Giants turn to Marc Colombo to guide new offensive linemen

Giants turn to Marc Colombo to guide new offensive linemen

You can draft players to fix an offensive line as long as they are the right players, but you better have the right offensive line coach coaching them.

A Bill Parcells guy, for instance.

And more than anyone, the ultimate success of GM Dave Gettleman’s 2020 Hog Molly NFL draft will rest on offensive line coach Marc Colombo — now arguably Joe Judge’s most important hire.

Gettleman got Colombo a LT of the Future If Not Present with the fourth overall pick in Andrew Thomas, a RT of the Future in Matt Peart in the third round and possibly a guard of the Future in Shane Lemieux in the fifth round who will be cross-trained as a center.

“He plays with nasty,” Judge said.

Colombo is Judge’s Lieutenant Colombo. So he is Judge’s Lieutenant Colombo. A Bill Parcells guy.

“Communication from me and him was very easy,” Parcells told The Post. “Listen, he’s Italian from [near] Brockton [Mass]. My mother’s Italian, I’m half-Italian. We speak the same language. He gets it. … There’s just these guys that you click with right away.”

Parcells loved Colombo’s mentality as a player.

“Rough-and-tumble,” Parcells said.

Colombo was a 6-foot-8, 320-pound first-round pick by the Bears out of Boston College in 2002 who had dislocated the patella in his left knee and suffered femoral nerve damage. He didn’t play again until 2004, and was waived by the Bears at the start of the 2005 season. Parcells and the Cowboys scooped him up on Nov. 1.

“Al Davis taught me something when I was a very young coach,” Parcells said of the late Raiders owner. “He said, ‘If a guy was a No. 1 draft choice at some point in time, and he’s available to look at, it’s smart for you to try to do that, because you have to know at one time, a guy that was a first-round draft choice, somebody thought very highly of him.’ ”

Parcells instructed Colombo to get in the weight room and get his strength back. Colombo started at right tackle for Parcells in 2006, and remained there after Parcells was gone until 2010.

Colombo wasn’t daunted facing Michael Strahan.

“ ‘I don’t need any help, Coach,’ he says to me,” Parcells said. “I don’t want to be saying that he dominated Strahan, I’m not saying that, I’m just saying he did his job, and I’d say he neutralized him.”

When Parcells was asked how Colombo compared with former Giants left tackle Jumbo Elliott, he said, “They’re both rough-and-tumble guys, but you know Jumbo’s my favorite. I liked him a lot. I wish I had him longer. He’s a good tough, big, strong guy that was competitive.I liked him a lot, I really did. I think he liked me. We got along good.”

Marc Colombo
Marc ColomboAP

If the Giants’ offensive linemen are a reflection of their coach, expect them to be maul-in.

“He’s not backing down, he’s gonna hang in there, he can take a beating and come back, you know what I mean?” Parcells said. “That’s what you really want.”

When Colombo replaced Cowboys offensive line coach Paul Alexander midway through the 2018 season, he said, “I’m more of an old school guy, in a sense. We’re going to work, we’re going to grind every day. Working every single technique, every drill. We’re going to bring some violence, some nasty to the game. We have to get back to our roots the past few years here which has been a nasty attitude and we’re going to bring that.”

Colombo connected immediately with Ezekiel Elliott and the vaunted Cowboys offensive line, and Judge will expect him to have a similar effect on Saquon Barkley and the Giants’ offensive line. The kind of effect former Giants O-line coach Pat Flaherty had on two Super Bowl championship offensive lines. Judge, remember, hired teachers as assistant coaches.

“Teach me how to make a peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich,” Judge said at his introductory press conference. “Teach me. Make me the best peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich-maker in the history of the world.”

Giants’ NFL Draft tracker: Live round-by-round picks and analysis

Giants tackle Cameron Fleming played in 2018 and 2019 for Colombo in Dallas.

“He comes in with so much energy, so much juice every single day, week after week throughout the whole season,” Fleming said. “I don’t think there is ever a lull in it for him. I really appreciate his passion and electricity every day. He’s just a damn good coach. He helped me a lot with my technique in Dallas, and I look forward to continuing working with him.”

“I think him playing, he knows exactly what it takes to survive in this league.”

Colombo survived against all odds before Parcells (and his late former O-line coach Tony Sparano) helped revive his career.

“I had probably a 5 percent chance of ever playing again,” Colombo said once.

He finished his career in Sparano’s last year as Dolphins coach in 2011.

Now he’s Lieutenant Colombo.

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