Dave Gettleman on OL: At some point, you have to let young kids play

The Giants have been trying to put together a strong offensive line since before Dave Gettleman became their General Manager late in the 2017 season and it very much remains a work in progress.

Last year’s first-round pick Andrew Thomas had a rocky rookie year at left tackle while fellow 2020 pick Shane Lemieux took over at left guard and center Nick Gates saw his first extensive NFL playing time. The team skewed older on the right side of the line with guard Kevin Zeitler and tackle Cameron Fleming, but Gettleman suggested on Tuesday that they won’t do the same in 2021.

There’s been talk about parting ways with Zeitler and Gettleman said he’s comfortable with 2020 third-rounder Matt Peart as the right tackle opposite Thomas.

“When he played, he played fine,” Gettleman said. “He played pretty damn well. At some point in time, you’ve got to let the young kids play. Listen, every player was a rookie at some point or a young player at some point. At some point in time, you have to have confidence in who’s on your club and you have to put him in there and let him play.”

Gettleman said his comments about going young didn’t mean Zeitler is gone or that veteran tackle Nate Solder will be dropped after opting out in 2020. The moves would create needed cap space — Solder would have to be a post-June 1 cut to realize full savings — and it sounds like the Giants are willing to go down that path in the coming weeks.