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NE OL Coach Dante Scarnecchia Retires

Legendary New England Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia has announced his retirement.

"Dante Scarnecchia has been unbelievable in every way," Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft said in a statement. "His contributions to our team and to the game of football are unprecedented over the last four decadesAs a coach, he was extraordinarily talented at teaching his players and bringing the most out of each of them. Dante put everything he had into helping his players achieve their maximum potential -- the mark of a great coach."

Scarnecchia coached for 36 seasons in the NFL, 34 of them in three separate stints with New England (1982-1988, 1991-2013, and 2016-2019). Scarnecchia has been on the Patriots coaching staff for 22 of the franchise's 27 playoff seasons and has coached in 49 of the 58 playoff games in team history, including 10 of the team's 11 Super Bowl appearances.

Comments

30 comments, Last at 05 Feb 2020, 12:11pm

6 No. He has zero shot at the…

No. He has zero shot at the hall. Neither Phillips will be in. Coryell is not in. LeBeau is in as a player only (he is not in as a coach, like Owen, Chamberlain, or Conzelman). LeBeau is the closest there is to a coordinator induction.

So Scarnecchia has zero shot. He's not even a coordinator.

That's not right, but that's how it will happen.

4 Yay!

The Pats will suck again!

9 much depends

on Brady - if he stays in Foxboro they really don't need to add too many parts. One TE, one WR, one safety might do it.  

If he leaves, it's by definition a rebuild. 

11 More needs than that...

In reply to by RickD

Brady was close to the only functioning part of that offense. And even that was hard to tell much of the time.

They have no good WR - Edelman could be good if healthy and not old, but if my aunt had testicles, she'd be my uncle. No one else shows any promise, except as a #3 WR, barely.

The OL remains weak. See the inability to score from the 1 yard line, general short yardage suckatude, and the amount of pressure Brady had to endure. Better health may help there. but they aren't all that good even when healthy.

The RBs are weak, easily brought down, and mostly slow. But at least they are poor at spotting the hole when there is one.

The one thing the offense did well was to protect the ball. Brady threw a lot of balls away, for good reason. The other ball carriers did seem to get that fumbling was frowned upon. That's a plus.

To move from "at least they don't turn the ball over very often" to "they have multiple weapons that can hurt you" is going to take more than one WR and one TE. Other players are going to need to surprise us, or more players will need to be brought in.

 

12 The OL remains weak. See the…

The OL remains weak. See the inability to score from the 1 yard line, general short yardage suckatude, and the amount of pressure Brady had to endure. Better health may help there. but they aren't all that good even when healthy.

You guys really have no idea how spoiled you have been.

14 I didn't watch the Patriots…

I didn't watch the Patriots that much this year to comment, however...

 

pff ranked them top 10 the first half the season(so by their numbers, it wasn't sucking all year). They ranked 9th in adjusted line yards as well.

 

I mean, I think this is a lot like secondary play. Everyone but like three teams think their team has a disaster at o line and the secondary. 

 

 

15 I think it's more an…

I think it's more an inability to separate "deep" vs "shallow" offense - as in, not realizing how bad receivers can make an offensive line look awful.  If the defenders are all tight to the line, the line's not going to win. They can't block 9 guys.

I mean, this really isn't hard to identify - they went from getting 350+ DYAR from starting WR+TEs in 2018 to essentially zero. Line yards and RB performance barely budged. The problem was a complete lack of middle/deep offense.

16 I'm down with the idea that…

I'm down with the idea that NE's WRs+TEs suck, and that Brady had a terrible case of indecision. And NE's RB attack, in non-Dillon years, functioned as a change-up to the passing game's fastball. Now that the fastball doesn't work, neither does the change-up.

But even Antique Brady gets >league average time to wait for Edelman to get open. The offense's problem isn't the line. It's not like you guys are Minnesota.

18 I started looking at Time-To…

I started looking at Time-To-Throw roughly halfway through the season (around when the LT came back) - and Brady had more time to throw than almost anyone in the league. 

Yes, Gronk retiring hurt - but Brady's indecision, poor reads, and general poor performance was the main problem.

23 I'm missing something. Brady…

I'm missing something. Brady's tight ends and wide receivers at that point were basically really old guys, rookies, and Dorsett (who I have no idea why they keep around). How are any of those guys going to challenge the middle-to-deep portion of the field? Some of them probably can't even run that far!

It doesn't matter if you've got plenty of time to throw if you've got no one to throw it to. We've seen this play out 2 times this season, with both Brady and Wentz. I'm not saying Brady's not declining, but he's still an average-to-above average quarterback.

The bigger problem, though, is that they're not going to magically rebuild their receiving corps in 1 year, and Brady's not going to *stop* declining.

24 This is spot on: The bigger…

This is spot on:

The bigger problem, though, is that they're not going to magically rebuild their receiving corps in 1 year, and Brady's not going to *stop* declining.

It's a question of the slopes of the curves. Is Brady going to decline faster than the Patriots can shore up their receivers, backs, and line?

The Patriots don't have a consistently good track record for drafting or developing offensive talent. So I wouldn't expect much if any improvement next year.

But (despite some loud commenters to the contrary) Brady has not shown the kind of noodle-armed/tapioca-brained decline we've seen in other end-of-career QBs...

...yet.

25 I think receiving cores can…

I think receiving cores can be rebuilt from horrible to decent pretty easily. Going from decent to good isn't super hard either. Good to great takes a lot of good drafts and luck, but they don't need great if their defense is good and their line rebounds. 

Sanu and Edleman are overtaxed as primary options. Get one true iso receiving threat and everyone goes back to their original, primary roles. And I think a good receiver can be had. Brandon Cooks for example might end up as a free agent if the rams go into cost cutting mode. Then there's Emmanuel sanders, who while not anything special, is miles ahead of anyone the NE roster at this moment. 

 

But the fact remains that NE needs to start addressing the succession plan starting this draft. I think if Herbert or another 1st round prospect is within striking distance, they need to take it. 

26 The Rams aren't cutting…

The Rams aren't cutting Cooks in 2020. No chance. It'd cost them $5M on the cap *on top of* what he currently costs (as in, his cap hit goes from $16M->$21M), it'd still cost them $1M even if it was a trade instead. Add in the fact that there are no post June 1 cuts allowed this year barring a new CB,  and that his salary fully guarantees on March 20, and it's not happening. 2021 maybe.

Emmanuel Sanders is 32 and turning 33. The fact that he's miles ahead of anyone on the roster might be true given the state, but a 33-year old Sanders isn't taking their receivers from garbage to decent. Plus keep in mind you haven't named a tight end there at all. 

If New England's going to do anything with Brady, they're not doing it with guys like Sanders. They'd need to swing for Amari Cooper or Hunter Henry. Maybe AJ Green, but he'd be a true "load up for one last shot" guy. Cooper or Henry could be worth spending the money on, so he might not hurt the long term viability of the team.

17 "Brady was close to the only…

"Brady was close to the only functioning part of that offense"

No, he wasn't. 

His pocket awareness has declined sifgnificantly, his decision making has declined, his progressions are slower, and he's staring guys down, and he's underthrowing balls all over the place. Tom Brady isn't a top half of the league quarterback anymore, and I'm not even sure he's a viable NFL starter at this point. 

No, the receviers aren't great, but I've seen enough All-22 of this season to have a very good idea of the problem - and its him. He's done. 

I say this as someone who watched every single minute of Patriots football this year, and almost every minute over the last 5 years. No amount of improving the receiving corps is going to keep him from staring down Edelman when he's tripple covered. No amount of that is going to keep him from completely missing defenders like he did Logan Ryan. 

19 Sometimes I think Nat is a…

Sometimes I think Nat is a Tom Brady fan and less a Pats fan.

That said, I somewhat disagree with you. Tom Brady looked a lot worse in 2013 when his receiving core stunk. He also looked pretty bad in the first half of 2014 when Gronk was a shell of himself. Then things nicely rebounded for him.

I actually think at this moment he is better than Philip Rivers and I'd struggle to name 10 qbs who are clearly better than he is. Yes we can debate people like Bridgewater or Kyler Murray, but its not clear that those two are absolutely better. My biggest issue is not what will Brady be in September 2020, but what will age do when its January 2021. That's another year of aging + another year of nfl hits, hurries, and wear and tear.

20 agreed, if the Pats can add…

agreed, if the Pats can add a GOAT at his position at one of the skill positions, they'll be fine, and Brady probably has a bounceback season, even at 43.  If not, well, Mitch Trubisky had better stats than he did from week 4 on.  FWIW, good chance AB84 will still be available

22 Quite the reverse. I've…

Quite the reverse. I've always been a big fan of the "Patriots way" more than its stars. Back in 2008/09 I wondered (I may not have posted it, because it sounded nuts) if the Patriots could trade Brady for two first round picks and come out ahead by investing in other positions. Thank God no one on the Patriots thought that way!

In 2019, it was pretty much impossible to like ANYTHING about the NE offense, except their ability to not fumble, and Brady's smart decisions to throw the ball away when his receivers once again failed to get separation. That's funny in a way. Being smart about throwing the ball away was the first thing we noticed when Brady replaced Bledsoe in 2001. I remember cheering a play where he looked at read one, two, and three, and then chucked the ball out of bounds. We've come full circle.

Now Brady's getting old. But like you, I see him as a middle of the pack QB at this stage, with very good decision making. Will his age catch up to him? Yes. but when? He thinks he has a few years left. I wonder.

In the meantime, people saying Brady was the problem in 2019 and the WRs, OL, and RBs were fine are hitting the now-legal pot shops a bit too much.

 

21 I'd disagree. But if you've…

I'd disagree.

But if you've done serious film study, then we should at least consider your opinion.

Although your example (Brady focusing almost exclusively on Edelman) misses the point. The other WRs are so bad that Brady had little choice but to focus on the one (old, hurt, never great anyway) competent WR he has.

When he had other viable options, "staring down Edelman" was not even an issue people mentioned.

27 overreaction

Brady had nothing to work with this season.  His 2019 stats are comparable to his 2006 stats - that was the last season he was basically left with zero receiving options.  He followed that up with the best season of his career.  

Edelman wasn't healthy, Sanu wasn't healthy, they got nothing from their TE's, Harry was a rookie who needs to learn a lot but missed a lot of time, and Dorsett is a limited option.  On top of that, Gronk retired, AB went nuts, and Josh Gordon started doing drugs again.  (Or continued doing drugs and got caught - either way he's done as a Patriot.)  

Brady made some bad judgment calls, but he's also done that in years past when he's felt a lot of pressure.  Like a lot of QBs (and like a lot of people in general), Brady's judgment is better when things are going well.  If he'd had Deebo Samuel or DK Metcalf or Terry McLaurin to throw to, I'm sure he'd have looked a good deal better.  

28 feels premature

on the heels of a 12-4 season, feels premature to declare the future closed.  The Patriots are in a better position than they were in 2009-2010.  

It's literally true that, any time the Patriots lose a playoff game, people declare them to be finished as a franchise.  

29 Frankly, they were lucky to…

Frankly, they were lucky to make the playoffs.  By the time January rolled around, they were probably the 20th best team in a 32-team league.  And that's with their defense and special teams pulling up the offense.

30 They are going to make the…

In reply to by RickD

They are going to make the playoffs in 2020 even if Brady dies of old age mid-season. Who else would win the division?

But Brady needs a good to great line to be Brady. And without the best line coach in NFL history...

 

8 I firmly believe that the…

I firmly believe that the most unlikely achievement of the Belichik Patriot era is the consistent quality of their blocking for the past two decades; one offensive lineman playing poorly can pretty much ruin the production of the unit a whole. To have coaching, for 20 years, which prevents any hole in the dam, from turning into a torrent which wrecks a season, is really astonishing. Scarnecchia isn't the only coach who had a hand in that, but he's a huge part of it. What a performance.

13 The 2014 Patriots did…

The 2014 Patriots did coincidentally win a Super Bowl for the first time since 2004 right after he retired. I don't see that happening next season however.