The Suburbanites Once great offensive line
The Giant Insider|February 2021
Center Bart Oates was nicknamed “Books” by Bill Parcells.
JOHN FENNELLY

Like most championship teams, the core begins in the trenches. No one knew this better than former Giants general manager George Young and his head coach, Bill Parcells.

In the 1980s, the Giants went from NFL doormats to Super Bowl champions by building a workmanlike roster of players who Parcells liked to call “lunch pail guys.” In one press conference he pulled no punches telling reporters that if you want to win in this league, “you have to have the asses in the trenches.”

The Giants had always been known for their tough, gritty defense which by the 1980s had become elite. The ‘80s version of Big Blue featured Hall of Fame linebackers Lawrence Taylor and Harry Carson but also boasted top-notch talent such as George Martin, Leonard Marshall, Carl Banks, Andy Headen, Pepper Johnson, Erik Howard, Terry Kinard, Mark Haynes, Perry Williams, and Jim Burt.

The offense was either held back by the weather or Parcells would take the air out of the ball, kill the clock, sit on the lead, and let the defense wear down their opponent. Parcells preferred a conservative “smashmouth” approach on offense that centered around the running game. To achieve that, they needed an offensive line that could control the line of scrimmage.

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