(Photo via USA Today Sports Images)
The New England Patriots continue to make noise on what is sure to be a busy offseason for the team. Two weeks after not renewing the contract of former offensive line coach Dave Deguiliamo, the Pats have brought former offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia out of retirement. Is Scar the savior for the Patriots line issues? We sure will find out. Scarrnecchia retired following the 2013 season after thirty plus years with the franchise. Now Bill Belichick is hoping to catch lightning in a bottle one more time.
Under Scarnnechia, the Patriots always found ways to come together as a unit. Scar turned former college wrestler Stephen Neal into a solid right guard. He developed center Dan Koppen from a raw fourth-round pick into a solid starting center. He did wonders with the development of Ryan Wendall, Matt Light, and Dan Connolly. Scar has young talent to work with on the interior line as Shaq Mason, Tre Jackson, and David Andrews had solid rookie campaigns. They along with Josh Kline and Brian Stork will be the centerpieces to the Patriots line. Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer should be back and healthy and with the hard-nosed Scarnecchia running the ship, things could be so bright, Tom Brady will have to wear shades.
Also, on Tuesday night, long-time defensive captain and linebacker Jerod Mayo anocunced his retirement on Instagram. Mayo who was drafted tenth overall by the Patriots in the 2008 draft was a stalwart on defense for eight seasons. Unfortunately, it looks like injuries slowed down a promising career. Each of the last three seasons Mayo has ended the season on injured reserve. The retirement of Mayo will save the Patriots roughly seven million dollars against this year’s cap. Teammate Donta Hightower said before the AFC Championship game that Mayo could step right in as a defensive coordinator. With the Patriots in need of a linebacker coach, perhaps Mayo is the answer. Former Belichick players Pepper Johnson and Mike Vrabel both made the transition to successful defensive assistants. One thing is for sure today’s news will not be the end of the team’s transformation from 2015 to 2016.
Listen to Inside the Hoodie with myself and Bobby Krivitsky as we break down the Patriots.