Q: Is this an easy job for you?
Flaherty: No, it’s never easy, you guys have heard this a million times but we talk about it all the time in our meeting room and I’ve been brought up that way with coaches that I have coached under, including Tom Coughlin: you never stay the same. As a coach you never stay the same, you’re either going to get better or you’re going to get worse. I’m excited, in the offseason one thing that we do a thorough job of as a coaching staff is we look at each and every player. First of all, we look at our schemes and then we go back and look at the techniques and fundamentals of each and every player so we find things that we could get better at, so that’s what training camp is for. An offensive lineman is not like a wide receiver where they really got a lot better in May and June and the OTAs and mini-camp because we didn’t have pads on. Now we go out and learn how to wear our pads day in and day out. With the five guys coming back, what they’re going to do is set a tempo for the other guys, the newer guys that are coming into the program that are going to compete for their job. That’s been established for a few years now with the direction they want to go as an offensive line unit, so that always excites me.
Q: Is Adam Koets now your backup center?
Flaherty: Yes, right now he is our backup center; we’ll have Kevin Boothe working on some center; Tutan Reyes who we signed in the offseason and who has played some center in the NFL. Richard Seubert and Chris Snee have always taken snaps at center. Richie has played some center in the past. In ’07 he played some guard and center. So he’s an emergency center for us.
Q: Is Boothe working at center? Is he working on guard and tackle, too?
Flaherty: Well, really those guys all along, if you look at one guy, David Diehl has played each position and really most of those guys could do that and when you get to that position, to that point as an offensive lineman where you could go to guard, you could go to tackle, the more you could do, the better off you can be. We’re going to monitor very closely how many repetitions each and every guy will get, mostly Shawn O’Hara with Adam Koets and then the people I mentioned will get bits and pieces.
[A quick aside here from me: I can't help it, but the picture of Eli taking snaps from behind Boothe's wide backside is one I don't want to think about.]
Q: Is Guy Whimper ready to be back in the mix now?
Flaherty: He’s healthy, he’s gotten bigger, he’s gotten stronger. I’m excited for Guy in training camp because he’s going into his fourth year in the NFL. You know the baby steps are gone now, you’ve got to take gigantic steps. So it’s a matter of him stepping up now. He’s still not like somebody who has played a thousand snaps a season, he’s still going to have some things that he’s going to have to correct day in and day out. But, he’s got to overcome that and be able to progress each and every day