The major speculation for the New England Patriots as they enter the offseason is the future of superstar quarterback Tom Brady. Today, we learned that the team will be losing one legendary figure for sure: offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia.
The 71-year old Scarnecchia is widely regarded as one of the greatest offensive line coaches of all time. He was on staff for five of the franchise’s six Super Bowl victories during the Brady-Bill Belichick dynasty.
After a tenure with the famous Pony Express SMU teams, Scarnecchia coached special teams and tight ends with the Patriots from 1982-88. He briefly left for the Indianapolis Colts, but returned in 1991. He became the team’s offensive line coach in 1999, and held that post through 2013, gaining the assistant head coach tag under Belichick along the way.
Dante Scarnecchia retired after the 2013 season, but returned in 2016, helping the team win its last two Super Bowls.
Now, it sounds like he’s retiring for good. He confirmed the move to ESPN’s Mike Reiss.
I just spoke briefly with Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia, who confirms he is retiring. This was first reported by @christianfauria. Scarnecchia, who is a longtime Patriots fixture, plans to remain in the area.
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) January 28, 2020
Former Patriot Christian Fauria reportedly broke the news while on WEEI.
"I am hearing that Dante Scarnecchia has retired. It's just not official yet and they already know who is going to be his replacement" pic.twitter.com/ukstIKx38O
— OMF (@OMFonWEEI) January 28, 2020
This is a major loss for the Patriots, who have often had one of the best offensive lines in the league. He did solid work with this year’s group as well, even after losing starting center just days before the start of the season, after he was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism.
Whatever happens with Brady, there is already a huge hole for Belichick to plug entering the 2020 season with this news.