Ereck Flowers heard a lot of criticism while playing left tackle for the Giants last season and the team moved the former first-round pick to the right side of the line this year after signing Nate Solder as a free agent.
The first outing in his new spot led to more criticism. Flowers was penalized twice in the team’s first three plays and couldn’t stop Yannick Ngakoue from pressuring Eli Manning on a play that ended with Myles Jack returning an interception for a touchdown.
Flowers refused to talk to reporters on Sunday, but did talk on Monday and explained that the Ngakoue play called for him to first make sure linebacker Telvin Smith wasn’t blitzing inside of him. Smith faked a blitz, which gave Ngakoue time to beat Flowers around the edge and Flowers said offensive line coach Hal Hunter said he would have done “the same thing.”
His first penalty came for tripping defensive end Calais Campbell and Flowers said he moved too quickly because he thought Campbell was more of a speed player. Some will surely wonder why Flowers didn’t know what to expect from a 10-year vet coming off a 14.5-sack season, but the tackle said he’s not paying attention to what any detractors have to say about his performance.
“I can take it. Whatever,” Flowers said, via NJ.com. “I’m playing for the dudes on this team that I’ve been working all season with. That’s going to be there regardless. I don’t lose sleep over it. I lose sleep over what these guys in my room think about me. That’s it.”
Head coach Pat Shurmur said he thought Flowers had some “really good plays” in addition to the less successful ones and made no indication that a change to the lineup was under consideration. Chad Wheeler is the only backup tackle on the Giants roster at the moment.