EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –** When Chris Snee tearfully announced his retirement on Monday, it was a sad day for the other members of the famed offensive line that helped the Giants win Super Bowl XLII.
"I felt like a part of us all kind of went with him," O'Hara said today on a visit to the Giants' training camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. "Just being a teammate of his and being a friend of his, it was hard to see him go through that. It definitely is the passing of the torch. I think his career was phenomenal."
Those five players started every game together from the 2006 NFC Wild Card Game in Philadelphia until Oct. 25, 2009, when McKenzie was inactive against Arizona because of a groin injury. The streak encompassed 38 regular-season games and six postseason contests. In 2008, Snee and O'Hara were each selected to their first Pro Bowls. Diehl joined them the following season. Snee, the unit's right guard, played in four Pro Bowls and O'Hara, the center, was chosen for three.
"I think the fact that we were able to have such great success as a unit, a lot of it was really because of Chris and because of how talented he was." O'Hara said. "He was one of the biggest parts of that whole run that we had, that great group. But it's definitely the end of an era. I'm sad to see that part of it go, but I'm also happy for Chris because he's positioned himself nicely for post-football. I know he'll miss it, but I know he's got a great family to support him."
With Chris Snee's retirement, Giants.com looks at the past offensive line of David Diehl, Rich Seubert, Shaun O'Hara, Snee, and Kareem McKenzie that set the foundation for the past decade of Giants football.
Seubert and his family moved to California following his retirement. Diehl (FOX) and O'Hara (NFL Network) are television analysts. McKenzie was accepted to a Master's program in professional counseling at William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J., with the intention of helping former athletes and military members cope with life changes. Snee hopes to coach high school football.
Though they've traveled diverse paths, the five former linemen remain close to one another.
"We've got a group text message that we still send out," O'Hara said. "Sometimes it can be anything from, 'Hey, did you guys see this? Check this out,' or we'll send out some funny pictures. It usually always ends up with us making fun of Seubert somehow. I don't know how, but that ends up being the culmination of it.
"We have a special bond. It wasn't just that we played together, because you play with a lot of guys in your career. We really were friends. I think we really, genuinely, like hanging out with each other. People that saw us, we were jokers, pranksters. We worked our butts off, but we had fun doing it. I think that's really what we all missed the most, we used to come to work with people that we really liked and were friends and I think that's why we were all so successful, was because we genuinely cared about each other."
What's nice for all of them is that they still do.