Dante Scarnecchia Retires After Hall Of Fame Caliber Career
For those of you that don't know, Dante Scarnecchia is the greatest position coach of all time. I know that sounds like hyperbole and homerism, but I really believe it. "Scar" spent 32 years on the New England coaching staff and another two in Indianapolis. He's been part of 10 Super Bowls and has five rings. While his career has spanned generations and he's taken home some accolades, he's largely flown under the radar, even in the New England area. Such is the nature of the offensive line. You don't want to be noticed much, because if you are, it's because you aren't doing what you need to be.
When Scarnecchia first retired from 2014-2015, the impact was felt. His replacement, Dave DeGuglielmo, did an awesome job with the Super Bowl winning group of 2014 but fell flat in 2015 when the offensive line just could not protect Tom Brady from pressure at all and it ultimately led to their demise. At that time, fans were quietly hoping for a Scarnecchia return and he obliged, giving us four more years. The offensive line played very well from 2016-2018 and the Pats went to three more Super Bowls, winning two.
In 2019, the offensive line struggled mightily as the Patriots dealt with losses in free agency and to injury. The success of that position group really does go hand-in-hand with whether or not a team can win it all, and the Patriots, of course, did not. Still, I think everyone had all the faith in the world that Scarnecchia would be able to coach up that unit and improve them back to where they need to be in 2020. However, the Patriots will be looking to replace the legend and hoping for the best. It could be a struggle, and when you are planning to have a soon-to-be 43-year-old quarterback dropping back from under center, the importance of a good line cannot be overstated.
Selfishly, I want Scar to remain with the Patriots as long as we have a window to win. Of course, he deserves to retire on his terms. He's accomplished enough in this game that I believe he should eventually be the first position coach ever elected to the Pro Football Hall Of Fame. Enjoy relaxation, Coach. Even though this one will probably stick, we'll keep the door open for you.