’s things that he’s aware of that he can improve upon and it’s a process. It never happens as fast as anyone would like, but he’s certainly putting the time in, his coaches are putting the time in, and again, we’re hoping for the best.”
Can defense get better?
The Giants played their best defensive game of the season on Sunday against the Cowboys, but coordinator Steve Spagnuolo was not satisfied.
“Our goal now is to make sure that that game defensively is not our best game this year. That has kind of been our focus,” Spagnuolo said. “ ‘Let’s not let that be the best game.’ And that is just all about getting better, so each day we try to get better.”
The Giants may be hoping to get another crack at the only AFC team to beat them this season. Asked to compare Ben Roethlisberger to this week’s opposing quarterback, the Lions’ Matthew Stafford, linebacker Jonathan Casillas said: “Roethlisberger did what he did against us, and if we had an opportunity to play them again, sometime in February, it’ll probably be a little different.” . . . Linebacker Keenan Robinson (shoulder) missed a second straight practice and could miss a game for the first time this season. Robinson has been a key player working as the middle linebacker and signal-caller in sub packages.