GIANTS BRETT JONES TALKS ABOUT O-LINE AND GETTING SOME BREAKS
EAST RUTHERFORD: For a team that is 0-4 and seemingly already out of the NFC playoff picture, the New York Giants locker room was surprisingly upbeat this week at the G-Men prepared to take on the also win-less San Diego Chargers (0-4) at MetLife Stadium (1:00 PM on CBS).
The Giants offensive line has taken a lot of of the blame for the team’s woeful start, at in the first two games, it is an accurate criticism.
But the Giants have no stud running back to speak of. The O-line can block well, but if there is no running back who can make things happen, it won’t matter…and it hasn’t.
The Giants have gained just 237 yards on the ground this year. Only Miami (199) and Arizona (228) are worse.
The offensive line has nothing to do will all the dropped balls by free agent Brandon Marshall and other receivers who looked at the ball as radioactive, especially in those first two games when Big Blue was missing All Pro wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. from to a sprained ankle he incurred during a preseason game.
Beckham missed the season opener against the Dallas Cowboys, a 19-3 loss, and was ineffective in game two, a 24-10 loss to the Detroit Lions.
But the Giants offense has come to life the pas two game with the return of their Superstar to full form.
Big Blue scored 24 points in their 27-24 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles and last week, the Giants dropped a 25-23 verdict to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
In both games, the Giants were beaten on walk-off field goals including a record 61-yard shot in Philly by rookie Jake Elliott.
The Giants may have some of their offense back, but are still not getting any breaks.
There are no David Tyree or Mario Manningham miracle catches this season. Head Coach Ben McAdoo has had virtually no luck on challenges, no deflected passes have gone their way and the two called-back touchdowns on the goal line just before halftime against the Eagles probably resulted in a few wrecked TV screens in Giants Nation.
Brett Jones, the former Canadian Football League standout center, who has played a lot of guard do to various injuries this season, may start at center against the Charges as Weston Richburg goes through concussion protocol. He admitted the Giants could use some help.
“(We) could use a break here and there,” Jones said at his locker this week. “But you have to play well, you have to earn those breaks. Any time you’re not winning and you’re losing by how little we are…we understand that it’s those little things that make a difference.”
The Giants offensive line will have their hands full with the Chargers front seven that includes defensive end Joey Bosa, defensive tackles, Brandon Mebane, Corey Liuget and linebacker/edge rushers Melvin Ingram (5.5 sacks), Chris McCain (3 sacks), who can all get after the quarterback. The Chargers, as a team, have racked up 12 sacks in four games.
“Their inside guys are no slugs, Brandon Mebane’s been in the league a long time,” Jones said. “He’s a smart savvy player. Same with Corey Liuget, he’s been in the league a long time, he’s explosive. Definitely we’ve got our work cut out for us. We have to come ready to play.”
Jones was asked how they look at the Chargers edge rushers.
“They line up inside too on passing downs,” Jones said. “You’re going to see them on stunts and twists. You have to be prepared for what they bring.”
Jones has value to the Giants because he can play center and guard. He has graded out well virtually every time he has been called on.
“Definitely, that’s my job, I have to be able to go out and execute,” Jones said. “You don’t always get all the reps you want but you have to go out and perform. That’s just the way it is.”
Jones talked about having to build chemistry with all the lineman as he has several roles.
“I think that sometimes that’s underestimated,” Jones said. “The ability to go play beside two guys. You’ve got to be able to dictate what they want you to do and what you want to do so you’re on the same page and things look seamless. It’s all about communication both on and off the field. I definitely have been working on that.”
Jones said he understands when people see 0-4, the word “desperate” finds its way into describing the mood of the team going in the game. He believes the Giants do need to get this win over a very beatable opponent, but they have to keep their discipline.
“There is a sense of urgency,” Jones said. “I think we all appreciate that and notice that. But we have to go out there and execute our game plan. We have to go out and do the little details that will get us in place to win. We can’t just go out there and push push and look past those things. It’s all about the fine details, crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s and do what’s right.”
Jones said he will welcome some good luck.
“Hopefully we can get a break or two.” *
Follow Al Thompson on Twitter @thompsoniii