LT Sean Locklear and RT David Diehl staying put

Posted Aug 21, 2012

LT Sean Locklear and RT David Diehl don't appear to be switching sides

The Giants expected Will Beatty to be their left tackle this season, but the fourth-year pro has missed almost every practice since training camp opened and the team’s first two preseason games because of a back injury. Coach Tom Coughlin today answered “unfortunately not” when asked if he had an update on Beatty.

Without Beatty, nine-year veteran and first-year Giant Sean Locklear has played left tackle with David Diehl on the right side. Inquiring minds in the Giants’ locker room wondered if a prolonged Beatty absence would result in the two tackles switching sides, since Diehl played most of the previous five seasons at left tackle and Locklear has played the majority of his career at right tackle.

“It’s not like I haven’t done it before,” Diehl said. “You guys are asking me stupid questions. Nothing’s been asked of me and nothing’s been said to me. If they need me to move, I’ve played the position before. I know how to play left tackle but as of now, nothing’s been said.”

Locklear played his first seven NFL seasons in Seattle, where he often lined up on the left side in training camp before switching to the right in the regular season. So he is similarly unconcerned about the possibility of trading places with Diehl.

“My main purpose is to learn the system,” Locklear said. “I spent most of my career playing on the right. I’ve done it every camp, almost - play out left and then got switched to right. So I would feel comfortable at whatever they put me at.”

Coughlin was asked if his decision to maintain the status quo is a reflection of Locklear’s play or a desire not to tinker with the line.

“It’s both, to be honest,” Coughlin said. “There’s going to have to be flexibility. Whether Sean plays left or right, or whether Davi Diehl plays left or right, or that type of thing.  We obviously expect and live in expectation that Beatty will come back to the practice field, unless something would happen otherwise. … We’re getting close (to the regular season) and those five guys need to play a lot together.”

The Giants will play their third preseason game Friday night when the Chicago Bears visit MetLife Stadium. Locklear will play left tackle and Diehl will be on the right side. Coughlin, of course, reserves the right to change his mind going forward. But his evaluation of Locklear’s play at left tackle indicates he’s not being pressed to do so. 

“He’s a veteran football player, he knows his job, he knows what he’s doing,” Coughlin said. “Some things happen in a ballgame with the complexities, for example, what he saw the other night that kind of slow people down because they don’t quite understand the communication, but by in large, he’s done well.”

Until he is told otherwise, Locklear will continue to line up at left tackle.

“I come in everyday and I don’t know how Will’s feeling, but I’ll take advantage of the opportunity to learn and play,” he said. “I wish I could know what they were thinking, but I don’t. I just come in and I know what I signed up for. I come in and compete, play both left and right, and now I’m at the left and just take advantage of it.”