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Friday Media Transcript: Offensive Line Coach Mike Solari

Eric from BBI : Admin : 12/16/2016 5:11 pm
Offensive Line Coach Mike Solari

December 16, 2016

Q: There's been a lot of focus on your left tackle, how do you feel Ereck has been playing lately?

A: He's coming along. He had a tough game last week and he goes, usually, against the best pass rushers on the team. Whether it was a couple of weeks ago with Harrison or last week and this week we've got another big challenge with Ezekiel Ansah, really an outstanding pass rusher. Again, it's a work in progress, Ereck's working hard in practice, trying to develop the techniques, it's just a matter of taking the techniques he's working on in practice and taking it to take the game.

Q: Is getting Pugh back something that could help Ereck?

A: The most important thing is that Ereck's got to keep working on his fundamentals and improving that asset. Obviously Justin has experience and so forth but again, the other young men that have stepped in for Justin to Ereck have done a good job with communication and so forth. It's just a matter of continuing to grow and keep developing and Ereck's working hard at it.

Q: How has Justin Pugh looked in practice this week?

A: Well again, he's working hard. We didn't mix him into the reps, he's been splitting reps and we're getting close to the decision and Ben will make that decision. He's coming along until it gets to the wire. Just like anything else, you get rusty with your technique but he's working hard to get better at that.

Q: What does he bring to your offense?

A: Just the continuity, the experience, that knowledge, that experienced players have, just a soothing effect. Marshall Newhouse was thrown in there at left guard and he did a nice job and he got better as he got more reps at guard. Whereas that first week, all the sudden he got thrown in there and he didn't have reps and so forth so again, Justin's got that experience, that knowledge and that helps obviously with communication and us being able to execute better as an offensive line.

Q: With Flowers, is it essentially about breaking old habits?

A: Yeah, it takes time. As a coach you never have time but the thing is, it's a matter of trusting your techniques and what happens is, when you're going against a real outstanding defensive end, sometimes you don't trust your techniques so you don't rely on it, you don't have that confidence in it. That's what Ereckís working hard at and it's coming along. It's just a matter of him trusting it and he's going to do a great job this week for us, no doubt in my mind.

Q: He doesn't say a whole lot to us which may not surprise you. Can you tell he's prideful, that this matters to him, that the penalties bother him?

A: It's important to him, absolutely. It's very important to Ereck. He works on the sideline, he's communicating and he wants to look at the IPad and see where he can get better. It is important to Ereck. He's come along as a young player. I truly believe we'll see Ereck Flowers get better. He's got another big challenge this week, this young man coming in is a very talented pass rusher.

Q: As often as holding can get called and is not, do you sometimes think that a guy has knock because he seems to get an early holding call in most games?

A: We just have to be better with our hands. We have no influence on that whatsoever. I got to do better coaching on doing a better job using our hands. It's something that we emphasis in practice and I got to put more of an exclamation point on it. It's my job to make sure that their hands on are inside and in the NFL or any collegiate level, you've got to keep body in front of your hands, you've got to keep your hands covered up and that's something we have to do better.

Q: You mentioned that he's a young guy and he's had some struggles. Has there ever been a time where you thought taking him out for a series would help him?

A: I have no thought on that in the sense that, no I don't believe in that. I believe, again, he's got to keep rolling, he's got to gain confidence and he's got to trust his techniques and that's what I believe.

Q: Would you like to give him more help?

A: I think we give him help. Ben does a great job, Sullivan does a great job in us giving help when the play calling and so forth with what we need to do and run the ball, what we need to do. We just have to improve our techniques, that's the key thing. I know it sounds, 'you keep saying that,' but it's the truth. You have to rely on your techniques and fundamentals to achieve what you need to achieve on the offensive line. We need to work better as a unit and we need to improve the run game that we're working at to achieve. We'll get better, we will get better.

Q: He was obviously a really high draft pick, because of that and his size and talent, does it surprise you that he's developed this slowly?

A: Again, he's developing, he's getting better. It's not as quickly as we'd like but again, he just has to trust his techniques and fundamentals and apply that in a game environment and he will.

Q: What gives you hope that the run game can improve in these final three weeks?

A: I think these last few weeks, I see glimpses of us being more consistent throughout the offensive line and it's coming together and you kind of need that continuity on the offensive line, no excuses, you got to get the job done. It's a part of the process but I think we're getting better, getting better coming off the ball. So I'm excited about this week against Detroit.
I appreciate the Flowers questions, but couldn't they have also  
yatqb : 12/16/2016 5:22 pm : link
asked about the other starters, or our failure to generate a running game?
Good interview - I hope that Solari is being honest about Flowers  
jcn56 : 12/16/2016 5:32 pm : link
and that there's improvement to be had.
I'm glad he didn't dodge the bullet about Pugh  
ColHowPepper : 12/16/2016 5:55 pm : link
in two senses, one, that he's not necessarily ready to play, and two, contrary to what many BBIers like to believe, that he's not pinning Flowers' issues to the presence or absence of any LG
Between the lines  
TMS : 12/16/2016 8:18 pm : link
it sounds like Flowers was a bad 9th round pick, and we will we still need a LT. Try him somewhere else maybe? He has attitude, desire and size, just not the skill set for that spot.
RE: Between the lines  
section125 : 12/16/2016 8:27 pm : link
In comment 13270729 TMS said:
it sounds like Flowers was a bad 9th round pick, and we will we still need a LT. Try him somewhere else maybe? He has attitude, desire and size, just not the skill set for that spot.

If he starts for 6 or 8 years somewhere on the line, it was not a bad pick. He's got the rest of this year and probably part of next year to get going.
Flowers KNOWS he doesn't have foot speed ...  
Manny in CA : 12/16/2016 11:38 pm : link

To deal with the best DEs in the NFL, that's why he turns his body to the left and puts his hands down low.

He's NOT an NFL left tackle, as much as the Giants want him to be, he's a right tackle mauler type (much like Kareem McKinzie used to be).

Maybe McAdoo is just being stubborn, maybe Beatty is not the player he was once (to come in and take over left tackle), maybe it's too late in the season to switch Flowers over (basically creating two big holes instead of a medium sized one).

It's too bad, if that is one of the key reasons this team doesn't go as far as it should, THIS year.
RE: Between the lines  
mrvax : 12/17/2016 7:45 am : link
In comment 13270729 TMS said:
it sounds like Flowers was a bad 9th round pick, and we will we still need a LT. Try him somewhere else maybe? He has attitude, desire and size, just not the skill set for that spot.

How the hell did you draw that conclusion from this interview? Seriously. I heard the opposite.
RE: Good interview - I hope that Solari is being honest about Flowers  
jbeintherockies : 12/17/2016 11:57 am : link
In comment 13270621 jcn56 said:
and that there's improvement to be had.

There is no where to go but up.
ColHowPepper : 12/17/2016 11:57 am : link
I think what TMS is saying might be that Solari's continuous harping on Flowers needing to get his fundamentals and technique down and trust them--with the results that are all too plain and painful to see--signals a view that maybe he just can't, at this position; the opposing view being that Solari can't--get through to him so there is carryover into games.

section125, well, at #9 I don't think we believed--who knows what Reese believed--that at that high a slot he was going to occupy a G or RT position for more than a year or two, time enough for Beatty to play himself to backup status.

With many others, I'm of the view that a switch to RT is not going to redeem EF's future prospects as a T in the NFL. It may be in him to achieve that, but we've seen precious little evidence, and the NFL has plenty of stellar pass rushers from the LDE position.

(Trae Waynes was there to be had: had we waited until the 3rd (where Giants' selection was the underwhelming OO) or later, how much worse off could we be? Landon Collins redeems that draft, perhaps along with Bobby Hart, from being one of the really bad ones (Mykele Thompson and Geremy Davis, 4th I think went to move up to get LC). But hindsight is perfect.)
What exactly are the fundamentals he lacks?  
GiantsAMPodcast : 12/17/2016 12:35 pm : link
Hands are too low, he bends at the waste, a drops his head. Also doesn't get a good angle on the set.

Link - ( New Window )
Sounds to me that Solari  
Bluesbreaker : 12/17/2016 2:45 pm : link
Is being kind in defending Flowers ...
What I don't understand is the three things that are
pointed out that he still does all three ..
Seems at some point in time the light needs to go on.
I wouldn't doubt that he will have to win that position
next year unless he show more improvement the rest of
the way ...
Remember the excellent film study that Pat Traina did on Flowers ....  
Manny in CA : 12/17/2016 6:10 pm : link

Back in September ?

Everything that he was doing wrong, back then he's doing wrong in December.

I'm sure he's a great kid and is working hard, but something tells me that he doesn't trust his own ability (his FOOTSPEED) to execute the techniques that Solari is trying to get him to execute.

The Giants have bet all the chips on him at left tackle, (looks like they figure that can get just enough out of him).
Solari's the biggest disappointment of this season  
trueblueinpw : 12/17/2016 7:59 pm : link
We kill Flowers around here, and rightfully so because he's actually gotten worse this year and not better. But the sad truth is that every player on the Giants O line, except Jerry has taken a step back under Solari. I'm surprised Solari hasn't been under more fire here on BBI. In fact, even with the putrid offense and the overall suckness of this O line I don't think I've seen any Solari threads or articles in the media.

It's true that the entire offense has been pathetic. But I really didn't expect much from Sullivan or Gilbride and while the offense is ultimately the responsibility of Big Balls Ben, this team is winning, playing well together and has navigated some serious pitfalls like the wife beater and OBJs early season tomfoolery. McAdoo might not be an offensive genius but so far he's having a great rookie season as an NFL HC.

Our offensive line may not be the most talented but they aren't the least talented either and they certainly should have been better this year just because continuity is so important to the line play. But this line is demonstrably worse under Solari this year.
Offensive Line- - Wise ....  
Manny in CA : 12/17/2016 8:38 pm : link

The biggest disappointment of the season is missing out on Jack Conklin (probably on his way to the Pro Bowl in his rookie season).

Second biggest disappointment is losing fullback Will Johnson in September. These days, the NFL fullback is basically the 6th lineman. Now they're playing without one and the offense has gone from 6th best to 24th best (or worse)

In-season injuries to both Pugh & Newhouse has derailed the continuity that any offensive line squad relies on.

Hard to blame Solari for any of that.
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