Giants GM Dave Gettleman wasn't kidding around when he said the team's offensive line needed some remodeling. He wasted no time in free agency, picking up LT Nate Solder and G Patrick Omameh.
The Solder pickup is the most interesting, though, because it solidifies the Giants' thoughts on now former LT Ereck Flowers. The Giants announced they are switching him to right tackle this season, and the former first-rounder will be swimming in new waters when camp begins.
Flowers has been playing left tackle his entire career, spanning back to his time at the University of Miami. Former Giants lineman, Justin Pugh filled in a right tackle last season for a couple games despite being the team's left guard.
After going through that process, he knows Flowers isn't going to have a smooth transition over to the right sie.
"I think it's gonna be a tough transition going from left tackle to right tackle," Pugh said on WFAN Wednesday. "He's exclusively played left tackle his entire career, so he's really got to work on it this offseason. Just keep working his technique. I will say this, Ereck Flowers is the strongest player on that team right now, I guarantee it -- pound for pound the strongest guy on the team."
Flowers' strength, though, isn't the problem. As Pugh pointed out, his technique needs refurbishing, especially now more than ever. It will be a whole new monster on the other side, and Pugh says Flowers can take it from him as he was drafted out of Syracuse playing left tackle his entire collegiate career.
"It's definitely tough, coming from a guy that played left tackle all throughout college, he played for three years in the NFL, going over to the right side, it's gonna be a big adjustment for him," Pugh said. "I can speak just from personal experience. He's got to look forward to the challenge. He's got to go into it and embrace it, because if he goes into it with the attitude 'This isn't fair, that's not what I signed up for,' he's gonna dig himself into a deeper hole. I know Ereck is going to be working his butt off in the offseason. I wish him nothing but the best and the rest of the offensive line."
Usually a team's best pass rusher comes on the left side, as there aren't many lefty quarterbacks in the league that won't have a left blindside. However, Pugh says Flowers can't think that way because threats can come from any side.
"I actually think there's better pass rushers on the right side than there are on the left side," he said. "You look across the board, you have the Von Millers of this world, J.J. Watt plays over there, Khalil Mack, there's just some beasts that play on both sides."
But Pugh doesn't have to worry about that anymore with the Giants. He found a new home this offseason as he signed a five-year, $45 million deal with the Cardinals. A former 2013 first-rounder by the Giants, Pugh has spent the past five seasons in New York, where he said he has learned so much.
Now, it is time for him to focus on winning games for Arizona.
"I learned so many great things and met so many great people in New York, they'll never be replaced. It's just going out there and making new relationships and building bonds and winning games in Arizona is my main focus right now."
For Flowers, his main focus will be that move to right tackle.