Word around the Giants since the end of the regular season has been that David Diehl would choose to retire after his 11th season and Diehl proved that there was fire behind that smoke on Friday.
Diehl announced through the Giants that he is calling an end to a career spent entirely with Big Blue. Diehl joined the team as a fifth-round pick in 2003 and started every game as a rookie on the way to 160 starts over the course of his Giants career. Diehl saw time at left tackle, right tackle, left guard and right guard over the course of his career and was a starter on both Giants Super Bowl winners in the Tom Coughlin era. Diehl reflected on that durability when asked about his proudest accomplishment.
“Obviously you can sit here and say the two Super Bowl victories. I think starting as many games as I did and playing as many games as I did,” Diehl said, via the team’s website. “To be able to sit here and say I tied Phil Simms for 12thall-time on the list [of most games played with the Giants], I mean that’s crazy. Like I’ve always said, I was a fifth-round draft pick, I was no silver spoon. I’m a guy who is accountable, a dependable guy. I believe that if you work hard enough and set your mind to something you can accomplish anything you want so for me, granted playing in the Pro Bowl and winning the Super Bowls and all of those things.”
Even if Diehl were returning in 2014, the Giants have work to do to upgrade on offensive line made up of banged-up veterans like Chris Snee and David Baas and younger players like Will Beatty and Justin Pugh that the team hopes can become the foundation of a line that’s far better than the one that struggled in all phases during the 2013 season. With Diehl gone, that need just becomes more pressing.