New York Giants head coach Joe Judge wants his team to be more smashmouth and physical. This begins with the offensive line (or “hog mollies” as general manager Dave Gettleman refers to them). The task of coaching the Giants’ o-line will reportedly go to Marc Colombo.
Colombo, 41, was a 2002 first-round (29th overall) selection of the Chicago Bears out of Boston College. He played nine NFL seasons for the Bears, Dallas Cowboys, and Miami Dolphins at the tackle position before retiring in 2011.
Columbo, who reportedly met with Judge at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., is considered one of the rising stars at offensive line coach. He was an assistant on Jason Garrett’s staff from 2016-18 before being promoted in 2018.
Colombo was Cowboys offensive line coach for the past two seasons. Pro Football Focus ranked the Cowboys’ o-line as the fourth best in the NFL behind the Philadelphia Eagles, Baltimore Ravens, and Indianapolis Colts. The Cowboys’ offensive line is credited as the chief building block for the team’s success in recent years. They open up running lanes for All-Pro Ezekiel Elliott as well protect quarterback Dak Prescott in the pocket.
Colombo was not retained after the Cowboys relieved Garrett of head coaching duties. He will reportedly be reunited with Garrett, who is now the Giants’ offensive coordinator. Garrett credits Colombo’s enthusiasm as a building block for his success.
“If you’ve ever been around Colombo even if just for a minute, you feel it,” Garrett said in a 2018 interview. “We felt it as a player. That’s one of the reasons why we wanted to bring him into our organization as a coach. He’s done a really good job as the assistant o-line coach. A big part of that was bringing that juice, that energy. His connection with the players is outstanding.”
The Giants have an All-Pro running back in Saquon Barkley and quarterback Daniel Jones, who will be entering his first full season as the starter. The Cowboys invested significantly in their offensive line, spending three first-round picks over the last 10 years (Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, Zack Martin).
The Giants were dissatisfied with Hal Hunter, Pat Shurmur’s offensive line coach. They also feel former second-round pick Will Hernandez hasn’t developed as quickly as they would have liked. Gettleman places a premium on hog mollies but building a quality offensive line takes time. However, the Giants are armed with the No. 4 overall pick in April’s NFL Draft and more than $67.5 million in cap space.
Colombo has another Giants connection. He is a college teammate and former roommate of Chris Snee. Snee played his entire 10-year (2004-13) career with the Giants, winning two Super Bowls. Snee’s wife is the daughter of former Giants head coach Tom Coughlin.