Delone Catholic High School graduate Pat Flaherty may soon be returning to the NFL.
The veteran college and pro football assistant coach may join Matt Rhule's staff with the Carolina Panthers, according to a report by veteran NFL journalist Alex Marvez, a SiriusXM NFL Radio host. Marvez said Flaherty's role with the Panthers is to be determined, but it would seem likely that Flaherty would be Carolina's offensive line coach.
The move would not be surprising. Rhule once served as an assistant under Flaherty in 2012 when Flaherty was the offensive line coach with the New York Giants. In addition, during his introductory news conference last week, Rhule said he'd like a veteran NFL coach on his staff to serve as a mentor in his first NFL job as a head coach. Flaherty, with two decades of NFL coaching experience, would certainly fit that bill.
Since leaving the Giants, Rhule went on to enjoy great success as a college head coach, first at Temple and later with Baylor. That earned him a promotion to the NFL's Panthers, recently signing a seven-year, $60 million deal, that could reach $70 million if incentives are reached.
Flaherty, 63, grew up near Hanover and excelled as a player for some standout Delone teams and later at East Stroudsburg University, where he was an NCAA Division II All-American offensive lineman. He was briefly a Delone assistant before joining Penn State's staff. That began a long coaching career at both the NCAA Division I and NFL levels.
Flaherty is best known for coaching the Giants offensive line from 2004 through 2015. The Giants won two Super Bowls during that period.
Flaherty still has family in the McSherrystown area and annually holds the Mason-Dixon Linemen Clinic at Delone.
In late July, Flaherty was fired as the Miami Dolphins offensive line coach after only four training camp practices.
The reason for the firing was never fully explained by Miami head coach Brian Flores, who said simply that he "went with my gut” when making the decision.
“I’m always going to do what’s in the best interest of the Miami Dolphins, and I think that was the case with this move," Flores said at the time. "As a team we need to move forward. The easy decision would have been to do nothing and hope it gets better.”
The Dolphins ended the season ranked No. 27 in the 32-team NFL in total offense. Flores then fired the offensive line coach who replaced Flaherty — Dave DeGuglielmo.
After the firing, Flaherty spent some time this past season at Penn State as one of James Franklin's on-staff consultants. Like Flaherty, Franklin is an East Stroudsburg graduate.
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Flaherty's name was mentioned as a candidate for the offensive line job at PSU after Matt Limegrover was recently fired. That job, however, was eventually filled by former Boston College coach Phil Trautwein.
Reach Steve Heiser at email@example.com.