Wednesday, January 05, 2011

N.Y. GIANTS ~ End of Season; PART III


"Finish 2010 Season, TEN and SICK"


Tom Coughlin - Kevin Gilbride - Mike Sullivan - Jerald Ingram

Perry Fewell - Tom Quinn




Pat Flaherty just completed his seventh year as the Giants' Offensive Line Coach.  David Diehl, Shaun O'Hara and Chris Snee have all been Pro-Bowlers under Coach Flaherty.  This season, without a doubt, not only was Rich Seubert a GIANT MVP all the way up until his injury, he was arguably one of the best Linemen in all of Football and another sure Pro-Bowler.

Pat Flaherty coached the Starting Five unit of O'Hara, Snee, Diehl, Seubert and McKenzie to 38 consecutive games played together covering 2007 through 2009.

This year the Offensive Line was hard-pressed to stay healthy.  David Diehl missed a month while Shaun O'Hara lost well over half his season to injury.

Because of the trickle down effects of Shaun O'Hara's on going injuries, Coach Flaherty guided David Diehl through a slight rough patch when he was asked to switch positions and managed very well until he was able to return to his natural Tackle spot.  Coach Flaherty also had to position, and re-position Rich Seubert all over the Offensive Line.  Seubert did a masterful job at the Center position filling in for O'Hara.

Pat Flaherty Coached his line through ever depleting depth.  Shawn Andrews was thought to be a great looking acquisition to bolster this year's Offensive Line.  But he too was lost too injury.

Coach Flaherty was still able to utilize yet another casualty, Adam Koets, until he went down leaving young William Beatty and Kevin Boothe to fill major holes.

Pat Flaherty did arguably the best job of all the staff coaches on the Giants.


CENTER ~ SHAUN O'HARA :  33 years old.  He's been a Giant since 2004.  He just endured an injury riddled season with foot problems after starting every game last year.  Despite being injured he was voted-in for his 3rd Pro-Bowl.  He is under contract for next year, but 2011 is the last year of the deal.  He will have off-season surgery.

GUARD ~ CHRIS SNEE :  At 28 years of age, he's the youngest of the five starters..  He was drafted by the Giants in 2004 and is signed through 2014.  He is a three time Pro-Bowl Selection.  For this Brick House, 2010 was another solid season for the under-spoken Guard.

GUARD ~ RICH SEUBERT :  31 years old.  He is signed through 2012.  Undrafted, he's been with the Giants since 2001.  In 2003 he broke his leg in three places and came back in time to partake in the Offensive Line's consecutive games played streak.  2010 may have been his best season to date; playing three different Offensive Line positions and masterfully serving at the team's Center while O'Hara sat out with injury.  But now he's facing another major injury.  The scene of him dislocating his knee against the Redskins was so saddening.  He was having such a great season and truly was one of this team's ultimate MVP's.  He has more surgery and rehabilitation ahead of him now.  It's an awful lot for Jerry Reese to contemplate, but Rich Seubert vowed to come back...AGAIN!

TACKLE ~ DAVID DIEHL :  30 years old.  He was drafted by the Giants in 2003 and is signed through 2014.  He is yet another Pro-Bowl Lineman for the Giants.  He dutifully changed positions for the team, and didn't have premium results.  But he still offered play that was above average.  Now he's back at his natural Tackle spot as he continues to emerge into an elite Lineman.

TACKLE ~ KAREEM McKENZIE :  31 years old.  This Old Jet came to the Giants in 2005.  He signed a 7 year deal in 2005.  He's been nothing short of solid...again.  You never hear anything from him, but earlier in the season when he took big holding and unsportsmanlike penalties, he was front and center at his locker to account for himself.  He with the other four members of this Offensive Line have always been very disciplined and get few penalties called against them.

These boys were designed to stay together for another two more seasons.  Injuries may hamper than plan.  With age, injuries aren't usually far behind.  We're beginning to feel the ramifications of playing so many games in the trenches.  They have played many games together defying Football Odds and keeping the injury bug away.  That's a testament to their personal preparedness and Pat Flaherty's coaching.

There's a sense Shaun O'Hara may turn out fine.  But he represents a really big question at Center and not just because of back and foot problems he's had, but because Rich Seubert did such a good job filling in at Center and O'Hara happens to be the oldest of the group at 33 yrs of age. 

People were actually saying that right up until Seubert got hurt.  And now he represents yet another really, really big question on the Offensive Line going forward.  He's headed for big-time off-season surgery that could prove extremely disruptive to GIANT plans next season.

David Diehl was the third member of this vaunted Line to miss considerable time due to injury. He suffered a partially torn hamstring that was slow to heal.  But he showed no ill affects after his return.

The question - If these guys still had two years left together suddenly got a lot harder to answer.  This is an area Jerry Reese will no doubt have to address in the next Draft.  But in the mean-time, there are three young guys on the squad.

In 2007, Jerry Reese drafted TACKLE ~ ADAM KOETS who is now 26 years old and he drafted TACKLE ~ WILLIAM BEATTY in 2009.  He is 25 years old.

NYC native GUARD ~ KEVIN BOOTHE has been a Giant since 2007.  He was Oakland's starting Right Guard in 2006.

GUARD/TACKLE ~ SHAWN ANDREWS : 28 years old.  Jerry Reese signed him as a free agent from PHILLY to a 6 year deal that takes him through 2016.  It was thought to be, quietly, a great acquisition at the time.  But chronic back problems may force the 3-time Pro-Bowl player to retire.  He missed the 2009 season and could only sustain a handful of playing time this year when called into action, before he was literally forced to go to a hospital for his condition.

And now, JERRY REESE is about to walk a very FINE LINE as he's faced with having to make hard decisions about his Offensive Line situation.  They say TIME heals all wounds but it doesn't seem to want to give Jerry enough of it before August rolls around.  How Jerry manages the next 6 months may determine the following four months after that.

And then some.

Still to come:  JERRY REESE and the PLAYERS.


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