Giants’ line woes holding offense back

Patti Traina, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchangeSeptember 16, 2013

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants entered training camp with questions along their offensive line, and then shuffled the unit in the middle of the preseason. Two games into the regular season, and the continued shortcomings of the line has head coach Tom Coughlin concerned after a poor showing against the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
"We're certainly not knocking them back off the ball," Coughlin said when asked about the line. "(But) give credit where credit is due; they have a good defensive team."
Through two games, the Giants' offensive line has allowed four sacks for minus 31 yards, and 12 quarterback hits.
In the running game, the Giants have managed just 73 yards on 33 carries (2.1-yard avg.), with no single rush exceeding 16 yards.
The Giants' 23 rushing yards against the Broncos in Week 2 represented their lowest output on the ground since they ran for six yards at the Los Angeles Rams on Nov. 12, 1980 in a 31-10 loss.
One theory for the offensive line's performance is a lack of continuity, as the same five players have yet to play together in consecutive weeks dating back to the preseason.
"I don't buy that," said left guard Kevin Boothe, who in the regular season opener was at center for the injured David Baas. "We all played together for a while, regardless of who was in there. I think it just boils down to execution -- not getting it done on a consistent basis."
A more likely culprit is how players are being deployed in relationship to their current abilities.
For example, in his prime, right guard Chris Snee was one of the best in the business at executing pulls.
However, several years and one hip surgery later, Snee no longer seems to possess the ability to move the way he once did, yet he's still asked to perform tasks as though he hasn't aged.
There is also another theory in which players who are coming back from injury are reinserted into the game after taking jut limited practice reps leading up to the game, such as what might have been behind Baas' poor showing Sunday.
While theoretically a veteran player should be able to step right into the mix without missing a beat, rust does tend to accumulate and it shows up on the player's performance when he does return after either little or no practice.
The Giants' offensive line really has nowhere to go but up in terms of execution. However, the coaches probably need to take a closer look at how the players' skill sets are changing over time and make the necessary adjustments to put them into the best situations to win.
--WR Hakeem Nicks (hand) suffered a dislocated finger after a ball hit his hand awkwardly. He had to come out of the game for a few snaps, but had the finger popped back into place and was able to return. He said after the game that he didn't anticipate the injury causing him to miss any time in the coming week.
--TE Brandon Myers (ribs) was to undergo tests to determine if the numerous blows he took to his chest area created any cause for concern. On Monday, Myers told reporters that he was fine, other than being sore after taking a pounding in the Giants' 41-23 loss to the Broncos.