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Giants' Nick Gates hoping to build on strong debut

One start into his career, New York Giants offensive lineman Nick Gates is being talked about as a future piece on the line as one of general manager Dave Gettleman’s “hog mollies.”

Gates started last Sunday’s game against the New York Jets at right tackle in place of the injured Mike Remmers (back) and played well for the most part. He is what is known as a swing lineman, which means he works out at more than one position which adds to his value.

In training camp, Gates played both tackle and guard and last week, with Jon Halapio out, he was taking some reps at center just in case the Giants needed him in a pinch.

Unlike Eric Smith, who entered the game in the first half to spell left tackle Nate Solder, who was knocked from the game with a concussion, Gates had the benefit of a full training camp. In fact, Gates has been in the building for two years and does not consider himself a rookie.

“Listen, he’s a tough, competitive guy,” head coach Pat Shurmur said of Gates. “We were looking forward to seeing him play because we feel like he has a chance to be a good player. He battled. One thing about Nick Gates, he’s tough, he’s competitive and he tries to do things the right way. He had a lot of really good plays out there.”

The Giants signed Gates as an undrafted free agent out of Nebraska after the 2018 NFL Draft. He did not make the 53-man roster out of camp. He was placed on injured reserve and missed the season. This year, he impressed to the point where the Giants could not ignore him and made the 53-man roster.

“I think just communicating and being on the same page is big,” said quarterback Daniel Jones on how things will work with Gates and Smith at tackle. “I thought those guys stepped up and played well on Sunday for us. We have a lot of confidence in them. Just to communicate and be on the same page going into the game, I think we’ll feel confident with whoever is out there.”

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