Another year, another offensive line configuration for the Giants offensive line.
Adjusting to new teammates can be hard for those who remain from a year ago. Still, for veteran guard Kevin Zeitler, the Giants' most consistent offensive lineman last year, if it means the unit will be better, he'll do his part to help build the chemistry and communication necessary for success.
Zeitler is no stranger to having to get used to new offensive linemates. He had to develop chemistry with a new Giants offense and teammates in 2019 after being acquired via trade from the Cleveland Browns.
Even before coming to the Giants last year, he had to adjust to a similar situation after signing with Cleveland in 2017 after four years with Cincinnati Bengals.
Zeitler then had to build continuity with two new starters on the Browns' offensive line one year later in 2018, the season in which he was ranked as Pro Football's top offensive guard.
Zeitler's four-year stint in Cincinnati from 2012-16 provided the most offensive line consistency that he's had to work with. But even then, Zeitler had to adjust to a new center in his first three seasons and a new right tackle in his last season in 2016.
Now in getting ready for his second season with the Giants, he could be looking at playing alongside three new projected starters on the offensive line.
Two of those projected new starters will be on either side of him, as offensive tackle Mike Remmers and center Jon Halapio are not on the roster.
"It's great to work with everyone and it's great to build continuity with everyone so it's never an issue," Zeitler said.
As the Giants try to figure out who will line up where Zeitler, as he's always done, has rolled up his sleeves and gone to work on doing what he needs to do to ensure he remains part of the best five offensive linemen.
"The coaches came in and made it very clear, everyone is possible to play any position," Zeitler said. "The way we look at it is no matter who we play next to in practice there's always a possibility that it could [change] at any given time or in a game."
Zeitler's veteran presence could prove to be a valuable asset for the unit and a resource for new offensive line coach Marc Colombo to help develop the team's young offensive linemen.
Whatever new configuration the Giants do unveil for their September 14 regular-season opener, hopefully, it will launch the unit toward respectability, as the Giants' offensive line has consistently ranked at or near the bottom of the league for the past several years.
Last year alone, the unit gave up 43 sacks, and the offense finished just 19th in the NFL in rushing.
"They know it wasn't right previously," Colombo said. "It never is when you lose a coaching staff. When you come back this year, they're hungry. Having a conversation with each one of them, they want to get better. It's our job as coaches to put them in a position to succeed."