Patriots

Members of Patriots bid farewell to Dante Scarnecchia via Instagram

Members of Patriots bid farewell to Dante Scarnecchia via Instagram

Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia announced his retirement Tuesday, and he can't believe how far he's come.

“I’m 72 years old, I feel like it’s time," Scarnecchia said, according to Ian Rapoport. "It’s been an unbelievable career, I would’ve never expected anything close to this. We’ve been blessed for a 1000 different reasons."

Patriots owner Robert Kraft had some unbelievably incredible things to say about Scarnecchia in a recent statement released by the Patriots.

"Dante Scarnecchia has been unbelievable in every way. His contributions to our team and to the game of football are unprecedented over the last four decades," said Kraft. "As a coach, he was extraordinarily talented at teaching his players and bringing the most out of each of them. Dante put everything he had into helping his players achieve their maximum potential -- the mark of a great coach. Yet even more remarkable is the impact Dante has had on countless players, coaches and staff members who have walked through our doors. He modeled the principles he believed in through his hard work, diligence and integrity. He held himself accountable. He trained alongside his players. He treated everyone with respect. There truly is no way to sum up the incredible career he's had, the positive impact he's made on our franchise or how much he will be missed. We are forever grateful for Dante and wish him the absolutely best in his next chapter, along with his lovely wife Susan and his family. The New England Patriots are better because of Dante Scarnecchia, and he will always have a home with us."

And of course Bill Belichick also included a statement -- short and sweet.

"It was a privilege to coach with Dante for so long," said Belichick. "I knew that long before his initial retirement and throughout a second act of continued excellence. Dante is among the very best assistant coaches ever."

Talking about his "unbelievable career," multiple former and current Patriots bid farewell to Scarnecchia via Instagram -- wishing him nothing but the best in retirement.

Damien Woody, who spent his first five NFL seasons with the Patriots, had some high praise for Scarnecchia -- "this man taught me more about the game than I could ever imagine."

View this post on Instagram

Just saw the report that #Patriots OL coach Dante Scarnecchia is retiring. First let me say that it was a privilege to play and be coached by this man. From my predraft visit, where we sat through and watched the worst game of my college career (Syracuse), to my last game in a Pats uniform, this man taught me more about the game than I could ever imagine. Never relenting on the details, I always used to wonder why he was so damn hard on me my first couple yrs in the league and looking back on it...he did me a HUGE favor! That foundation is what carried me for 12 yrs in the #NFL and beyond. I want to thank coach from the bottom of my heart for helping turn a young pup from BC into a pro on and off the field...LUV!#patriotsnation

A post shared by Damien Woody (@damienwoody) on

David Andrews, who was unable to play last season due to blood clots, was also among the first people to thank Scarnecchia for all he's done in New England.

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Former Patriot, Trent Brown, also bid his former coach a farewell and even included the goat emoji because Scarnecchia simply is one of the greatest offensive line coaches in NFL history.

Scarnecchia has been with New England in a slew of different roles since 1982, and has been the offensive line coach since 1999.

He'll be greatly missed by not only members of the Patriots organization, but fans as well.

 

 

Patriots legend Tedy Bruschi perfectly sums up dilemma facing players in CBA vote

Patriots legend Tedy Bruschi perfectly sums up dilemma facing players in CBA vote

The NFL made headlines Wednesday when it was reported that a proposed collective bargaining agreement would alter the league's playoff format by adding a seventh qualifying team in each conference.

The extra playoff spot wasn't the only interesting change that could be adopted, though. In the proposal is a 17-game regular season and a three-game preseason. The current format, of course, has a 16-game regular season and four preseason games.

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It's not a really tough decision for the owners. But the players? That's a different story.

Former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi, who's now an NFL analyst on ESPN, perfectly summed up the dilemma facing the players with this 17-game season vote.

It's going to be a very interesting vote for the players.

The average career for an NFL player is less than three years, per CNBC, making a 17th game check pretty valuable. The older players, many of whom have already made enough money to live comfortably for the rest of their lives, probably prefer to stick with the 16-game schedule because another game is another chance of suffering a career-ending injury. Injuries obviously are hard for older players to recover from.

Difficult votes that split the older and younger players of a union is nothing new, but it will be fascinating to see which way the NFL Players Association goes when it comes to how many regular season games will be played in the new CBA.

Curran: Where things stand for Brady, Pats a month from free agency

Rob Ninkovich warns of Patriots domino effect if Tom Brady leaves in free agency

Rob Ninkovich warns of Patriots domino effect if Tom Brady leaves in free agency

The New England Patriots will be worse off in 2020 if Tom Brady leaves in free agency. That much is obvious.

But the ripple effects of Brady's departure may be felt for years to come.

The 42-year-old quarterback is one of several key Patriots players who will become free agents on March 18, including safety Devin McCourty and linebackers Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins.

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If Brady returns for a 21st season, it's possible at least one member of that defensive trio sticks around for another Super Bowl run.

If Brady signs elsewhere? Former Patriots defensive standout Rob Ninkovich believes the dominos could fall quickly in New England.

"If Tom doesn’t come back, I don’t know if those guys are going to want to stick around," Ninkovich told the Boston Herald's Karen Guregian on Wednesday. "Because what’s the outlook for the team? Is it a rebuilding phase? What happens moving forward?"

Ninkovich also noted head coach Bill Belichick may have a harder time executing the team-building model he's had so much success with over the years, as free agents would be less likely to take a pay cut to come to New England.

“That would be a hard sell. In years past, the Patriots have been able to get guys at a bargain, because it’s an older veteran, a guy who’s looking for a Super Bowl, for a playoff run," Ninkovich explained.

“They’re approached by the Patriots, who say, ‘Look, we’re not going to guarantee the biggest contract, but we’re going to give you an opportunity to play in the playoffs and Super Bowl if you’re interested. Ninety-nine percent of the guys are ‘yeah, I want some validation for my football career.' "

But would free agents be confident that Brady's replacement -- 23-year-old Jarrett Stidham, perhaps -- could keep the Patriots in Super Bowl contention? Ninkovich isn't so sure.

"It won’t be easy without Tom. It’ll definitely be a struggle," he said.

As our Patriots Insider Phil Perry recently pointed out, time is also working against Belichick as he (and the Patriots' other pending free agents) awaits Brady's free-agent decision.

On that front, Ninkovich believes there's a real chance the six-time Super Bowl champion signs elsewhere in March.

"My gut is telling me Tom is motivated to prove a lot of people wrong," Ninkovich added. " ... So it wouldn’t surprise me if he puts up the deuces to everybody, and tries to motivate himself to prove people wrong."

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