Zips coach reflects on Super Bowl appearance with Giants

“The New York Giants last won the NFC Championship and made a Super Bowl appearance during the 2000 season. Coming off the best year in his eight-year NFL career (1996-2003) in which he recorded six interceptions and was named the team’s Defensive Player of the Game in the NFC Championship Game, Emmanuel McDaniel started at nickel back for the Giants in Super Bowl XXXV.”

The New York Giants last won the NFC Championship and made a Super Bowl appearance during the 2000 season. Coming off the best year in his eight-year NFL career (1996-2003) in which he recorded six interceptions and was named the team’s Defensive Player of the Game in the NFC Championship Game, Emmanuel McDaniel started at nickel back for the Giants in Super Bowl XXXV.

Seven years later, the 34-year-old serves as a member of the University of Akron’s football coaching staff. After working as a volunteer in the program during the ’06 season, McDaniel served as the team’s cornerbacks coach this past season.

McDaniel checked in with The Buchtelite while on a recruiting trip in California Wednesday and answered questions via e-mail about his NFL playing career and budding collegiate coaching career.

Q. Looking back at your NFL career, what moments or memories remain the most vivid?

A. Beating the Vikings in the 2000 NFC Championship Game and the feeling of knowing that we were going to the Super Bowl.

Q. Besides the championship run in 2000, what made that season special for you?

A. Just seeing how our team came together to actually make that run to go to the Super Bowl. We had a team meeting with just players and everything changed from then on.

Q. What did you enjoy most about playing in the NFL?

A. I really enjoyed all the preparation, practice, hanging out with my teammates and the games-especially the feeling of walking out of that tunnel and hearing the crowd go wild.

Q. What made you want to get involved with football again?

A. I missed the game of football itself. It was a part of my life from the time I started at 7-years-old until I turned 32-years-old. That’s all I ever did was play football and I missed it. I knew I couldn’t play anymore, so I did the next best thing by coaching and teaching others what I learned over the years.

Q. You came to be a volunteer in the football office in 2006. Why did you decide to come here?

A. My wife grew up in Youngstown, and I played for Coach Fleming at East Carolina. I actually went to training camp with the Browns before going back to the (Carolina) Panthers to play.

Q. What was your experience like in 2006 as a volunteer?

A. It was great to be around football people, people who loved the game as much as I do. It was a great experience. I learned a lot.

Q. How were you able to use your knowledge of the game and professional experience to assist UA’s defensive backs in their development?

A. I tried to teach them more than just going out to play football. I wanted to try and teach them the game from a corner’s prospective. For instance with film, I try to watch film as if I’m about to play the game myself and relay that to the player and try to make the game easier, giving them an understanding of what’s about to happen before it happens. I may look and see something small that a receiver may do to give away the route.

Q. What advice have you given to players like Reggie Corner and Davanzo Tate as they attempt to play in the NFL?

A. I told them they’ve got three months to prepare, to make a good impression on pro day, give all they’ve got and see what happens. I’ve been giving them little secrets of how to do things and the things I learned that scouts want to see, along with what they need to work on to impress. I also told them pro day can make or break you, so work hard in the training aspect of it and the hard work will pay off – never doubt yourself in this whole process.

Q. What are some of your personal goals in the coaching profession as you move forward?

To try and help every player that comes through this program become a better person and player than they were before they came here… to try and help bring many championships to the University of Akron.