*Offensive Line Coach Mike Solari fielded questions Friday on Tackle Ereck Flowers: *
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Giants' position coaches periodically speak to the media throughout the season, and today was offensive line coach Mike Solari's turn to be grilled. Reporters asked him 11 questions – two on Justin Pugh, the left guard who is expected back in the lineup after missing five games with a knee injury, one on the team's running game, and eight about left tackle Ereck Flowers.
It was simply Solari's turn. Head coach Ben McAdoo and offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan were also questioned this week about Flowers. The second-year pro – and 2015 first-round draft choice – struggled in the first half of the Giants' 10-7 victory last week against Dallas.
While conceding Flowers had issues against Dallas, Solari expressed confidence that the young player will improve, beginning in two days, when the Giants host the Detroit Lions in a meeting of 9-4 teams.
"He's coming along," Solari said. "He had a tough game last week and he goes, usually, against the best pass rushers on the team. Whether it was a couple of weeks ago with (Pittsburgh's James) Harrison or last week - and this week we've got another big challenge with Ezekiel Ansah, really an outstanding pass rusher. Again, it's a work in progress, Ereck's working hard in practice, trying to develop the techniques, it's just a matter of taking the techniques he's working on in practice and taking it to take the game."
Solari was asked if Flowers is breaking old habits.
"Yeah, it takes time," he said. "As a coach you never have time. But the thing is, it's a matter of trusting your techniques and what happens is, when you're going against real outstanding defensive end, sometimes you don't trust your techniques, so you don't rely on it, you don't have that confidence in it. That's what Ereck's working hard at and it's coming along. It's just a matter of him trusting it and he's going to do a great job this week for us, no doubt in my mind."
• Solari on how Pugh looked in practice this week:
"He's working hard," Solari said. "We didn't mix him into the reps, he's been splitting reps and we're getting close to the decision and Ben will make that decision (if Pugh plays). He's coming along until it gets to the wire. Just like anything else, you get rusty with your technique, but he's working hard to get better at that."