Giants will start Locklear at left tackle

PFW staff
September 3, 2012

The Giants will replace starting OLT Will Beatty with journeyman Sean Locklear in the season opener against the Cowboys.

With Beatty out with a bad back, the Giants considered all their options, including moving ORT Dave Diehl (who replaced Beatty at left tackle down the stretch last season) back to the left side.

"We did (consider that). We did," Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said. "Very much so, but right now Sean is playing very well, so he’s been really as good as anybody we’ve had (at) pass (protection) up there, and that way we can protect to the other side and we’ve been doing that."

Locklear started four games last season in eight games played for the Redskins. Prior to that, he had played in 97 games (78 starts) for the Seahawks over seven seasons in Seattle.

He'll have a tough assignment in Week One with Cowboys OLB DeMarcus Ware. Although the Giants have beaten the Cowboys in six of the past eight meetings, Ware has been a handful. Ware, who had 19.5 sacks last season, has totaled 7.5 sacks and five forced fumbles in the past eight meetings against the Giants.

But Gilbride believes the Giants are going with the right combination up front.

"Sean, I won’t say has been a surprise, but he’s been what we’ve hoped," Gilbride said. "With William out the entire preseason, all of a sudden he moved up to the starting position and has played real well. He hasn’t hurt us in the pass game at all. His protection has been excellent.

"He’s been one of the better performers in pass protection. He’s still learning some of the things with the run game the way we do it, so I think he’ll get better and better, but he’s been a bona fide pro."