Offensive line coach Pat Flaherty excitedly spoke to the media about the expectations that he has for his players, what it means to be a leader, and the importance of not being noticed.
Q: What are you expecting to see from your guys today?
A: What I am expecting? Well I am expecting to see holes that are going to be ten yards wide and the quarterback will stand back there for ten seconds. It’s not going to happen against our defense but what we’re expecting to see is the effort and the technique from our offensive line to get better on each play. It’s not going to be exactly what you want and expect during the season because it’s a work in progress. The number one thing I’m expecting to see is great effort and leverage.
Q: There’s a difference in veteran leadership from last year to this year. Does that make your job a lot tougher?
A: My job? No. it makes somebody else step up. I can say “Hey, so-and-so step up,” but I’m not going to do that. They’re going to step up on their own; they’re going to take ownership. This is their offensive line. I coach them but I’m not out on the field with them. We have a little thing in the offensive line room; I’m not going to be out on the field playing on Sunday. Thank goodness for the New York Giants, I’m not playing. So in terms of leadership, that has to develop. You can’t say you’re a leader, you have to show it. I’ve had communication with certain guys about that and they want to be, but it’s a work in progress to be a leader…I anticipate that we are not going to miss a beat.
Q: Is the center’s responsibility a little different in this offense?
A: It’s a little bit more responsibility. We want to be more verbal, take control of a little more of the pass. It’s always a combination between the quarterback and the offensive line. It’s going to start with the center and then the quarterback can always communicate. One of the things that we have to do as an offensive line is break the huddle, get to the line of scrimmage and get ready to play. I say demeanor a lot, it’s your approach. Nobody is making you do this. You want to do this? Okay, let’s do it the best way we can. As a couple of you said, it looks like I’m a little excited, I’m excited most days. If I can as a coach, or we as coaches, can make somebody just a little bit better, that’s exciting.
Q: What gives Brandon Mosley his best shot to win the job at right guard?
A: Consistency. He’s got to be consistent. You have somewhere in your career as a player where you have to get off of the waves. There’s going to be some peaks and valleys in a lot of things but you can’t have as many peaks and valleys. You have to be consistent. I know that word is used a lot but it’s very true. You have to be consistent as an offensive lineman. For example, I always talk to these guys; you really don’t want to be noticed by the people I’m standing before (the reporters). Because, most of the time, not that anything is 100%, but most of the time when we’re noticed, it’s not for a good reason. So don’t be noticed. When you’re watching the game or even watching practice, you could say Brandon Mosley, you could say Geoff Schwartz, you could say John Jerry, whoever it may be, you could say that nothing really stood out that was glaring, then it must be pretty decent. When I’m watching practice, I’m watching five guys against one, if something all of a sudden jumps out as a blurp, I have to go correct it. So the less blurps you can have, the more consistent it’s going to be and we’re going to be good.