Pat Flaherty
Offensive Line


Pat Flaherty, who has more than 35 years of coaching experience, is in his 16th season as an NFL coach and 12th as the Giants’ offensive line coach. He joins David Merritt and Jerry Palmieri as the only coaches who have been with the Giants for Tom Coughlin’s entire 12-year tenure as head coach.
Pat Flaherty, who has more than 35 years of coaching experience, is in his 16th season as an NFL coach and 12th as the Giants’ offensive line coach. He joins David Merritt and Jerry Palmieri as the only coaches who have been with the Giants for Tom Coughlin’s entire 12-year tenure as head coach.

The Giants have consistently had one of the NFL’s best and most dependable offensive lines during Flaherty’s tenure. The team’s offense has been ranked among the top 10 in the NFL in five of the last seven years and the Giants had at least two linemen selected to the Pro Bowl in three of those seasons.

In 2014, the line helped the Giants gain an average of 367.2 yards a game, a 59.7 yards-per-game improvement over their 2013 average of 307.5. The Giants totaled 5,875 net yards in 2014, the fourth-highest total in franchise history. With the line providing consistent protection, Eli Manning set franchise records for single-season completions (379) and completion percentage (63.1).

Three of the seven Giants who started all 16 games in 2014 were offensive linemen – left tackle Will Beatty, center J. D. Walton and right guard John Jerry. Beatty will enter the 2015 season with 46 consecutive starts, the team’s second-longest active streak behind Eli Manning’s 167.

Flaherty oversaw the development of Weston Richburg, a second-round draft choice who started 15 games at left guard in his rookie season.

In 2013, Flaherty had to constantly restructure the line because of injuries. The Giants used seven different starting offensive line combinations, the second-highest total in the NFL; Oakland used eight.

One constant was Justin Pugh, the team’s first-round draft choice, who started all 16 games at right tackle. Pugh was a) the first Giants rookie to start an entire 16-game season since defensive tackle Barry Cofield in 2006; b) the first offensive lineman to do it since David Diehl 10 years ago; and c) the first Giants’ first-round draft choice to do so since Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor in 1981.

Pugh was just the fourth Giants first-round draft choice to start every game in their rookie season since the 1970 merger. The others were linebacker Jim Files (1970), guard John Hicks (1974) and Taylor (1981).
In 2012, the offensive line allowed an NFL-low 20 sacks and helped the Giants score 429 points, the second-highest total in franchise history.

Flaherty had to do some injury-induced shuffling on the line. Right guard Chris Snee, center David Baas and left guard Kevin Boothe started all 16 games. In Games 1-2, the tackles were Sean Locklear on the left side and David Diehl on the right. In Games 3-8 and again in Game 12, Will Beatty started at left tackle and Locklear was the right tackle. In Games 9-11 and 13-16, Beatty was the left tackle and Diehl started on the right side.

Snee was selected to his fourth Pro Bowl, the first Giants offensive linemen to be honored so often since Hall of Famer Rosie Brown was selected to his ninth in 1965. Snee was also selected to the Pro Bowl in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

The 2011 season was one of change for the offensive line. Longtime stalwarts Rich Seubert and Shaun O’Hara retired in July. Injuries forced the Giants to start five different offensive line combinations. Beatty’s year ended after 10 games because of eye surgery. Baas missed five games. Boothe and Mitch Petrus stepped in at left guard when Diehl moved back to tackle.

Despite the different lineups, Flaherty’s group helped the Giants win Super Bowl XLVI and set franchise records with 6,161 total yards and 4,734 net passing yards. With the line providing outstanding protection for Eli Manning, the Giants finished fifth in the NFL in passing yards, their highest ranking since they finished fifth in 1984.

In 2010, Snee and O’Hara were each selected to the Pro Bowl for the third consecutive year (O’Hara was unable to play in the game because of injury). O’Hara and Snee were the first Giants offensive linemen selected to three Pro Bowls since center Bart Oates in 1990, 1991 and 1993, and the first chosen in three consecutive years since Brown was selected to six in a row from 1955-60.

With the line playing at a high level, the Giants were fifth in the NFL with an average of 380.3 yards a game. They gained 6,085 yards, the first 6,000-yard season in their history. The Giants were one of only two teams with a pair of backs who rushed for more than 800 yards apiece in Ahmad Bradshaw (1,235 yards) and Brandon Jacobs (823). And the Giants tied the Indianapolis Colts by allowing an NFL-low 16 sacks in 2010. That was easily the fewest sacks allowed by the Giants since the 16-game season was instituted in 1978. Their previous low total was 24 sacks allowed in 2002. The Giants did not allow a sack in a franchise-record five consecutive games (Nov. 7-Dec. 5) and in seven games overall.

The line registered these accomplishments despite a spate of injuries that forced Flaherty to start six different offensive line combinations, including three left tackles (Diehl, Shawn Andrews and Beatty), three left guards (Seubert, Diehl and Boothe) and three centers (O’Hara, Adam Koets and Seubert).

Five players - O’Hara, Snee, Seubert, Diehl and Kareem McKenzie – were mainstays on the line from 2006-10. The group started 38 consecutive regular season games from 2007-09, then the longest such streak by five linemen since the 1970 NFL merger.

In 2009, O’Hara, Snee and Diehl all played in the Pro Bowl, the first time the Giants had three players from the same position group play in the game since 1962.

The previous year, Snee and O’Hara were selected to the NFC Pro Bowl team. Snee, who was a starter, was the first Giants guard to play in the Pro Bowl since Ron Stone in 2001, and O’Hara the first Giants center to go to the game since Oates in 1993. In addition, Diehl was selected as a third alternate.

With the line leading the way, the Giants that season rushed for NFL-leading and franchise-record numbers of 2,518 yards and 5.0 yards per carry. It was the first time since 1993 that the Giants led the NFL in rushing.

In 2007, the line was an important factor as the Giants won Super Bowl XLII and finished fourth in the NFL in rushing yardage with 134.3 yards a game. The Giants were also fourth in the league with a 4.6-yards-per-carry average. In 2006, the Giants were seventh in the NFL with an average of 134.8 rushing yards a game and sixth with an average of 4.7 yards per carry. The Giants’ 138.1-yard rushing average in 2005 placed them sixth in the league. In 2004, the Giants averaged 119.0 yards a game and 4.5 yards a carry, which were far superior to the 97.4 and 4.0 averages the Giants posted in 2003, the year before Coughlin and Flaherty arrived.

The Giants have had a 1,000-yard rusher in seven of the 11 seasons in which Flaherty has coached the line. In 2008, Jacobs (1,089) and Derrick Ward (1,025) became just the fourth set of running back teammates in NFL history with more than 1,000 rushing yards in the same season. Tiki Barber made the only three Pro Bowls of his career while rushing for 1,518, 1,860 and 1,662 yards in the three years he ran behind a Flaherty-coached line.

Prior to joining the Giants, Flaherty was the Chicago Bears’ tight ends coach for three seasons. In 2000, Flaherty coached the Washington Redskins’ tight ends and helped Stephen Alexander earn an invitation to the Pro Bowl. Alexander was third on the Redskins that season with 47 catches.

Flaherty began his coaching career at his alma mater, Delone Catholic High School in McSherrystown, Pa., from 1978-80.

Flaherty coached in the collegiate ranks from 1980-99. He began with a two-year stint coaching the offensive line at East Stroudsburg University, his alma mater. Flaherty joined the staff at Penn State University in 1982, a season in which the Nittany Lions defeated Georgia in the Sugar Bowl to win the national championship. After two seasons at Penn State, Flaherty moved to Rutgers University, where he coached the offensive line for eight years.

Flaherty spent the 1992 season coaching the defensive line at East Carolina University. From 1993-98 he was on the staff at Wake Forest University, where he coached the offensive line, tight ends and special teams. In 1999, he coached tight ends and special teams and was in charge of recruiting at the University of Iowa.

Flaherty was an All-America center at East Stroudsburg. He was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in October 2004. He and his wife, Lynne, have two children, Shawn, an offensive lineman at Towson University, and Colleen, a sophomore at Loyola University in Baltimore.

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