Let’s call them “Frenchy, Dirtbag, and Crew” for now.
Maybe one day, if all goes according to plan, an organic moniker will emerge.
It’s the latest incarnation of the Giants’ offensive line, and in Thursday’s practice, left back Shane “Frenchy” Lemieux and center Jon “Dirtbag” Feliciano – nickname coined by coach bobby johnson — along with right back Mark Glowinsky and right tackle Evan Neal as starters. Korey Cunningham fills Andrew Thomas’ left tackle position as he struggles to recover from a surgically repaired left ankle.
Feliciano is the person Johnson knows best, having spent the past three seasons with the Bills as both player and position coach.
“I joke with him every day: When I write the depth chart on the board, I write ‘Dirtbag,'” Johnson said. “That’s how he plays. Not in an illegal way, but he plays on the edge. You have to have it.
“Sometimes, if everybody doesn’t have that attitude, you have to cultivate that attitude in the room. That’s how Jon played. That’s how Glovinski played. I think we have others who can play like that. People. They’ll find me as their coach and if they don’t play like that, they won’t play.”
The Giants have used 19 different starters and 20 different five-man combinations over the past 65 games Trying to solve a decade-long problem. Team owner John Mara never hides his belief that reversing the pain (19-46 record) starts with fixing the line.
“I don’t feel the pressure,” said Johnson, the Giants’ fifth offensive line coach over the past five seasons. “I just feel a responsibility to let them perform as expected — mainly the expectations of ownership. This is one of those blue bloods, so yeah, I feel a responsibility to let them exceed the expectations of the owner.”
The key to the rebuild is the development of the two tackles taken with the top seven picks. Johnson wants the department’s identity to be “tough, smart and reliable”, Expressed a great deal of say in the selection of rookie Neil.
“He had anything that took me away, ‘I want to be with this guy. I want to mentor this guy. I want to help this guy reach his potential,'” Johnson said. “It’s just that he wants to be really good. The more you talk to him, the more you realize it’s not verbal. It’s real.”
Showing patience with rookies while expecting elite performances is a “delicate balance.”
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“He got drafted in the top 10 and came to New York City. That alone was enough to crush a player,” Johnson said. “My job is to develop them. If I try to put more pressure than I have, I will hinder his development.
“Evan puts a lot of pressure on himself, I get it. One of my keys to him is, ‘My job is to guide you. If you need to put any pressure on, let me do it. Don’t because you’re too young And do it yourself, you don’t know when to turn it off.'”
Johnson said Thomas’ film was “very good.” After allowing 10 sacks as a rookie, Thomas reduced the total to two in a much-improved second season. The next step is to be consistent in your daily preparation.
“For him, it’s just about ‘I have to get my performance up to a certain level, and then keep it up,'” Johnson said. “I think he has a lot of room to grow – it’s not that he’s been playing at a low level so far. It’s just, I think it’s a kid’s world.”
Glowinski — the Giants’ largest free agent signing (three years, $18.4 million) — is a well-known commodity. Potential guards, on the other hand, are deadlocked, but Lemieux — a 2020 fifth-round pick, a hockey last name and a thin moustache — has an early lead.
“French did a great job,” Johnson said. “I think highly of him coming out of Oregon. I really would love to get a chance to coach him. Now I have a chance. Is he doing what I’ve asked him to do so far? Yes. He’s at high Do it horizontally? Yes.”
Eight of the 14 offensive linemen on the roster were brought in by first-year general manager Joe Schoen. Thursday’s second-team offensive line includes Devery Hamilton, Joshua Ezeudu, Ben Bredeson, Marcus McKethan and Matt Gono (left to right). Max Garcia rotates out.
While former starting right tackle Matt Peart (ACL) and center Nick Gates (broken leg) were still sidelined by injuries from last season, Lemieux didn’t even wear a red jersey to signify injury maintenance, Despite missing the entire season due to knee surgery.
“They didn’t say there were any restrictions, and [Lemieux] No limits were shown to me,” Johnson said, “so I’m happy right now. “