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."
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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
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.
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.