There’s a popular parlor game here in the Big Apple where beat writers, bloggers and talking heads hop over each other to take shots at New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman.
I know, because I participate regularly in it on social media. The game is popular because of the manner in which Gettleman plays his little coy games with the media, spurting out falsehoods and deceptive messages.
But these days, the game has taken a turn. Gettleman is nowhere to be found and almost all of his key draft picks and free agents are playing well. For the media, the fun is over, but for Gettleman, well… he must be sitting in his office wide a Cheshire cat-style grin on his face.
One player Gettleman was right about from the get-go was left guard Will Hernandez, who has started every game since being selected in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Hernandez has been a force on the Giants’ offensive line and has even been a crutch for seasoned veteran left tackle Nate Solder, who has struggled at times.
The second year player out of UTEP is playing at a Pro Bowl level this season. His position coach, Hal Hunter, says Hernandez is like a seasoned pro who doesn’t make many mental errors.
“I think the biggest difference in his play is he’s slowed down a little bit mentally, and that’s a good thing,” Hunter said. “I think when you play as a young player, sometimes the game speeds up on you. Things are happening so fast. I think he plays fast physically and he’s slow and calm mentally. He’s probably, through the first part of his season with any type of mental situation, he has no mental errors this year because he understands the system. He understands the speed of the game and he’s adjusted to the speed of the game.
“I think the second year has really, really helped him a lot. It’s like anything, you make your most improvements from the first time you do anything to the second time, you always make your most improvement. Football is just one of those things.”
This is one pick that Gentleman got right from the start. No one has anything negative to say about Hernandez, who just seems to get better every time he takes the field.