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Ex-Giants coach McAdoo holds the line on team's chances

Former New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo endorsed many of the offseason moves made by the team.Photo: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

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Nate Solder became the highest paid offensive lineman in football when he signed with the New York Giants in March.

The Giants brought in Solder with a free-agent contract that was worth $62 million over four years and included $35 million in guaranteed money.

At least one observer, former New York head coach Ben McAdoo, questioned whether the team got much bang for its big bucks -- even though the 6-foot-8, 314-pounder had been a mainstay on the New England Patriots' offensive line, starting at least 15 games in six of his seven NFL seasons.

"Getting a left tackle in there will help them in a lot of ways," McAdoo told the New York Post regarding Solder. "I don't think he's a very good player, but I think it will help them in a lot of ways where they needed help in that room in the past and they haven't had anyone to do that."

McAdoo, who was fired in December 2017 with four games remaining in the regular season, gave a thumbs-up to a number of offseason moves by his former employer.

The Giants were 2-10 in McAdoo's second season when management decided to axe the coach along with general manager Jerry Reese.

"I think they've made a lot of the moves I wanted to make," McAdoo told the newspaper Thursday. "I think they're gonna win the division."

The disastrous 3-13 finish in 2017 may have cost McAdoo his job, but it gave New York the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft, which was used to take running back Saquan Barkley out of Penn State.

"I know this: If you can just turn around and hand the ball to a player and he's a helluva player and he's a threat to take it to the house each time, that really helps," said McAdoo of Barkley.

The question is will Barkley be able to run behind the revamped offensive line. The signing of Solder enabled the Giants to shift Ereck Flowers from left to right tackle -- another area of concern for McAdoo.

"He can't bend, you got to be able to bend," McAdoo said of Flowers. "You can run around him on that side just like you can on the other side, (quarterback) Eli (Manning) just gets to see it, which may help Eli. It's not the blind side, it's in his vision, so if he's comfortable with what's going on over on the left side, it can help him move in the pocket a little bit better."

McAdoo endorsed the decision to let offensive linemen Weston Richburg and Justin Pugh and says a lot will hinge on the play of rookie guard Will Hernandez, a second-round pick out of UTEP.

"I don't know him, but if he's half as good as they say, he can fight," said McAdoo of Hernandez. "That will help them, having that tough guy inside, because the depth of the pocket is very important with Eli. He can't have pressure up the middle and be successful."

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