Eli Manning understands the impact Pat Flaherty can have on both a quarterback and an offense. As a former New York Giants quarterback, Manning appreciates the influence of Flaherty, who is now offensive line coach at Rutgers Football.
Flaherty was the offensive line coach for both of Manning’s Super Bowl victories and now brings two decades of NFL experience to the Scarlet Knights.
Manning has been named to the Pro Bowl four times and was named Super Bowl MVP twice. Last Friday, Manning was joined by former Giants teammates Shaun O’Hara and Justin Tuck at an event in Waldwick, NJ with children and their families at the Superdome athletic facility.
The family-oriented event offered children the opportunity to learn about football from the legends of the Giants, make custom t-shirts and participate in an Easter egg hunt.
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Manning was asked about the impact of Flaherty’s hiring and his own experiences with the former Giants offense coach.
“We had many, many meetings, many discussions with coach Flaherty. You know, the quarterback and offensive line coach always communicate early, early, early in the week about how we’re going to pick up some blitzes … how we’re going to handle certain players,” Manning told Rutgers Wire last Friday.
“And so he’s a guy who obviously cared a lot about protecting the quarterback – I really appreciated that. But also getting the run game going, what runs against certain looks, what runs do we like against that blitz, you know I don’t care if we run it, throw it. It’s about making successful plays, moving the ball and getting first downs, and that’s how Pat was open-minded.
“If we had ideas, he would listen to them to change things and get better protection. He was for it. And so a guy like Shaun (O’Hara) said he’s a hard worker, he’s always grinding and he’ll prepare his players very well.”
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Manning’s comments reference Shaun O’Hara, who has spoken about Flaherty’s influence on the Rutgers football program in previous comments.
“I know that, you know that Greg Schiano and Pat Flaherty have a long history. Actually, I believe Greg was a GA (Graduate Assistant) at Rutgers when Pat was a tight ends coach. So you’ve known each other for a long time. Nobody will top this Flaherty. that’s damn sure. He’s one of those guys who just doesn’t know how to do anything other than prepare and make sure his players are prepared,” O’Hara said in his interview with Rutgers wire.
“You know, he has led us to countless victories. He’s got the Super Bowl rings to prove it. So I know he comes to the “banks” with a lot of merit. But I think he’s going to really make those kids better on and off the pitch.”
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O’Hara is a former Rutgers soccer star who played for Flaherty with the Giants. He has been selected to the Pro Bowl in each of his last three seasons in the NFL, all played under Flaherty.
Eli Manning and Shaun O’Hara attend The Children’s Place Afternoon of Football Fun at the Superdome Sports, Warwick, New Jersey.
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Story originally appeared on Rutgers Wire