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OL Bobby Hart has opportunity for increased role

Posted May 29, 2016

Second-year offensive lineman Bobby Hart discusses his goals for the 2016 season:
For the first time in a long time, the Giants will have the opportunity to return all five starters from their offensive line unit at the same position. The combination of Ereck Flowers, Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg, John Jerry and Marshall Newhouse started from left to right in three of the final four games last year. Flowers sat out the final game with an injury, stopping the three-game streak.

In those three games, the Giants ran the ball better than they had all season, rushing 78 times for 344 yards. The 4.4 yards per carry average is nearly a half yard better than the team’s season average. It’s a trend the organization wants to see continue, but that doesn’t mean that there won’t be an opportunity for young players to step into a larger role this season if they play well enough in camp.

Enter last year’s seventh-round draft pick Bobby Hart, who has high hopes for his second season.

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“Just being the best player I can be,” Hart said. “Of course like any competitor I want to start. That’s my biggest goal, but my main goal is just becoming a better player and if I accomplish those little goals, the big goal will come.”

Hart dropped more than 20 pounds this offseason.

“Just working out and the diet, basically,” Hart said. “I stuck to my diet and was very persistent about working out and it paid off.”

He also wanted to improve his mobility.

“I already felt like I could move pretty good, but there’s always room for improvement,” he continued. “That was a goal for this offseason that I wanted to accomplish.”

Extra mobility will help Hart at right tackle, where he started one game last year when Newhouse couldn’t play because of a bad back. He also started 35 games at right tackle for Florida State. The team did give him the opportunity to learn the guard position last year to improve his versatility.

“Right now I’m playing tackle but really I feel like whichever I put my mind to I can be very successful at,” Hart said. “At guard, things happens quicker because at tackle you can get a little depth. But at guard you can’t afford to retract because Eli [Manning] is right there. That’s the biggest difference.”

He is happy with the progress he has made since arriving here as a rookie last year.

“Definitely my quickness, I can see I got quicker. I want to improve my strength,” Hart said. “I’m getting stronger but you can never be strong enough in this league.

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“When I look at tape from last camp and look at this camp I want to be able to see that’s not the same guy. As long as you do that and keep progressing each time to step on the field, my dreams will be accomplished.”

Developing another quality young offensive lineman to join the homegrown group of Pugh, Richburg, and Flowers would be a boon for the Giants and create some always welcome competition on the right side of the offensive line.

The entire line has a new position coach this season, with Mike Solari taking over the coaching duties at offensive line. He’ll be the one helping Hart and the entire offensive line realize their full potential in 2016.