In the wake of their third straight loss, the New York Giants may find themselves with an unwelcome distraction. Dan Duggan of NJ Advance Media reports that Giants offensive tackle Ereck Flowers pushed ESPN reporter Jordan Raanan after a testy exchange.

From Duggan’s article shortly after the game:

“Flowers was conducting a routine interview with two reporters in front of his stall in the Giants’ locker room after the game when ESPN reporter Jordan Raanan approached. When Flowers noticed Raanan, the Giants’ 6-foot-6, 329-pound left tackle interrupted a question from another reporter and made it clear that Raanan wasn’t welcome.”

Here’s the entire 10-second exchange, which ended when Flowers gave Raanan a shove with his left hand that sent the reporter back a few steps.

Flowers: “Hey, get out my face man. Don’t come over here.”

When Raanan didn’t move, Flowers moved his face close to the reporter’s and asked, “You hear me?”

Raanan: “I’m just trying to do my job.”

Flowers: “Go over there.”

Raanan: “I’m just trying to do my job.”

Flowers: “Get the (expletive) out of my face, bro.

Raanan: “I’m just trying to do my job.”

Flowers then said, “Go over there, man,” as he shoved Raanan.

Flowers turned back to his locker and Raanan walked away.”

While no footage or other report has surfaced about this incident, I think it’s unlikely you’ll hear another narrative about this, given it was reported by a neutral third party who had a full transcript and published confidently shortly after the game.

Raanan didn’t comment on the incident but did tweet about it.

Outside of seeing the actual push and preceding confrontation, the big question is what led to Flowers’ outburst? Although there is likely more to this story, Raanan did tweet about Flowers during Sunday night’s game.

So it sounds like Flowers had a pretty rough day and Raanan wasn’t exactly gunshy in highlighting that. If you go through Raanan’s timeline, you’ll find that he’s tweeted about poor performance with some regularity, although it doesn’t seem particularly malicious. I haven’t been paying a particularly sizable amount of time evaluating the Giants’ left tackle, but doing some searching on Twitter shows a pretty solid consensus between fans and NFL media that Flowers’ play has been an issue.

So Raanan certainly wasn’t alone in calling attention to Flowers’ bad game, and as noted earlier, Flowers shows up with some regularity in Raanan’s timeline with the bulk of the tweets being critical, but seemingly fair given others’ assessments of Flowers to date.

One thing that does stick out is that Raanan did write a full article on Flowers and what to expect in the left tackle’s second NFL season. After being selected with the ninth overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft to protect Eli Manning’s blindside, Flowers had a rocky rookie season. Reading Raanan’s article from early August titled ‘The good and bad from Ereck Flowers at Giants training camp practices‘, nothing really stood out as being overly critical or a personal jab at Flowers. The summary at the end being:

“The two practices didn’t erase concerns. The weaknesses in Flowers’ game from last year still seem to exist for the most part. He remains overly reliant on his natural talent, and loses more battles with Vernon than he wins.

But at least there is progress. If Solari really has his ear, it could be game-changing. Flowers doesn’t need an overhaul to his game to be a good left tackle; he simply needs some refinement. It doesn’t appear to have happened yet, but there is time.”

Unless there is something we don’t know other than being critical of a player that is clearly struggling (which would fall under “I’m just trying to do my job” as Raanan said to Flowers), it seems Flowers lashed out of frustration. And although it didn’t boil over and become a consequentially violent incident, it’s still a pretty bad look to be engaged in this type of behavior.

The Giants and Flowers will certainly have to address this incident. If Flowers wants to stick around in the league, he’s going to have to grow thicker skin, be more respectful of the media, and more importantly, avoid multi-sack and multi-penalty games.

About Ben Koo

Copying and pasting my Twitter bio. I'm also refusing (for now) to write this in the third person. This is me - EIC and CEO at @comeback_sports and @AwfulAnnouncing, world's greatest chinese jew, proud Buckeye, funny dude, and sports and digital media zealot.