Bobby Hart doesn't see himself as sixth man of Giants O-line
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Second-year offensive lineman Bobby Hart is somewhat of the unknown on the New York Giants' offensive line.
The seventh-round draft pick from Florida in 2015 is a lineman with versatility. He can play tackle. He can play guard. He can perform on either side of the line.
The problem is that he does not have a starting job.
New coach Ben McAdoo told Hart in the offseason that he wanted him to push veteran Marshall Newhouse for the starting job at right tackle.
So far, Newhouse is continuing to get the reps with the first team, leaving Hart playing mostly with the second team.
Hart played with the first team on Monday at right guard when John Jerry could not continue on a hot and humid day because of an illness.
''You have no choice,'' Hart said of the switch after practice. ''It's something that I have to do for the team if that's what it comes down to, so I have to be sharp on that (guard) as well.''
It's what backups do. But don't call Hart a backup. He doesn't like it. He sees himself as a starter, not matter what group he is playing with.
''That's my mindset,'' Hart said. ''If I have a sixth-man mindset, that I'm the sixth man, that's not me. I was a starter in high school. I was a starter at Florida State. I plan to start here. If it comes down to it and coach McAdoo says that's what you role needs to be for the team, I'll accept that role and excel at that role. But my main role is to be ultimately a starter.''
Hart appeared in nine games as a rookie last year. His big break came when Newhouse hurt his back in December and he got a start at right tackle against the Jets.
During the offseason, Hart said he did what he had to do to be ready for the season.
Hart had 35 plays at tackle against the Miami Dolphins in the season opener on Friday and had his ups and downs, like most of the line.
Another lineman who is getting a bit of a look is former Boston College tackle Emmett Cleary. He was moved to second-team left guard this week after five-year veteran Adam Gettis was demoted following a bad game on Friday.
Cleary also got snaps with the first team on Monday after Jerry left, but he downplayed it, saying the coaches just wanted to see him with that group.
''In this business you really can't look wide view,'' Cleary said. ''It's all about the day ahead of you so I just try to approach it one drill, one practice at a time and hope you stack up enough good ones where they keep you on.''
The 26-year-old Cleary has bounced around since leaving Boston College. He was signed as a free agent by the Indianapolis Colts in 2013 and cut at the end of training camp. He later spent a part of that season on Tampa Bay's practice squad.
He was waived the following June, claimed by Oakland and waived near the end of camp, eventually joining the Bengals practice square for a chunk of 2014.
The Giants signed him last season, waived him at the end of camp and signed him to the practice. He was added to the 53-man roster in November and was active for one game, against the Redskins.
''I was the short-yardage guy and never got in,'' he said. ''We had two plays at the pylon that were both for touchdowns. I was up for both of them, but I have not been in yet.''
The 6-foot-7, 324-pounder hopes his chance comes this year. He played both right guard and right tackle against Miami.
''This is still the best job I'll ever have,'' Cleary said. ''Playing ball is its own reward in some senses.''
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