Following a litany of continuing criticism enclosing the commerce of Odell Beckham Jr. and everything and anything to do with the New York quarterback situation, the Giants appear to possess one longtime ill on the road to being remedied.
Over the past half of this 2018 year, the Giants offensive line enhanced. Eli Manning was sacked 47 times, while the attack rose from 78 yards per game, but over the past half of this season was only taken down 16 days.
Much of the credit for that has to go to the play of then-rookie Will Hernandez, he joined all-everything running Saquon Barkley on the 2018 NFL All-Rookie Team and since the left guard’s play got much better as the season went on.
With his next offseason underway, Hernandez has settled in and appears poised to solidify himself as one of the prime reasons behind the New York offensive line becoming a plus rather than the negative it has been.
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“It definitely doesn’t even feel like the same period of year that I had last year,” Hernandez said via the team website. “It seems like a very different time of year to me. I feel like I’m a lot more comfortable here and I feel like I could breathe. I am not struggling to learn the playbook that is entire, cram down everything, find out everything, be sure I don’t mess up. I am actually able to enjoy it, but at precisely the same time, work hard and have to know these guys even better.”
Many believe Hernandez’ advancement will last in his sophomore season and it’s no denying that the Giants’ offensive line as a whole is predicted to do the same.
Left tackle Nate Solder is expected to come back from injury for training camp and Hernandez and he will be joined by offseason acquisitions Kevin Zeitler and Mike Remmers. Zeitler came with the Browns.
Zeitler’s existence has been a boon much for Hernandez.
“He’s been phenomenal, not just as a player but as a teacher, also,” Hernandez said. “He has taught a lot of young guys, including myself, a lot of technique. He was among the top pass guards at the league this past year, so he definitely has a great deal to offer and he’s passing it on to the young men, myself too, and we are extremely glad to have him.”
Historically, the transition for linemen — from high school to college and from college to the NFL — has been viewed as one of the harder due to the physicality, principles, strategy, and probably learning a strategy that was different.
In Hernandez’ situation, he started all 16 games as a rookie and got noticeably better during the effort. So expect Hernandez to take his game to another level in 2019, perhaps becoming one of the very highly regarded guards.
“I believe they constantly say from the first to your second year is the largest step in improvement,” Solder said. “I have seen a great deal of improvement throughout our entire group, so maybe you are able to describe not only a individual but the whole group from one year to two years and make a large improvement. Certainly our expectations are sky high.”