Offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia has retired after spending the past 34 of his 36 years in the NFL with the Patriots.
During his illustrious career, Scarnecchia coached under head coaches Ron Meyer, Raymond Berry, Dick MacPherson, Bill Parcells, Pete Carroll and Bill Belichick.
Scarnecchia was the only coach in league history along with former Steelers running backs coach Dick Hoak to coach 30 plus years with organization.
The 71 year old Scarnecchia previously retired after the 2013 season but returned for the 2015 season after Bill Belichick fired his replacement, Dave DeGuglielmo. Scarnecchia was the longest tenured coach in the NFL last season. He is also the longest tenured coach in team history.
Scarnecchia was one of the most respected assistant coaches in the league and regarded as the best offensive line coach in the NFL. He worked wonders with the offensive line as a whole and with individual lineman.
The Patriots have a huge void to fill now. The offensive line coach is the most important position coach on the staff. There are very few quality line coaches available because all the good ones are employed.
The Patriots have two in house options in Carmen Bricillo, a former offensive line coach at Youngstown State under Bo Pellini and Cole Popovich, who has worked with the offensive line in the past. Belichick could opt to look outside the organization as well.
Regardless of who the Patriots hire, they will be filling big shoes. Scarnecchia is a great technician and designer of blocking schemes. He was an integral part of the Belichick, Weis, McDaniels system.
Scarnecchia was a fixture on the Patriots sideline. His presence will be missed. Knowing him like I do. I am sure he will still find a way to be involved in football. He has always been generous with his time off the field.
Congratulations on a great career Coach Scarnecchia.