EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The great experiment to see if Ereck Flowers can salvage his career by moving from left tackle to right tackle is scheduled to begin this spring and last into the summer. And there's a possibility it could take longer than that.
That's because as simple as it seems on the outside, new Giants offensive line coach Hal Hunter knows better. And getting the 23-year-old Flowers to do things the complete opposite way of how he's done them for his entire pro and most of his college career is probably going to take a little bit of time.
"I don't think the assignments are that tough," Hunter said on Wednesday. "But it would be like: I golf right-handed. If all of a sudden I have to golf left-handed, it's going to be awhile. He's been playing left tackle for a long time."
The 6-6, 325-pound Flowers, in fact, has played left tackle exclusively since he was drafted ninth overall in 2015. He also played left tackle in his final two seasons at the University of Miami. The last time he played right tackle was when he was a true freshman for the Hurricanes back in 2012 when he was only 18.
His position changed, though, when the Giants signed ex-Patriots left tackle Nate Solder to a four-year, $62 million deal back in March. Hunter called Flowers "a good, solid left tackle". But he knows he has work to do to become "good" or even "solid" on the right.
"The footwork is going to be different," Hunter said. "Everything is going to be just the opposite. And he's a good enough athlete that he's going to be able to adjust to all of that, but it's like anything. You're writing and all of a sudden you guys all have to write left-handed. You can do it, but it takes some time to adjust.
"So, there has to be a patience on the learning curve."
Just how much patience the Giants will have is unclear. Flowers has been a bit of a bust of a first-round pick as the former Giants regime steadfastly refused to move him out of the left tackle spot. Now he's heading into the final year of his rookie contract, and the Giants are almost certainly not going to pick up his fifth-year option for 2019.
He will likely enter training camp as the starter on the right side, but new GM Dave Gettleman has already offered praise for how rookies Chad Wheeler and Adam Bisnowaty played in the Giants' season finale last season. A strong summer by either of them could give Flowers a real push.
And whether Flowers can hold them off may depend more on his athleticism and ability. His effort and toughness has been questioned at times. He'll need more of both to make a successful switch.
"When you have a person that has played left tackle for a while, there's a lot of mechanics that are kind of set in place and to make that transition (and) it takes a little time," said assistant offensive line coach Ben Wilkerson. "But it's more so about your willingness to make the transition and willingness to push through some of the hard times. It's not going to be as seamless for some as it is to others, but it can be done. It's been done throughout the league and throughout the history of this game. It's just about your mentality and your approach to making that transition."