New York Giants guard Kevin Zeitler can’t wait to block for his new teammate, sensational running back Saquon Barkley.
Earlier this month, before the trade of WR Odell Beckham Jr., the New York Giants traded away another one of their highly-paid athletes to the Cleveland Browns. Veteran Pro Bowl linebacker Olivier Vernon was shipped off to Cleveland in exchange for offensive guard Kevin Zeitler. Big Blue overpaid for Vernon back in 2016, therefore, it was time to part ways and they were able to bolster the offensive line in the process.
This past Friday, Zeitler was interviewed by Lance Medow and David Diehl on Sirius XM’s “The Red Zone.” Zeitler discussed the “very surprised” feeling he had of the trade as well as the knowledge that he would now be playing with Saquon Barkley.
“I mean, I guess in the NFL, you never know what’s going to happen,” Zeitler mentioned. “But I was in the middle of a lift and for some reason I decided to check my phone and I saw on Instagram about a million people say, ‘Good luck in New York.’ So I ran out of the building and we started calling people and it’s quite a shock for me and the family. But it’s all good. We’re excited. It’s going to be a fun, new adventure and things are going great.”
“I mean, obviously, the first thought that popped in my head is like, ‘All right, we got Saquon!’,” Zeitler said. “I know he’s a heck of a player so that can only make life more fun for me.”
Zeitler also mentioned the support he got from Giants quarterback Eli Manning and left tackle Nate Solder when he was traded to New York. The latter will be playing alongside Zeitler on the offensive line. The line finished tied for 22nd in the NFL in 2018 with 47 sacks allowed.
“Right after I got traded, Eli Manning reached out, so did Nate Solder,” Zeitler said. “Both sound like great guys that are in it, ready to work and whatever I can do to help, it’ll be great.”
Zeitler will be playing alongside Solder, guard Will Hernandez, center Jon Halapio, and potentially right tackle Chad Wheeler. The Giants may need to find a replacement for Wheeler last year, who finished with the worst run-blocking grade in the NFL last year per Pro Football Focus.
All five guys will be looking to man an offensive line that desperately needs improvement from last season.