New York Giants offensive line coach Marc Colombo has seemingly mastered the art of keeping his emotions to himself.
But when it was relayed to him that his offensive linemen are “pissed off”—that revelation made known by center Nick Gates during his media session with reporters the day prior when asked about the line’s inconsistent play this season—Colombo cracked just the slightest grin.
“I love that they're pissed off,” he said. “That's, that's the type of group we want.”
The Giants also want their starting offensive linemen to cut down on the mistakes that have contributed to the struggles of the Giants running game, which currently ranks last in the league.
The offensive linemen's problems have varied on every play, but most of them are rooted in technique. In his review of the unit's issues, Gates noted how all it took was for one guy to have a breakdown in what he was doing, and it served as a domino effect on the entire play.
“Everybody needs to play better, and we need to coach better,” he said. “Obviously, it's not up to standard—It's the entire team right now. So it’s something we're gonna keep pushing.
“We just need to get a million reps at this and it's going to get better. I think the guys are working tremendously hard—that's something that's never been an issue. But it needs to start translating.”
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Besides improving in the run blocking, Colombo would like to see the offensive linemen do a better job in pass protection.
The Giants have been better at pass protecting than they have run blocking, but the fact they’ve allowed nine sacks in three games is not something Colombo wants to continue to see.
Perhaps most perplexing for the still young and developing offensive line has been picking up stunts and twists, which has created confusion in blocking assignments.
“Yeah, it’s been something so far that we got to do a better job of,” Colombo said. “We made an emphasis on it last week in practice, and again, it didn't show up in the game.
“It's a matter of tight hands, seeing it, reading keys—stuff like that. It's a young line; they just got to do a better job of seeing it and recognizing it really quick because it's something that's hurt us. I gotta do a better job of coaching it up. I'm going to keep pushing these guys to be able to handle this.”
While Colombo, himself a former offensive lineman, seemed sympathetic to the fact that the unit had no preseason or off-season to jell, that doesn’t mean that people will get an indefinite pass if they fail to show growth.
“They just got to keep developing,” Colombo said. “We're going to keep giving them shots in practice and really it all comes down to how you practice.
"So those guys are going to practice hard, you know, you know, continuity, it's a balance between continuity and playing the best five. So we're going to keep pushing the practice, create competition and, you know, see where it shakes out.”