The Patriots off-season has been quite a rough one since their first round exit. And this continues with long-time Patriots offensive line coach, Dante Scarnecchia, retiring from the Patriots organization.
Scarnecchia, commonly referred to as simply Scar, was a position coach under Ron Meyer for the Patriots back in 1982. Remained with the team till he joined Meyer in Indianapolis from 1989 till 1990. Then rejoined the Patriots in 1991 all the way through till his first retirement in 2013. Following through from 2014 till the 2015 AFC Championship game (where Brady was sacked 4 times and then hit at least 17 times) Dante rejoined the coaching staff in 2016 and since then helped the team go to three straight Super Bowls.
This is a critical blow to the team going into the 2020 season. Outside of the Patriots 2014 season, Scarnecchia was with the team for over 34 years (36 total years as coach). His 34 years as a position coach makes him the longest tenured coach in the Patriots history.
There is little doubt that Scar will likely be in the Patriots Hall of Fame if his name is brought up. He has been with the team longer then Head Coach Bill Belichick, who is the longest tenured coach in the national football today.
When looking back at history Scar had been a part of the team when the founder of the Patriots, Billy Sullivan was still the owner before selling the team to Victor Kiam in 1988. Scar was not with the team for very long under Kiam before he sold the rights for the team to St. Louis businessman, James Orthwein in 1992. Then afterwards, Orthwein sold the team to paper magnate and New England native Robert Kraft in 1994 and the rest is history.
How does this Impact Tom Brady’s free agency?
This is bound to effect Tom Brady’s decision making going into March. Brady said it best: Dante was the definition of the Patriot Way. And losing him will effect the offense most certainly. The Patriots had former Patriot coach, Dave DeGuglielmo, maintain the position for 2014 and 2015 seasons (which resulted in the Patriots winning Super Bowl 49). The fan base remembers that 2015 AFC Championship where Brady got sacked 4 times and hit at least 17 times.
No matter how one looks at this, Brady will be obviously questionable when it comes to who the Patriots bring from in-house to hire for the position. Currently the Patriots have in-house two possible canddiates: Carmen Bricillo, who was the assistant O-line coach in 2019, and assistant running backs coach, Cole Popovich. Popovich has previously worked with Scarnecchia in the past and has coached the o-line at the college level when he was previously at Minot State in 2014-2015. The Patriots off-season will continue to be a massive deal going forward.