New look O-line, same old results?

After the Giants offensive line was thoroughly dominated by the Eagles on Sunday, Tom Coughlin used phrases like "completely outplayed," "not very good" and "physically handled" when talking about his front five.

On Monday, a still-irritated Coughlin noted that if "you block and a lot of these [issues] go away."

David Diehl

David Diehl

#66 G
New York Giants

2011 STATS

  • Tot1
  • Solo1
  • Ast0
  • FF0
  • Sack0.0
  • Int0

That task will be a bit tougher this week. The Giants will go into New Orleans without their starting left tackle and, at best, a banged-up right tackle.

Starting left tackle Will Beatty underwent surgery to repair a detached retina on Thursday. There is no timetable for Beatty's return but Coughlin noted on Friday that it is "a very serious situation, obviously."

What isn't obvious is how Coughlin plans to address Beatty's absence.

It's been widely speculated that left guard David Diehl will slide over to left tackle to replace Beatty, but Coughlin didn't rule out backup Stacy Andrews in that role.

If Diehl moves to tackle, you can expect backup Kevin Boothe to replace him at guard.

Shifting Diehl to tackle makes the most sense because Diehl protected Eli Manning's blindside for the majority of the past four seasons before shifting to guard last year because of injuries.

"Nothing's been declared yet. I've been playing some [left guard] during practice, playing next to Boothe, next to Andrews as well," Diehl said. "This is nothing new for me. This is part of being a guy who can play multiple positions. If things happen, if guys go down, I'm capable of moving. Obviously, I know what to do at left tackle."

Boothe has already played all over the line this season, so he isn't concerned about the possibility of playing guard on Monday night against New Orleans, which ranks 20th in the league in sacks.

But another concern for the Giants is the health of right tackle Kareem McKenzie. McKenzie, who was partially beat on Jason Babin's strip of Eli Manning late in the fourth quarter against Philly on Sunday, sat out of Thursday's practice with a foot injury and practiced Friday on a limited basis.

He was seen in the locker room with his right toe bandaged.

Coughlin would only say McKenzie is "working better."

If he is unable to play on Monday night, the Giants would have limited options. They could go to Andrews. Another option would be rookie James Brewer.

Still, nothing that engenders much confidence in a line that's blocking for the 31st-ranked rushing offense in the NFL. The Giants's 83.2 rushing yards per game are their lowest since 1945 when they averaged 76.9 yards a game.

Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride was asked on Friday if he was worried about the state of his offensive line.

"You’re concerned," Gilbride said. "And you just hope that whoever you put in there is going to rise up and play the way you think he can, or he wouldn’t be on the team. We wouldn’t put him in in the first place. We’re confident. We have some guys in the backup role who can play."