This was the moment Giants’ guard Brandon Mosley had been waiting for.
After a long, injury-filled rookie season, the former fourth-round pick was going to be able to step foot on the field, go toe-to-toe against Detroit Lions’ defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairly and show coaches exactly what he was capable of.
He started strong. Then, it all came to a screeching halt. In the first quarter, Mosley broke his hand.
His start, his season and his chance: All over.
“It was tough,” Mosley said. “It was very frustrating and I was very down about it. You finally get a chance to start and show them what you got, then that happens.”
Now a year later, Mosley, healthy hand and all, sits atop the Giants’ depth chart at right guard. A place he hopes to stay. A place once occupied by Giants’ great Chris Snee.
When the Giants reported for the team’s offseason conditioning program, there was a familiar face holding the position Mosley now does. 10-year veteran and four-time Pro Bowler Chris Snee was battling back from elbow and hip issues, determined to erase all memories from a dreadful 2013 campaign.
Snee started the offseason as a full participant in the Giants’ voluntary workouts. Then, as the days went on, Snee’s body began to fail him. His health deteriorated and Snee walked away, opening the door for Mosley.
During the two years the two played together, Snee had taken Mosley under his wing. Despite being drafted as an offensive tackle, Mosley began to work more and more with the offensive guards. Snee would watch film with Mosley, show him the ropes and push him in the weight room.
While Snee was always regarded as the ‘strongest’ member of the Giants’ roster, Mosley gave him a run for his money.
“I hated to see him go,” Mosley said. “He was such a great leader and teacher. He taught me a lot in the short amount of time I was with him.”
Mosley is now focused on taking what Snee taught him and displaying in on the field. He’s gotten the majority of the work with the starters, but free-agent acquisition John Jerry and rookie guard Weston Richburg are just as eager to fill the Snee-sized hole on the Giants’ offensive line.
In Sunday’s Hall of Fame game versus the Bills, Mosley credited himself with an “all right” performance. There were the ups, there were the downs and all the learning curves of a young offensive lineman.
Early in the game, Mosley had his hands full with Pro-Bowl defensive tackle Kyle Williams. Against the second-team line of the Bills, Mosley helped pave the way for several long runs on the Giants’ 12-play, 80-yard touchdown drive.
There was room for improvement and Mosley knows that. There are areas of his game he needs to perfect, especially if he’s to take the field with the starters on Monday Night Football in five weeks.
If Mosley steps on the field at Ford Field against the Lions as a starter, it’ll be full circle return from where his season suffered an early stop last year.
“Right now, I’m really just trying to compete for the starting spot first,” Mosley said. “But if it does come to that, it will be exciting to be able to go back there.”