The late Jared Lorenzen made only a limited on-field contribution to the 2007 Giants, throwing eight passes in a pair of ugly season-opening losses. He didn’t take a snap in the 14 regular-season games that followed, or in any of the four playoffs games the Giants won. Lorenzen had a key role, however, in one of the most important plays in NFL history.
A video posted by the NFL’s “Throwback” account on Twitter shows that Lorenzen’s zealous participation throughout the year in a routine drill helped prepare starting quarterback Eli Manning for the moment that delivered a Super Bowl win that derailed what would have been the only 19-0 season in NFL history.
At every practice, the other quarterbacks harassed and hassled Manning, forcing him to escape the grasp of potential defenders, which is precisely what Manning did before throwing the desperation pass that receiver David Tyree somehow pinned against his helmet.
“All the work I had with Jared Lorenzen, I think that was a big help in getting out of that pocket,” Manning says in the clip.
“You have to move around, and the other quarterbacks try to strip the ball out. Lorenzen took it to the next level, and it was like he was the [defensive] tackle, trying to get a sack.”
As a result, Manning was ready to pinball through and around the New England pass rush, pulling himself free from the grasp of a defender before buying just enough time to set up and throw.
Like every other player who didn’t directly contribute to the win, Lorenzen received a Super Bowl ring. Unlike those who didn’t directly contribute, Lorenzen made an important indirect contribution all year long. Even though his time on the field as an NFL player wasn’t memorable (those eight passes from Week One and Week Two were the only regular-season throws of his entire career), Lorenzen’s role in getting Manning ready for the biggest play of his own career should be remembered, and appreciated.