Moeller: Passing of Giants’ Offensive Former Lineman Rekindles Status of Current O-Line

With the recent passing of former Giants’ offensive lineman Mitch Petrus due to a heat stroke in Arkansas, the thought of the current offensive line can be brought back into focus.

Petrus was a reserve behind the relatively blue-collar and efficient starting unit of Will Beatty, David Diehl, David Bass, Chris Snee, and Kareem McKenzie.

They were consistent and effective throughout the year to win a Super Bowl ring.

Next week, the current Giants’ O-Line will officially begin their quest to rise above the depths they have sunk the previous two seasons, much like the way you bet without a BetAmerica promo.

In the second half of last season, there were signs that their often set mold was starting to harden and take shape. Saquon Barkley was provided more holes than he usually created on his own, and Eli Manning had more time to throw instead of sidestepping defensive linemen and linebackers.

When new GM Dave Gettleman took over, one of his primary tasks was to build an offensive line, building and shaping some “Hog Mollies.”

Gettleman may have reached his goal. Put out the magnifying glass and take a deep look.

Big ticket left tackle Nate Solder and second-year left guard Will Hernandez apparently have curbed their communication issues from last season that led to tanglement among themselves.

Jamon Brown, who was an excellent pickup off waivers last year at right guard, wasn’t resigned in the offseason.

Instead, Gettleman acquired guard Kevin Zeitler in the Odell Beckham trade, and later snared right tackle Mike Remmers, who was released by Minnesota. Ironically, he’ll be reunited with head coach Pat Shurmur.

Zeitler is regarded as one of the premier pass protectors in the league and Remmers has been extremely durable over the years. He underwent back surgery in the offseason and was released in March, but the Giants gave him a green light. Incidentally, Zeitler already has drawn comparisons to Snee.

Sound familiar?

Jon Halapio looked good in mini-camp and would appear to have the edge at center, but Spencer Pulley will get a shot.

Chad Wheeler, who started last year at right tackle, will be part of the current depth that features a number of rookies. Seventh-round pick rookie right tackle George Asafio-Adjei has made his presence felt.

With the offensive spotlight shining larger on Barkley this season, the O-Line will be held to task. They should be. For the first time in three years, there is plenty of optimism.

If Zeitler and Remmers play to their expectations, the line can be as productive the Snee-led line of
2011 in which Petrus made his contributions.

Whether they can get to postseason is still yet to be seen.

About the Author

Jeff Moeller

Jeff Moeller has been covering the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and college football and basketball as well as high school sports on a national and local scene for the past 39 years. He has been a Jets and Giants beat reporter for the past 13 years.

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