Will Beatty Was Cut By the Team in February
As teams begin the difficult process of cutting players to reach their game-day rosters, the NY Giants decided to try something different. They signed former guard Will Beatty to a one-year deal worth a guaranteed $1.1 million.
Beatty, 31, was cut in February and missed the entire 2015 season with a torn pectoral muscle. The signing validates the uncertainty the organization feels toward the offensive line.
It is unclear what production they will receive from adding Beatty. In 2015, the Giants finished 8th in the league in yards-per-game with 372, according to NFL.com. And they only allowed 1.69 sacks-per-game, according to sportingcharts.com.
This was an improvement from 2014, the last season Beatty played in. If not in record, certainly in production as the Giants were 10th in the league with 367.2 yards-per-game, according to NFL.com; and they allowed 1.88 sacks-per-game, according to sportingchards.com.
They finished 6-10 in both the 2014 and 2015 seasons.
Is the Offensive Line Ready?
The starting offensive line looked, to put it nicely, awful in the first half of Saturday’s 21-20 win over the NY Jets. They managed to contribute just 5 rushing yards on 12 carries. Altogether, the offense had just three first downs and 47 total yards in the first half.
Shockingly, this was an improvement from last week’s 21-0 loss to the Buffalo Bills, in which they only netted 12 total yards in the first half! By all indications, the first half is the best look at the projected starting team, as starters rarely play after the halfway mark.
If that is the case, Giants fans should hit the panic button.
Age Before Experience
It is not as though the line has been at “full strength,” whatever that entails for this ragtag group lead by no one in particular. Starting guard Justin Pugh was nursing a shoulder injury and has not played in the past two games.
But will Pugh, the Giants 2013 first-round pick, make that much of a difference? He and the 2014 first-round pick, Erick Flowers, make up the projected starting left side of the offensive line. As bad as they can be, they typically can hold their blocks longer than the right side of the line, made up of guard John Jerry and tackle Marshall Newhouse. Both Jerry and Newhouse were drafted by different teams in 2010.
2014 second-round pick Weston Richburg anchors the line at center and 2015 seventh-rounder Bobby Hart floats wherever he is needed. Youth seems to dominate experience on the line. Beatty, a second-round pick in 2009, will add some more experience to such a young group of men.
Will This Addition Help?
Though he has been a Giant his whole playing career, this is a different team. New coach means new offense. New offense means new assignments. And there isn’t much time to get familiar with anything, let alone everything, as well as you would hope to before the start of a season.
It’s unclear where, or even when, Beatty will see playing time in the regular season. The right side is clearly the weaker of the two. He will be in direct competition with Newhouse for the starting job at right tackle, but anyone on the line is expendable. For now, at least he is a seasoned vet with whom the starters now must compete with, or at worse a better option in case someone goes down.
If practice makes perfect, the NY Giants will have to squeeze an unrealistic amount of time for their line to be ready come September 11th in Dallas.
They play the New England Patriots for the final preseason game Thursday. It would be smart to pay close attention to how the right side holds up now that Beatty is once again a Giant, if you can stand watching them play.