Legendary Patriots Offensive Line Coach to Retire

As if there weren’t enough moving pieces for the Patriots this off season, it looks like the team is about to take it’s biggest hit so far.

According to WEEI co-host and former Patriot Christian Fauria, veteran offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia will be retiring.

There’s no sugarcoating this one: this is a massive hit to the Patriots offense. Protecting the quarterback is arguably the most vital part of a functioning offense and Scarnecchia was a elite at making sure that happened. Whether he was using former first-round picks or third-stringers, the offensive line would more often than not round into form as the season went on.

Tom Brady was sacked only 27 times last year, and that was with a back-up (and sometimes even third-string) center as well as a left tackle who was coming off of an injury. No matter what the situation, Scarnecchia always seemed to have a cure for whatever ailment the offensive line had.

This move could have dire consequences that go beyond the offensive line itself as well. It’s very possible that a certain 42-year-old quarterback is looking at this news and wondering what the state of his O-line will be if he chooses to come back to the Pats now that Scarnecchia won’t be there. Brady isn’t getting any younger and he’s going to want to know that he will be protected if he’s going to be dropping back for the Patriots next season.

Scar has been coaxed out of retirement before by the Patriots though, so there is still some modicum of hope that could happen, but if the 71-year-old really is calling it quits, the Patriots need to find his replacement as soon as possible.

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