New York Giants offensive tackle Ereck Flowers might not say much in general, but it’s clear he got the memo about the need to for improved play starting this year.
The 23-year-old Flowers met with he media for the first time this spring after debuting a slimmer physique that has drawn rave reviews from his teammates and coaching staff for its effect on his stamina and strength.
“I feel good. I feel better, I feel a little quicker,” Flowers said. “I’m just looking forward to continuing it.”
The ninth overall pick in the 2015 drat confirmed that he’s been watching what he eats, has been hard at work lifting weights and that he’s turned to boxing which can help an offensive lineman with his footwork ad hand placement.
“I’ll probably say this might have been the smartest I’ve worked than any other offseason,” he said.
Flowers was careful not to boast about is progress, but did say that he thinks his offseason work has made a difference, the boxing helping him with hand quickness, placement and punching.
“I think I’ve been getting better,” he said. “Then again, we’re out here with no pads, just helmet, and jersey. You’re just working, but it’s not the real thing yet.”
Flowers said he took a long, hard look at himself after last season and that there were things he didn’t like.
“You got to be critical of yourself. You got to look at it and try to improve,” he said. “I see different things with my technique I wanted to improve on and I think I have been improving on it.”
The coming year will be a big one for Flowers. The Giants will need to decide whether to pick up the fifth-year option on his rookie deal after this season.
Because Flowers is a top-10 draft pick, he would be looking at a fifth-year salary similar to that of a transition player (the average of the 10 highest salaries of players at his position).
That fifth-year option is also guaranteed for injury and becomes fully guaranteed on the first day of the league year.
The Giants chose not to add an offensive lineman in free agency nor draft one with their first three picks, perhaps inspired by Flowers newfound commitment to improving his craft.
Flowers didn’t really offer a reaction when asked if it meant anything to him that the team didn’t add a premium player at his specific position.
“Yeah, just continue to go out there and work,” he said. “That’s all I’m thinking about.”
But he did allow that having the same five guys from last season was a good thing.
“You build chemistry and then you just got to get out there and continue to work and play this year,” he said.
Like Bobby Hart, whose locker is next to Flowers’, the former Miami offensive lineman believes that he and Hart can be the Giants’ tackles of the future.
“What makes me believe that? I mean, what’s the point of being out there if you don’t believe in yourself?” he asked.
Flowers didn’t say if he planned to go home to Miami for the next six weeks or if he planned to stay in East Rutherford. He did say that he plans to continue working out during the downtime.