The Giants’ attempts to recapture the glory days of an offensive line that helped lead them to a pair of Super Bowl wins, the latter of which coming nearly a decade ago, has come full circle. They couldn’t bring those players out of retirement to suit up, but they have brought back the coach who helped shape them into the champions they became.
Pat Flaherty is returning to the Giants and will serve in an advisory role for the offense this season, sources confirmed to Newsday. ESPN first reported the hire. Flaherty, who coached the Giants’ offensive line from 2004-15, will oversee the development of the unit while new offensive line coach Rob Sale will handle the day-to-day interactions with the players.
The Giants have churned through personnel and coaches on the offensive line for much of the past 10 years, and the failures of that group have been a key reason for the lack of success during that period. The Giants have had one winning record and one playoff appearance in the past eight seasons.
The combination of Flaherty and Sale will give Joe Judge the dynamic for offensive line oversight that he wanted to accomplish when he hired Dave DeGuglielmo in the middle of last season. Offensive line coach Marc Colombo was relieved from his position shortly after DeGuglielmo came aboard and DeGuglielmo wound up becoming the offensive line coach rather than an advisor. That transition was part of a chaotic season for the offensive line.
While they ranked poorly overall in many league metrics, the Giants feel good about the future of their group which includes last year’s first-round pick, Andrew Thomas, center Nick Gates, and developing players Shane Lemieux and Matt Peart.
"We've got some really nice young pieces," general manager Dave Gettleman said at the end of the season. "I think this offensive line can compete . . . The offensive line showed very good progress. They're big, they're young, they're strong and they're tough and smart. This O-line has a chance to be pretty damn good."
Now they’ll have two coaches to lead them there… one of whom has his name on two of the Super Bowl banners that hang in the team’s fieldhouse.