Offensive Line Coach Mike Solari
September 8, 2017
Q: How do you feel about your line?
A: Excited. We are excited to get going. Theyíve worked hard, they are prepared, and theyíre looking forward to playing Dallas.
Q: What has it been like to work with the same guys for a second year?
A: It really helps. I mean, in the sense of being crystal clear for the communications and also the techniques and then being able to see it on film. It makes it a lot better, the continuity is big.
Q: How much improvement did you see this summer?
A: I think we are on schedule. Itís a thing that is in progress. We always want to improve and get better at all of our techniques and our fundamentals. Theyíve worked hard. They do a good job on and off the field in sense of off the field, in the classroom, their preparation and we have seen improvement.
Q: When you say on schedule, what have you been expecting at this point?
A: In the sense of on schedule, we are healthy, weíve had some stability in the sense of playing together and practicing together and thatís a very important part of offensive line play is that synergy, all of them working as one. So, it is critical and when I say we are on schedule, the preparation through training camp, through the preseason games, and now for the opener.
Q: How much is that right guard job up for grabs?
A: Well, I mean all five positions will be decided by Ben [McAdoo]. All of the men are always working and compete to play at the highest level, but John Jerry is the starter.
Q: Has Brett [Jones] made a push at all?
A: Yeah, just like the other young men that are backing up the starters at this point. Heís worked hard, heís ascended as a football player and heís always prepared. He does a great job in his preparation off the field and heís ready to help.
Q: Is there any aspect that is ahead of the other? Typically, early in the season the pass blocking is ahead of the rush blocking, do you see that?
A: No, I think we are right at game one. There is going to be constant improvement throughout the year and throughout each week, every day. When they go on the football field, they are always ascending to be a better football player. Right now, both the run and the pass protection, we just got to keep building our fundamentals and our techniques.
Q: How have you seen Bobby Hart develop?
A: Bobbyís ascended as a football player. Again, itís like I said earlier, on and off the field in his preparation and his techniques, his confidence as a football player. You see that on film throughout the preseason. Compared to last year where he was at, he is a more confident football player and rightfully so. He has put in a lot of work and heís invested his time wisely.
Q: Do you think him losing his job last year lit a fire under him at all?
A: You are going to have to ask Bobby. It was just a situation last year where there was a time that we thought that was the best situation for the New York Giants in the sense of the switch, of the change that we made.
Q: How do you think he handled it at the time?
A: Right. Again, he handled it properly. He wasnít happy about it and it was something he was working hard to maintain, but there was a time where we felt that this was the best thing for the New York Giants at that time. You know, Ben felt it was the best thing.
Q: What is it about him that makes him better now?
A: Well, one thing would be the offseason conditioning program. Heís bigger, heís stronger right now. When I say heís bigger, heís leaner and he worked hard in the offseason. Again, heís young. He just turned 23 the other day and hereís a guy that is playing in his third year in the NFL, I mean wow. So, Bobby is an ascending football player. Itís exciting to see and itís exciting to see where his career will takeoff.
Q: Are you comfortable with Chad Wheeler if he had to go in on Sunday at tackle?
A: Yes, I am confident in every man on our roster and their preparation and that they are ready. Again, he has a role right now, to learn, to develop, become a better football player every day and heís invested his time.
Q: What have you seen from Adam Bisnowaty and what does he have to improve on?
A: Again, Adam is just a situation where we love his toughness, we love his passion for the game, hard worker. Again at this point, heís working on his technique and his fundamentals to be a better football player, so he can and will be ready.
Q: Where has Ereck [Flowers] progressed?
A: I think, again, Ereck, the key thing we talked about earlier in the sense that he progressed number one in his conditioning. Same thing, he invested his time wisely, he worked hard, he put in the time. Ereck has improved in his fundamentals and techniques and we are excited.
Q: Where do you feel D.J Fluker is better-suited, guard or tackle?
A: D.J., I feel, can help us at guard. Can he play tackle? Yes. I think he has characteristics, his ability, heís a stronger player at guard.
Q: So, Wheeler presumably would be your first tackle off the bench then?
A: Well, Ben will decide that. Obviously, Chad is right up there, but again we got some different guys that can fill in and do a good job there at that spot.
Q: How much did you cross train Justin Pugh at tackle? Or do you just trust him because he has done it before?
A: A little bit of both. We have given him a few reps and I do mean a few. Again, it is a situation where it wouldnít take him much to get adjusted there because he has played there. Again, we just gave him a few reps here and there just because, again, we want to give the reps to go to the younger tackles or a situation where D.J.ís got to go out there and get reps there at that spot. So, thatís what we have done to this point.
Q: How have you seen Justin Pugh progress from last year? Do you see a different player?
A: Yeah, I think Justin has ascended also in his work ethic and what heís doing. Again, Justin brings great knowledge to the position and heís healthy and heís worked hard. Last year he got hurt. It kind of threw him off a little bit, but again, he is ready. He is ready to have a real good year.
Q: How important is it for this line to get more out of Justin and Weston Richburg?
A: The key thing with this offensive line, we truly believe is all five of them ascending. Thatís the most important thing. Absolutely, Weston brings the leadership, as well as John Jerry and Justin Pugh. They bring leadership every day. They bring leadership in the sense of the classroom. Just before the meetings, when they are there, they are ready to roll and they show how to be a pro. They have done a great job in the sense when I say those three men, their experience. But all five of them is the most important thing that they all work as one and that is what we are really pushing and thatís what we are excited about in the sense of seeing we are ready to go now against Dallas. Theyíve been working together and itís going to be exciting to see them ascend as a group this year.
Q: What is a good running game? Is there a definition?
A: Yeah, a good running game again is consistency. I truly believe it will be exciting to see our run game. I think it is in progress, I think itís gotten better, and it needs to continue to get better and it will. Obviously, itís different now. Youíre game planning, youíre preparing, youíre giving them looks that they are going to see during the week versus in training camp, youíre on progress to teach technique, fundamentals for them to ascend as a group. Now, itís different. So, again, a good running game is when you can run the football when you need it to run in the sense of a short-yardage, a goal line, a four-minute, when you have to run the ball. You have to be behind your pads and take care of the downs.