Patriots

Dante Scarnecchia hints at new Patriots offensive line coaching structure

Dante Scarnecchia hints at new Patriots offensive line coaching structure

Dante Scarnecchia reportedly helped the New England Patriots at this year's NFL Scouting Combine, but he's not coming out of retirement a second time.

How do we know this? Because the former Patriots offensive line coach has already named his successors.

In a recent interview with ESPN's Mike Reiss, Scarnecchia all but confirmed that Patriots assistants Cole Popovich and Carmen Bricillo will coach the offensive line in tandem this season.

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"They're both really good coaches and both really good people. Very, very smart guys," Scarnecchia told Reiss. "I know no one has been named, and there are reasons for that, but clearly those are the two guys that are going to do it, and I think they'll do an outstanding job.

"The other thing is they know the players. It's not like they're new, coming in from the outside. They've both been around there -- especially Cole, who has been in the system for five years. Carm for one."

The Patriots' official website (which has never been heavy on details) still lists Scarnecchia as the team's offense line coach. Popovich is listed as New England's assistant running backs coach, while Bricillo is labeled a "coaching assistant."

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Both assistant coaches have experience on the offensive line, though: Popovich was the offensive line coach at Minot State for two seasons until joining the Patriots in 2015, while Bricillo spent nine years as Youngstown State's offensive line coach before coming to New England in 2019.

The Patriots went outside the organization to replace Scarnecchia the first time he retired, naming Dave DeGuglielmo their offensive line coach in 2014. DeGuglielmo lasted just two seasons in New England, though, and it appears the Patriots are promoting from within this time to replace the legendary Scarnecchia -- who, to be clear, is not coming back in 2020.

"I've done it for 48 years. I think that's plenty," Scarnecchia told Reiss, "and I'm really, really grateful for every day, every year of those 48, and all the things it's provided us."

Cam Newton opens up about replacing Tom Brady, excitement about Patriots offense

Cam Newton opens up about replacing Tom Brady, excitement about Patriots offense

I don’t know when we’ll get to hear from Patriots quarterback Cam Newton. My suspicion is it will be later rather than sooner.

But everything we’ve wondered since the Patriots signed him? Everything we’ve theorized might change with the Patriots offense? Everything we wondered about Newton following Tom Brady?

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Newton hit it during a YouTube show with Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz and Todd Gurley that posted on Monday.

The hour-long program jumps from topic to topic and it’s not until about the 34-minute mark where Newton begins discussing joining the Patriots.

After a little talk about motivation (we knew he was motivated) and perceived disrespect (also knew that), Newton hit on actual football and succeeding Tom Brady in what I thought was the meatiest part of the piece.

“We have to talk about the elephant in the room,” said Newton. “And it’s like, ‘You know who you coming after?’ And it’s like, ‘Yeah. Great.’

“What he was, what he is? Is great. Needs no … even … talking about it.

“But one thing about it though, ‘Coach (Josh) McDaniels, you able to call some stuff you ain’t ever been able to call now. You getting a dog. You getting one of these ticked off dogs too, that like bruh.”

Newton began pretending to read off a sheet of paper.

“And I’m looking at the schedule like, “Who we playing? THAT team passed on me. THAT team passed on me, they coulda came and got me. THEY hollered at me. I even asked my agent, like, ‘Yo what’s up with …” Bro. I’m gonna take this time with the COVID and I’m gonna commit to myself.”

Newton also related how he got the news the Patriots were coming after him.

“My agent hit me, I was — no cap — I was working out and he was like, ‘Hey man, we just got interest from a team.’

“And I’m like, ‘OK, who?’

“And he was like New ENGLAND …”

The camera cuts to Beckham, who sits up straight in his chair.

Newton continued, “I said, ‘Hold on. How, how is me and Belichick gonna mesh? You know what I’m saying?’ ”

“That was the first thing I thought!” Cruz interjected.

“Because it’s like perception…” said Newton.

OBJ then cut in with a minute-long verbal journey to nowhere before concluding with, “So for me, watching you and now to feel that vindication and to be going to Belichick, there is no, like, ‘How is it gonna work?’ For me, all he wanna do is put you in a position to succeed and I’m happy to see it.”

Odell Beckham Jr. had more praise for Bill Belichick in Cam Newton sit-down

Odell Beckham Jr. had more praise for Bill Belichick in Cam Newton sit-down

Odell Beckham Jr. recently insisted he's staying with the Cleveland Browns this season, and we'll take him at his word.

But the star wide receiver still really, really likes New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.

Beckham posted a sit-down conversation Monday on YouTube featuring himself, former wide receiver Victor Cruz, running back Todd Gurley and new Patriots quarterback Cam Newton.

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When the discussion turned to Newton and how he'd "mesh" with Belichick in New England, Beckham piped up to insist perception isn't reality with the Patriots coach, and that Belichick will help Newton thrive in New England.

 

"Watching you and now to feel that vindication and to be going to Belichick, there is no, 'How is it going to work?' " Beckham told Newton. "For me, all he wants to do is put you in a place to succeed. And I'm happy to see it."

While some players (looking at you, Lane Johnson) view Belichick as a curmudgeonly autocrat who hates fun, Beckham is a fan of Belichick who knows what the head coach can get out of his players.

Beckham's opinion is nothing new: Cleveland.com's Mary Kay Cabot recently told our Tom E. Curran that Beckham has long been enamored with Belichick and Tom Brady's success in New England and "always wistfully wished he could be a part of that" from afar.

After Brady left New England this offseason, it was hard to envision Beckham scrambling to catch passes from Jarrett Stidham. But Newton and Beckham are close and have worked out together several times this offseason, so perhaps Beckham's "wistful" thoughts of joining the Patriots will return.