New York Giants right tackle Bobby Hart is very confident in his abilities. In an interview with Dan Duggan of NJ Advance Media, Hart’s confidence was on full display.
“I know I’m the best right tackle in the league,” Hart told Duggan.
Hart’s statement is pretty audacious, especially when you take a look at Hart’s 2016 season. He was consistently ranked among the bottom among right tackles. The low point of Hart’s season was his being benched during the Giants’ playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers.
Hart, along with fellow maligned offensive lineman Ereck Flowers, spent most of the offseason working out at the Giants’ facility. If the preseason is any indication, Hart’s boast may have some substance to it.
According to Pro Football Focus, Hart didn’t allow a single quarterback hurry in 49 pass-blocking attempts in the preseason. Pro Football Focus gave Hart a grade of 75.8, highest among the Giants’ offensive tackles. Last season, Hart was Pro Football Focus’ 67th ranked offensive tackle.
Now that the regular season is set to begin, Hart realizes it’s going to take more than just boasts to get the job done.
“I just have to act like it every day. You can’t just act like it some days and then some days you don’t. It’s an everyday thing,” Hart told Duggan. “One hundred percent I did not do that last year. But it just takes a total commitment, having your mind and everything together for you to be able to go out there and make that statement.”
Giants offensive line coach Mike Solari noticed a difference in Hart during the preseason.
“Bobby’s ascended as a football player. Again, it’s like I said earlier, on and off the field in his preparation and his techniques, his confidence as a football player,” Solari said. “You see that on film throughout the preseason. Compared to last year where he was at, he is a more confident football player and rightfully so. He has put in a lot of work and he’s invested his time wisely.”
The offensive line’s production, or lack thereof, is well documented. Last season, they were unable to help manufacture anything closely resembling a productive running game. Naturally, the passing attack was impacted by the lack of a ground game. In 2017, the Giants have Super Bowl aspirations that depend on the play of the offensive line.
Solari has the utmost confidence in Hart entering the regular season.
“He’s bigger, he’s stronger right now. When I say he’s bigger, he’s leaner and he worked hard in the offseason,” Solari said. “Again, he’s young. He just turned 23 the other day (Aug. 21) and here’s a guy that is playing in his third year in the NFL. I mean, wow. So, Bobby is an ascending football player. It’s exciting to see and it’s exciting to see where his career will takeoff.”