In the past six years, guard Geoff Schwartz has played for three different teams in the National Football League – Carolina, Minnesota, and Kansas City.
The New York Giants will be his fourth team since he entered the league in 2008 as a seventh-round draft pick of the Panthers, for whom he played four seasons. So change is something with which he is well accustomed.
“I’ve been used to change. I’ve dealt with it before,” Schwartz said following the Giants’ second day of their mandatory minicamp.
At 6, 6′ and 340 pounds, Schwartz, who played his college ball at the University of Oregon was a three year starter at right tackle for the Ducks. He was a named a second-team All-Pac-10 selection his senior season.
In 2009, his second season with the Panthers, he played in all 16 games, starting three. That year, Schwartz was part of an offensive line helped Carolina set team records of 2,498 rushing yards and 123 first downs.
The rushing yards in particular were impressive as running backs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart each rushed for more than 1,100 yards in the same season, the first NFL teammates to do so.
In 2010, Schwartz started 16 games, the first five at right tackle and the last 11 at right guard.
The following season, he suffered a right hip injury during training camp and didn’t play that season.
He spent the 2012 season with the Vikings where he played 13 games at right guard, helping running back Adrian Peterson rush for 2,097 yards.
Last year, Schwartz played for the Kansas City Chiefs, and started seven games while playing in a total of 16. He moved into the starting lineup at right guard toward the end of the season, and earning an 18.6 overall grade by
ProFootball Focus, the highest of any Chiefs offensive linemen.
Now, entering the 2014 season, Schwartz is starting year one of a four-year $16.8 million contract where he will play left guard.
Given his experience he’s had with other teams, Schwartz said that his transition as a Giant has gone smoothly. He attributed this in part to lessons learned when he left the Panthers in 2011.
“When I first got to Minnesota, my first team I went to after Carolina, I thought everything was done the same way,” he said.
“I learned over time that you have to adapt to the new culture, everything’s different,” he continued. “I didn’t know that. Every locker room is different and every staff is different and that is what you learn coming to a new team like the Giants.”
That lesson, Schwartz said, will serve him well as he prepares to begin his first training camp next month as a member of the Giants.
“You have to have an open mind about what’s going to happen because it’s different every year.”