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Giants Shouldn't Fix What Isn't Broken

Tom Coughlin favors past over present

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Diehl's return to the starting lineup feels like a move that the Giants don't need to make.

    By now we're well aware that the Giants don't like it when things are going smoothly. 

    Week after week, the Giants find ways to make games closer than they need to be for a team of their talent before coming through with a win by the skin of their teeth. If it wasn't so clear that he doesn't have the slightest care about what people think of him, we'd assume Eli Manning intentionally made baffling mistakes just so that people would rave about his comeback abilities. 

    There's no doubt that things are going smoothly for the Giants right now. They're 6-2, they have a huge lead in the NFC East and there's every reason to believe that this season will end with another big celebration. 

    Clearly this isn't the way the Giants want things so they've decided to make a change to a unit that's been playing very well. David Diehl will return to the starting lineup on Sunday against the Steelers after missing a couple of games with a sprained MCL and then playing a sixth offensive lineman/jumbo tight end the last few weeks. 

    Sean Locklear, who has been the right tackle since Week Three, will take over Diehl's role. Locklear said that the coaches told him that he wasn't being benched because he hasn't been playing well, but because it is Diehl's spot and players don't lose spots because of injuries. 

    We won't run down the whole list of players who have lost their jobs with the Giants over the years after getting hurt because it's enough to just say that such a mode of operation has never been in evidence in the past. If anything, the Giants have taken shots from their fans for cutting ties with popular players like Shaun O'Hara and Antonio Pierce who helped the team before getting hurt. 

    The Giants made those calls because they no longer felt those players were better than other options. It's hard to believe they've watched Diehl and Locklear and drawn the conclusion that Diehl is the better player right now. 

    Diehl's been a weak link for the last few years as he's shuffled from position to position and underwhelmed at all of them. Locklear, meanwhile, took over the job and helped the line play the best football it has played in ages. 

    Manning isn't getting sacked, the running game has some life and things are rolling right along for the offense. Why Tom Coughlin thinks that's less important than what Diehl did in the distant past is a mystery unless he's simply trying to find more ways to keep games interesting. 

    Respecting the past is important, but not at the price of sacrificing the present and future. 

    Josh Alper is also a writer for Pro Football Talk. You can follow him on Twitter.