EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The offensive line was a big concern for the New York Giants going into Saturday's preseason game, and it held up pretty well. After a really tough outing the week before against the Bengals, the Giants' line protected its quarterbacks effectively against the Jaguars. On the left side in particular, where rookie tackle Ereck Flowers is working with guard Justin Pugh, there were a couple of very impressive blocking plays that helped out the run game.
So put Saturday in the "good" column for a unit about which the Giants have a lot of justifiable concern. And chalk it up as an encouraging night for Flowers, the 2015 first-round pick who's being asked to handle left tackle right away in the absence of the injured Will Beatty.
"I think he's doing well," said Giants running back Andre Williams, who benefited from one of Flowers' more dominating run blocks with an 11-yard first-half gain. "He's got the right attitude. He's smart. He shows great skills in certain schemes, and for a rookie, I like that he's not easily frustrated."
I thought that last part was especially interesting: "not easily frustrated." That's Williams taking a realistic look at Flowers. He's a rookie being asked to handle a very difficult position with no professional experience. The Giants didn't draft him thinking he'd have to play left tackle right away, and they acknowledge the difficulty of the task they've handed him. They don't expect it to go smoothly, and it won't.
While Saturday may have gone well for Flowers on balance, it wasn't perfect. He was one-on-one with a linebacker much of the time, as Jacksonville's defensive line is very thin right now and their top pass-rushers didn't play. And that linebacker, Dan Skuta, did beat him on a speed rush on one memorable second-quarter play. And even if Saturday had been a perfect day, that doesn't mean all the rest of the days to come will be. What's important for Flowers isn't that he doesn't make any mistakes. It's that he accepts that there will be mistakes and understands how to fix them.
That's why "he's not easily frustrated" is one of the more encouraging things you can hear about Flowers. Things are going to happen that could frustrate him. It will help speed his development if he's good at fending that off.