Patriots

Patriots

FOXBORO -- Every so often following Patriots training camp practice, offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia will tell his players to plant their flag, so to speak. 

That's when the hoard of 300-pounders under his direction will ever-so-carefully line up their helmets on the turf before a quick meeting or a cool-down stretch. All facing in the same direction, the helmets are placed side-by-side as though arranged with the delicate touch of an interior designer hell-bent on leveling out a living room painting.

It's a quick exercise -- one that the Patriots offensive line performed following Wednesday's walk-through with the Bears -- but it's an indication of Scarnecchia's style: Everything should be done with a purpose, it should be organized, and it should focus on the details. 

Back with the Patriots after a two-year retirement, Scarnecchia is tasked with rebuilding a unit that was forced to use more than 40 different combinations in 2015, according to Pro Football Focus, 13 more than any other team. 

It appears as though he's close to settling on a five-man unit, his goal from the outset of camp, and he has three-and-a-half weeks to prepare them to protect Jimmy Garoppolo in Week 1 against the blitz-happy Cardinals. 

It's a relatively daunting task, but if it's going to get done, it's going to get done Scarnecchia's way. The end of Thursday's practice provided onlookers a small window into just what Scarnecchia's way entails.