What are the chances Will Beatty will stay at left tackle as opposed to switching to right tackle and have Justin Pugh move to a guard position? What is the possibility of finding a good left tackle in free agency?** -Max
Read More from Eisen's Mailbag Dear Max:
I don't know if anything regarding the Giants' offensive line is set in stone at this point. It's possible to find a left tackle in free agency, but I question if that's the direction in which the Giants want to move. Beatty signed a long-term contract last year and left tackle is his best position. My guess is they will look to staff other positions on the line. Depending on how everything shakes out – specifically, if they sign someone who can play right tackle – Pugh could conceivably move inside to guard. But with free agency and the draft still months away, that won't be decided for a while.
Do you think that the offensive line got that bad or Eli Manning just regressed, or did he have a lingering injury no one knew about? It seemed like held the ball for far too long. Should they go into the draft looking for a first round quarterback?
Manning will be the first to tell you he did not have his best season, but when you analyze the Giants' offensive problems in 2013 you have to start with the line. You cannot win in the NFL without a good offensive line. The line struggled after Chris Snee and David Baas – and later Jim Cordle -- suffered season-ending injuries. No, I don't think the Giants should draft a quarterback in the first round. Manning just turned 33. He has many good seasons ahead of him. The focus this offseason will be improving his supporting cast, particularly up front.
It drives me nuts, the problems we have. We need better pass protection, everyone knows that. Bring back Peyton Hillis. As soon as he came in, we started looking good. He can block for Eli and run hard. Do you think we will bring him back?
Hillis first has to decide if he wants to return. He had a concussion late in the season and while he did return for the season finale vs. Washington, he never said definitively he wants to play next season. And even if he does, it's uncertain if the Giants will bring him back. Hillis did some good work, but he still averaged 3.4 yards a carry and fumbled twice. There are many other factors to consider – whether David Wilson is able to return after his neck surgery this week, if Andre Brown leaves via free agency, if the Giants sign or draft a running back. Like so many Giants questions, this will be answered over the next several months.