*Rookie OL Adam Bisnowaty discussed his first impressions of the Giants: *
Spring is an interesting time for a lineman, especially a rookie one.
The job description is to move another grown man against his will, but contact is not permitted at this stage in the offseason. So what is a 300-pounder to do? Putting on the "NY" helmet for the first time will have to do for now.
"All of us haven't had a helmet on for a while," Adam Bisnowaty, the Giants' sixth-round draft pick, said after the first practice of rookie minicamp. "So just get after it, just being out there on the field is a great feeling."
After reporting this past Thursday for orientation, it was time for rookies to hit the field on Friday. Bisnowaty, a first-team All-ACC left tackle at Pitt, scanned the depth chart for his four-syllable surname to see where he would line up. It said right tackle. Chad Wheeler, an undrafted free agent from USC, played left tackle.
"Wherever my name is at, I'll play and I'm excited just to be out on the field," Bisnowaty said. "I also played a little bit of guard in college, so I'm comfortable playing either position, either side. Either way, I'll be out there and play as hard as I can."
Playing hard wasn't an issue for Bisnowaty in college. It's what attracted the Giants, ultimately leading them to trade their seventh-round pick to move up and grab him. At Pitt, Bisnowaty founded the “O.G. Mud Gang,” a nickname he gave to the Panthers' offensive line.
Last year, he was part of the only program in the nation to boast wins over two teams (Clemson and Penn State) that finished in the top five of the final College Football Playoff rankings. The Mud Gang, specifically, paved the way for running back James Conner, who finished as the conference's all-time leader in rushing touchdowns (52) and total touchdowns (56) before being drafted in the third round by the Steelers.
"He takes a lot of pride in being a tough guy from Pittsburgh and playing at Pitt," Panthers offensive line coach John Peterson said on Giants.com's Big Blue Kickoff Live after the draft. "He was a leader in our room, and he nicknamed the group the O.G. Mud Gang. He likes to get in the mud and play in the trenches and play physical football."
But that was college.
Bisnowaty and the rest of the rookies are no longer the big men on campus. On Monday, they were thrown in with the veterans, who have been working out at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center since mid-April. Next week, they will all practice together – offense vs. defense – for the first time during organized team activities (OTAs).
"When you play football nowadays, it's a lot of zone, power, you pass the ball, run the ball. At the end of the day, it's the same thing," Bisnowaty said of the transition. It's the way they call it is a little different. I think that no matter where you go, whatever organization you're at, I think it's just learning the terminology, and the fundamentals are pretty much the same. [It's] just learning everything the way that it's supposed to be done and just going out there executing it."
Bisnowaty joins an offensive line that returns the same five players who started the majority of games last year. From left to right, that group is Ereck Flowers, Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg, John Jerry, and Bobby Hart.
"I met a few guys the past two days and I think slowly, I'll start meeting them as next week comes," Bisnowaty said. "It seems like a great group. I've only heard good things about it. I'm excited to step in and continue building that group and continue to bring my skillset to the table."
In the meantime, Bisnowaty, known as Biz, will just try to be himself.
"The reason why they chose me was to come here and try to be that same person," he said. "Be the same person that I am on and off the field, just continue that. It has got me here, and I think it's going to continue to make me pretty successful."
Ben McAdoo will be the judge of that, but he won't get a good look until the pads come on in training camp at the end of July.
"Not for a while," McAdoo said. "You have to be careful evaluating players running around in their underwear."