When RT Mike Remmers signed with the Giants, it didn’t come as a surprise.
The veteran tackle visited with the team twice, and with his connections to head coach Pat Shumur and GM Dave Gettleman having played under them over his career, it seemed like a no-brainer.
That’s why when the signing finally came true, fans were most likely saying, “It’s about time.” For Remmers, who was sitting in free agency awaiting a call from his next time, he was basically thinking the same thing.
“It’s tough with the family, trying to figure out what’s going to happen, trying to figure out where you’re going to be,” Remmers said at the Giants’ first OTA on Monday. “Mr. Gettleman called, man I was so pumped to get the call and I’m happy to be here.”
Remmers found himself without a home until now mainly because of offseason back surgery that left some skepticism about whether or not he was fully healthy. That’s why Remmers wasn’t signed after that first meeting with the Giants, and the second convinced Gettleman & Co. that they could take a chance on a one-year, $2.5 million deal.
Not only is that a good prove-it contract for Remmers, but he comes in already knowing what Shurmur has in store for the offensive line schemes considering his time under him in 2017 when Shurmur was the Vikings’ offensive coordinator. Add in Remmers time in Carolina with Gettleman in 2015 and 2016, and it was simply the right fit.
“It was great because just knowing them and being familiar with them and familiar with the offense. I feel very comfortable with the offense already, there’s some wrinkles here and there that I need to learn, but I feel like if I hopped in right now, I’d be pretty comfortable out there.”
Remmers should definitely feel comfortable considering he makes the transition back to the position he thrives in at right tackle. The Vikings were forced to push him to right guard all of last year due to injuries, and his play diminished due to the switch.
But it wasn’t all that bad. Understanding the guard position more now, Remmers believes his play at tackle can only improve this season.
“Tackle, I have the absolute most experience there, from high school, to college, to pros,” he said. “I have the most experience at tackle. Last year I played all guard, the year before that mainly tackle and a few games at guard. It was different playing guard, I feel like my experience there will help me though going back to tackle.”
And Remmers will be matched up with one of the best guards in the game in Kevin Zeitler, another new face in the Giants O-Line room. Zeitler comes over from the Browns in the Olivier Vernon trade, and is a major upgrade at a position that has been a revolving doors for a couple seasons now.
Both veterans, Remmers and Zeitler haven’t been able to talk to each other before coming to East Rutheford, but the former is already in love with his new linemate.
“I never have, this is the first time I have met him and he’s great,” Remmers said of Zeitler, “I love him so much. So I know that we’ll have a good time this season.”
Remmers explained how, in such a short time with Zeitler on his left hip, their communication has been very fluid and successful during OTAs. That’s exactly what the Giants want to see given the right side of the line’s problems last season. Nate Solder and Will Hernandez looked to have found their own chemistry as the games progressed last season, which means it should only be more improved this year.
So is Remmers that missing link to finally allow the Giants to shed the stigma of having a porous o-line. Teams have feasted on this unit in the past, but the upgrades have been put in place. Now it’s about showing the results.
For now, though, Remmers — along with many other first-year Giants — will continue to get used to their new threads, schemes, and lifestyles in the Big Apple. It’s been a good start.
“It’s been great so far,” he said. “I’m still meeting everyone and trying to get a personal relationship with everyone, but it’s been a very good week here and I’m really happy. I’m looking forward to this upcoming season.”