Maybe Nate Solder will be back with the Giants in the final year of his contract in 2022. Maybe he will sign a contract extension. Maybe he is a future coach.
One thing is clear: He has unexpected staying power, so don’t rule anything out.
Solder wasn’t cut in the offseason when that looked like the most likely solution to his unmanageable contract. He wasn’t cast aside in training camp when the Giants tried to give Matt Peart the job as the starting right tackle. And he hasn’t been benched since Andrew Thomas returned from injury to reclaim left tackle and made the Giants choose between the 33-year-old Solder and the 24-year-old Peart on the right side.
“Plain and simple, you watch every play when Andrew was out, body of work, Nate’s the better player right now,” offensive line coach Rob Sale said. “We’re playing the best players.”
Pro Football Focus — which grades Peart as the No. 54 tackle and Solder as No. 68 in the NFL — disagrees. So does a vocal segment of the fan base, though the collective opinion undoubtedly is influenced by Solder’s previous struggles since signing the richest free-agent contract for an offensive lineman in history.
One day after Joe Judge praised both Solder and Peart, — as is the norm for a head coach who saves his criticism for behind closed doors — Sale cut to the heart of the matter when he told reporters that Peart needs to be “more physical.”
“Every player responds to coaching differently,” Sale said. “You sit down and have conversations with guys. You motivate in different ways — yell, holler, scream. But at the end of the day … you have to freaking do it: Go out there and put your hands around somebody’s neck.”
WR Sterling Shepard (quad) and TE Kyle Rudolph (ankle) returned to practice Thursday on a limited basis. Shepard has played just two games since Sept. 26 and Rudolph missed the last game.
OLB Trent Harris (ankle), FB Cullen Gillaspia (calf), CB Adoree’ Jackson (quad), TE Kaden Smith (knee) and WRs John Ross (illness/quad) and Kadarius Toney (oblique/quad) remained out of practice.
Riley Dixon has hurt the Giants with poorly executed punts late in the fourth quarter of three different games — a touchback instead of pinning the Falcons deep before the game-winning field goal, a mis-hit 34-yard directional punt before the Chiefs’ game-winning field goal and a shanked 32-yarder last week that almost fed an Eagles comeback.
“In situations where it’s a you’ve-got-to-have-it, you’re trying to get the ball out as quick as you can, and when that happens sometimes, technically, there are some things that go wrong,” special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey said. “You’ve got to execute. You want to be able to execute at a high level at that point. Sometimes you don’t come through, and he’s working at it, and he’ll get better as we move on.”
Published on: Article source