Jim McNally is thought by many to be one of the greatest offensive line coaches in the history of the NFL. After 17 years away from Cincinnati, McNally will return this season as a consultant to the team.
McNally began his NFL coaching career with the Bengals in 1980. Also that year, the Bengals used their first round pick on a tackle out of USC named Anthony Munoz. Over the next decade plus, with Munoz as his anchor, McNally would put together one of the best offensive lines ever assembled.
Joining Munoz was another young player, Max Montoya, whom the Bengals had taken a seventh round flyer on in the 1979 draft. With those two mainstays, McNally would add Outland Trophy winner Dave Rimington at center in 1983 and a couple of late round picks, Bruce Kozerski and Bruce Reimers in 1984. Joe Walter came to the team in the seventh round in 1985.
McNally became so famous for developing late round picks into Pro Bowlers that the Bengals began to neglect the position in the upper levels of the draft. After drafting Brian Blados in the first round of the 1984 draft, the team wouldn't draft another offensive lineman with their first pick until Willie Anderson in 1996.
Feeling that the team wasn't giving him enough to work with, McNally left Cincinnati in 1995 to join Dom Capers' staff with the expansion Carolina Panthers. There McNally was given another first round tackle in Blake Brockermeyer to anchor his line. He assembled another group of low round picks and castoffs from other teams and helped the Panthers win the NFC West in only their second season of existence.
After Capers was let go in 1998, McNally joined Jim Fassel and the New York Giants. By his second season in New York, the Giants had turned an anemic running game into a combined 1700 yards from Tiki Barber and Ron Dayne and were NFC champions in 2000.
When Fassel was let go in 2003, McNally went back to his native Buffalo for what he thought would be the finish to his career. He coached with the Bills through 2007. There he assembled another line that produced 1000 yard rushers with Willis McGahee and Marshawn Lynch in three of his four seasons there.
His specific duties will involve breaking down film and serving as a consultant to offensive line coach Paul Alexander, who succeeded McNally in that role after he left Cincinnati. He'll make trips to work with the players during OTAs and training camp as well.
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