When the Giants selected two offensive tackles over the weekend, it reinforced a cornerstone of the franchise – competition.
It just so happens that the battle for playing time is also reinforcing the cornerstone of any team – the offensive line. At least, that's how the theory goes, and that's what the presence of Brandon Mosley and Matt McCants will add to the offensive line meeting room.
However, the competition was already underway for James Brewer.
The 6-foot-6, 330-pound tackle was drafted in the fourth round last year – same as Mosley last weekend – and sat behind veterans David Diehl, Kareem McKenzie and Will Beatty. Brewer was inactive for all regular and postseason games, but his highlight came on the Super Bowl flight to his hometown of Indianapolis when he was tasked with carrying the offensive line’s mascot, a giant stuffed bear.
Feeling like he made the most of his understudy role, Brewer is striving to get on the field in his second season.
"At the same time, I was glad that things panned out the way they did," Brewer said prior to the draft. "I was able to have a year just to learn and learn and learn and learn. That was my job – to learn and be ready. This year, I'm feeling like it will be an opportunity for me to capitalize."
Like all rookies, Brewer thought the lockout hindered his ability to have an immediate role on the field, especially in the trenches as an offensive lineman.
"It's because of my position," Brewer said. "I'm pretty sure linebacker is expansive, too, but there's a lot to learn on the line. I just think it would have been nice just to get a jump on the playbook earlier than I did, but now I have a year under my belt."
Just like Brewer would have done a season ago if there had been no lockout, Mosley and McCants will report to rookie mini camp next Thursday and acquaint themselves with their new team. It will be another checkpoint heading into the 2012 season as the personnel comes more into focus.