Ereck Flowers and Giants get a dose of their new O-line leader
Practice was over and done with, but Ereck Flowers and Nate Solder did not come off the field.
Instead, the two offensive tackles walked to the side on a sun-splashed Monday as the Giants completed their first organized team activity practice of the spring. Flowers took a knee as Solder jogged to pick up a large blue blocking pad then jogged back to where Flowers was catching his breath. The two proceeded to take turns holding the pad and working their arms with some offensive line drills as almost all of their teammates headed inside.
“I thought it was meaningful, his reaction, he said ‘Let’s do it,’ ’’ Solder told The Post. “He’s been in this long enough where he knew what people were going to say. It doesn’t matter what people say.’’
Considering it was Solder who took Flowers’ job at left tackle, prompting the Giants to move Flowers — against his will — to right tackle, this extra work together is noteworthy.
“I think it is difficult and I don’t think it’s been the best of circumstances for his situation,’’ Solder said of Flowers moving to the right side. “I don’t know how I would have handled that myself. I give him all the credit in the world.’’
Solder reaching out to a new teammate is in keeping with his reputation and the track record he built up in his seven years with the Patriots.
“Well, he’s a true professional,’’ head coach Pat Shurmur said of Solder. “We talk often about leadership and I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. You don’t have to be anything extraordinary, and you certainly don’t have to be the loudest guy in the room. Sometimes the guy that doesn’t say as much leads better than the guy that talks a lot. Nate’s a very steady force. We all know what he’s done as a player. As you get to know him, you get to appreciate what a tremendous person he is.’’
Flowers stayed away from the first two phases of the offseason workout program before finally arriving last week. Shurmur wasted no time with Flowers, lining him up with the first-team offensive line. This does not mean Flowers is the starting right tackle, but it does mean the Giant are going to give Flowers every chance to win the job.
“He did a nice job,’’ Shurmur said of Flowers. “We’ve had him in for a week. He’s kinda just fit right in there with everybody. I wasn’t all that pressured up about it. I’m glad he’s here. I’m getting to know him. Clean slate. He’s out here competing, and I think that’s what’s most important.’’
Solder, 29, signed a $62 million mega-deal as the Giants’ centerpiece addition in free agency. Flowers, 24, is in the final year of his rookie contract and will make $2.39 million this season. This might be their one and only year together, yet Solder appears intent on getting the most out of his new teammate.
“I don’t know what he does or doesn’t need,’’ Solder said. “You can’t speak on someone’s situation when you weren’t [there]. The second he walked in here he was very respectful, we were talking and laughing right away, and I’ve seen nothing but him wanting to improve.’’
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