Report: Patriots O-Line Coach Dante Scarnecchia Has Retired
New England Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia has retired from the NFL, according to Christian Fauria on WEEI's radio show "Ordway, Merloni & Fauria." Mike Reiss of ESPN spoke with Scarnecchia after the news and confirmed the report.
Scarnecchia said this to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport a couple hours after the news broke.
"I’m 72 years old, I feel like it’s time. … It’s been an unbelievable career, I would’ve never expected anything close to this. We’ve been blessed for a 1000 different reasons."
As a coach that has been on and off with the Patriots organization since 1982, his retirement is a big blow to New England. Scarnecchia, age-71, has been the team's offensive line coach since 2000 (with the exception of 2014-15 when he retired for the first time), and has had a historic track record for taking some of the league's lesser talented linemen and turning them into studs in New England.
The most recent examples of Scarnecchia's success are guards Joe Thuney and Shaq Mason, who were drafted in the third round of the 2016 draft and the fourth round of the 2015 draft, respectively. Both are now two of the top players at their position.
Without Scarnecchia on the coaching staff, Bill Belichick will have to find some way to at least plug the massive hole left by him.
Fauria also said on Tuesday that he's hearing the replacement for Scarnecchia will be an in-house hire. Who exactly that will he is still unknown. Reiss mentioned that coaching assistant Carmen Bricillo, who worked closely with Scarnecchia in 2019, could be a potential candidate to replace him. Assistant running backs coach Cole Popovich is another potential in-house candidate.