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."

Why Stephon Gilmore thinks Cam Newton was 'great signing' for Patriots

Why Stephon Gilmore thinks Cam Newton was 'great signing' for Patriots

If you want to know how talented Cam Newton is, just ask the players tasked with defending him.

Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore was one of those players before Newton signed a one-year contract last week to become his New England teammate. When asked what he thought of the Patriots signing Newton, Gilmore seemed relieved he wouldn't have to deal with the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback on another team.

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"It was a great signing," Gilmore told host Bakari Sellers on The Ringer's "The Bakari Sellers Podcast." "I think Cam's very hungry. I've always been a Cam fan. I think he's hard to prepare against and he has a great opportunity to compete for a starting job. I'm looking forward to seeing him on our team."

What makes Newton so difficult to prepare against? Gilmore mentioned there aren't many signal-callers who boast the 6-foot-5, 245-pound quarterback's combination of size, strength and running ability.

"I think he's his own unique player," Gilmore said. "Obviously he can run the ball, he can throw it. Anytime you can do both of those things, it's hard to get ready for a certain thing, so he always keeps you off guard.

"He's very hungry this year. I think he's healthy now, so I'm just looking forward to him helping our team out."

Newton went unsigned for months after the Carolina Panthers released him in March due to apparent concerns about shoulder and foot injuries that caused him to miss 16 games over the last two seasons. But the 31-year-old already has been working out with his new Patriots wide receivers and seems eager to prove his doubters wrong this season.

As for Gilmore: The reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year is putting in the work as he prepares to deal with Newton in practices this season.

Patrick Mahomes sets sights on Tom Brady's Patriots Super Bowl record

Patrick Mahomes sets sights on Tom Brady's Patriots Super Bowl record

Not one; not two; not three...

Patrick Mahomes guided the Kansas City Chiefs to a Super Bowl title in just his third NFL season and was rewarded this offseason with the richest contract in North American sports, a 10-year deal worth a total of more than $500 million.

The Chiefs quarterback has lofty goals for those next 10 years -- one of which includes catching the GOAT.

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During an interview with ESPN over the weekend from the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament, Mahomes admitted he has his sights set on matching Tom Brady's six Super Bowl championships with the New England Patriots, the most of any player in NFL history.

“I don’t know if there is a number," Mahomes told ESPN's Nicole Briscoe. "Obviously, you try and chase greatness and Tom has six. I'm going to try and do whatever I can to get to that number."

"I understand how hard that is, how it was a one-of-a-kind thing for Tom to be able to get to nine Super Bowls and win six of them. I'm just going to go about the process every single day of trying to make myself better and do whatever I can to make the Kansas City Chiefs better."

The 24-year-old Mahomes technically is on pace with Brady: The current Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB won his first title with New England at age 24. That said, Brady didn't win his sixth championship until his 19th NFL season at age 41, and that was while playing for the greatest coach in NFL history on arguably the greatest modern dynasty in professional sports.

Mahomes might as well set lofty goals, though: He's already won NFL MVP and Super Bowl MVP awards and is the league's best quarterback on a Chiefs team returning much of its Super Bowl roster.

Mahomes has a very long way to go to reach Brady's level of success, but his comments are another reminder that the ex-Patriots QB has set the standard for greatness.

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