*OL Ereck Flowers discussed his offseason adjustments and goals for 2017: *
Ereck Flowers pruned a few pounds this offseason, and all of his teammates and coaches are talking about it.
Actually, let's rephrase that. They're being asked about it.
The 23-year-old left tackle was a mainstay at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center this offseason. He trained diligently for months, so much so that everyone noticed when the team hit the field for OTAs and minicamp.
"He is in tremendous condition," coach Ben McAdoo said.
"The first thing about Ereck that jumps out is how much leaner he is," offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan said.
"You could tell the difference," offensive line coach Mike Solari said.
"He's working his butt off," said Justin Pugh, who plays closest to him at left guard.
On Thursday, after the final practice of minicamp, it was Flowers' turn to answer the questions. He said this was the "smartest" he has ever worked in an offseason, focusing on diet and specific targets in the weight room.
"It's a grind," Flowers said. "I love it though. It's fun coming in every day and continue to get work."
Flowers also added boxing to his workouts, a common theme in the offensive line room this year. According to Pugh, all five of the returning starters – him, Flowers, center Weston Richburg, right guard John Jerry, and right tackle Bobby Hart – have incorporated the sport.
"A lot of guys got into some boxing," Pugh said. "I know Coach Solari talked about working on getting your hand speed up and things of that nature. But at the same time, offensive line play is still offensive line play. So, you still have to work on those fundamentals that are going to make you a successful offensive lineman."
Aside from the obvious benefits of getting faster and stronger, the conditioning will help Flowers maintain his fundamentals throughout the course of a game, and to a larger extent, the season. Flowers played 100 percent of the offensive snaps last year. Only he and quarterback Eli Manning were on the field for all 1,062 plays.
"When [offensive linemen] get tired, they lose it," McAdoo said. "They lose fundamentals and they lose the bendability, the timing, the rhythm in their technique, the pad level. It all suffers."
That's what Flowers is trying to prevent for his third season in the NFL and beyond.
"I think I've been getting better at hand placement," he said. "Then again, we're out here with no pads, just helmet and jersey. You're just working, but it's not the real thing yet."
The real thing begins Sept. 10 in Dallas.