Patriots React to OL Coach Dante Scarnecchia's Retirement
A big blow to the New England Patriots' coaching staff came on Tuesday when offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia announced his retirement at age-71 from the NFL for the second time.
Scarnecchia's impact on football, let alone the Patriots, will soon have him in the Hall of Fame for his efforts as an assistant coach.
Bill Belichick, Robert Kraft, Josh McDaniels and some current and former players shared their thoughts over the past couple days about Scarnecchia's retirement.
"Dante Scarnecchia has been unbelievable in every way. As a coach, he was extraordinarily talented at teaching his players and bringing the most out of each of them," Kraft said via Patriots .com. "Dante put everything he had into helping his players achieve their maximum potential -- the mark of a great coach. His contributions to our team and to the game of football are unprecedented over the last four decades. Yet even more remarkable is the impact Dante has had on countless players, coaches and staff members who have walked through our doors. He modeled the principles he believed in through his hard work, diligence and integrity. He held himself accountable. He trained alongside his players. He treated everyone with respect. There truly is no way to sum up the incredible career he's had, the positive impact he's made on our franchise or how much he will be missed. We are forever grateful for Dante and wish him the absolutely best in his next chapter, along with his lovely wife Susan and his family. The New England Patriots are better because of Dante Scarnecchia, and he will always have a home with us."
"It was a privilege to coach with Dante for so long, Belichick said. "I knew that long before his initial retirement and throughout a second act of continued excellence. Dante is among the very best assistant coaches ever."
"I am so fortunate to have coached with Dante Scarnecchia," McDaniels said. "He has been a respected mentor, an admired colleague and a trusted friend throughout my career. He loved coaching and excelled at helping his players reach their full potential. He was disciplined and demanding, yet personable. Stern, yet understanding. His work ethic was beyond reproach. He studied every detail, focused on fundamentals and gave each player personal instruction to help them improve every day. I know he made me a better coach and I will always be grateful for his countless contributions to our team's success. He is a great coach and an even better person. His daily presence will be missed, but he won't be forgotten."
"You use the word respected. I don't know any coach that's been through that organization that has more respect than Dante," former Patriot and NFL Network analyst Willie McGinest said. "Somebody who's a grinder. He ran the hill with the offensive linemen and the players. He demanded respect in the classroom. He knew his job from A to Z," McGinest said. "He was able to develop so many different players you probably never heard of and have one of the best protections, one of the best offensive lines in the league. A guy that when you try to talk to him and get him on an interview, he wants no part of it. He's so humble, but he meant so much to the organization. I just want to say congratulations. Hope you don't get the itch again because you did it before when you retired for a couple years. He loves football and he loved us and he gave us his all."
Others reached out via social media to express their thoughts on Coach Scarnecchia.