Last week, the New York Giants used the bye week to improve on their struggling offensive line. This week, they get to see if the addition on the o-line does anything to help.
Last Wednesday, Jamon Brown was claimed off waivers by the Giants. The massive guard has 40 appearances and 31 starts in what is now his fourth year in the NFL. A former draft pick of the now Los Angeles Rams, Brown is a solid addition to bring in midseason. The Giants’ offensive line, after years of neglect, needed a talent infusion if it was to remain competitive.
It didn’t get enough of an overhaul this offseason, despite the free agent signing of left tackle Nate Solder and the drafting of guard Will Hernandez in the second round. But perhaps Brown can add to that and help solidify things. In fact, he’s a tremendous pick-up midseason for the Giants.
His former teammate at the Rams, Alec Ogletree, thinks Brown can bring something positive to the Giants.
“He’s a good player. Of course, I played with him for three years, so I definitely saw the growth that he’s shown over the years,” Ogletree said. “He was starting at one point, but ended up not playing the first four games, and came back and kind of didn’t get back on the field. They let him go. I’m glad they did because we picked him up. Definitely looking forward to him bringing that attitude and a sense of leadership that we need for sure.”
The addition of Brown, who was suspended the first two games of this season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, adds some bite to the Giants’ line.
Brown is a tough, physical player, one who can play either guard position but primarily has played right guard over the past two seasons. He should help the Giants’ run game, an area that head coach Pat Shurmur would like to get rolling.
The benefit for Saquon Barkley could potentially be huge since Brown was part of an offensive line that blocked for running back Todd Gurley, arguably one of the league’s premier running backs.
Not that the Giants line suddenly becomes as good as the Rams’ unit, but perhaps Brown can be a lift for the ground game and open some lanes for Barkley.
“I definitely can learn a lot from the guy who blocked for probably, today, the MVP of the league, in my opinion,” Barkley said on Tuesday.
“I watch film on Todd Gurley, I love the way he plays. He’s an all-purpose back and a threat any time he touches the ball, he runs physical and runs right in between tackles. Definitely, I would be wrong if I don’t go and pick his brain and go ask that guy, ‘What do you see that Todd did or what made Todd exceptional, and the reason he is the player he is today?’ That’s something that I want to learn from him because I want to compete, and I want to be better than Todd one day. I know he has the same mindset, all running backs have the same mindset in the league, that’s just the way it operates and how it operates as competitors.”
As for Brown, it has been a crazy week for him. He was released by the Rams midweek and goes from a Super Bowl contender to a 1-7 team that just traded away two prominent pieces last week. The Rams are eyeing a divisional title and a top seed in the NFC.
The Giants are clearly making moves for 2018. Perhaps Brown has a chance to be a long-term answer for the Giants as they start this rebuild.
The move, he admits, caught him a bit by surprise.
“Most definitely, I think anyone would be in a situation like that. It’s kind of the belly of the beast,” Brown said.
“At any given time, you can be in one place, and then the next day a new place. Yes, it was shocking. I think it was shocking even to them for making that move, just based on the conversations I’ve had with some of the staff members in the organization. At the end of the day, the dream lives on. I have another opportunity right here in New York, and I’m going to make the most of it.”
[Watch Giants Post Game Live Monday on MSG & MSG GO.]