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Scarnecchia Returns To Patriots

Most teams go into the offseason on the search for new players to improve their teams, but this time New England got better by convincing a former coach to come out of retirement and mold their young group of offensive linemen. Dante Scarnecchia returns to the Patriots after a brief two-year retirement and will be asked to get this line to play more consistently.

2014 started off rough for the Patriots offensive line, but they were able to figure things out and by Week Five they were back on track en route to their fourth Super Bowl win in history, an accomplishment that had a lot to do with the aforementioned five up front. When Bill Belichick spent draft picks last April on guards Tre' Jackson and Shaq Mason, many figured the offensive line was just going to get better with the infusion of young talent and Tom Brady would continue to flourish behind a wall of Patriots. Unfortunately for Brady, Patriots fans, and former offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo, injuries and a lack on continuity killed their typical consistency and it ultimately cost them their season when they couldn't block Von Miller and the Broncos defensive line in the AFC Championship.

Bill Belichick had clearly had enough and decided it was time to make a change and hire a new o-line coach. Sometimes adding someone new isn't the best plan, so Belichick decided to try and bring back the man who established the consistency New England needs up front- Dante Scarnecchia. Scarnecchia seemed to enjoy his retirement, but football coaches always have to itch to come back. Belichick knows this so he did what all New England fans wanted- he offered Scar his old job back. Although it was a surprise to some, it wasn't to those who understand how hard it is to walk away from the game, especially when they still have good years left. 

Scarnecchia inherits a line with many familiar faces, and he also gets a chance to work with the aforementioned talented young guards in Tre' Jackson and Shaq Mason. New England will most likely draft at least two offensive lineman, preferably tackles, so not only will Scarnecchia help last year's draft picks improve their games, he'll also help the incoming class of lineman. Another thing that can't be discounted- Scar's knowledge of holdovers like Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer; he developed them from the moment they came into the league and when they are having technical issues, he will pick up on it faster than anyone and fix the problem.

Scarnecchia coached the Patriots special teams and tight ends from 1982-1988, following then head coach Ron Meyers from SMU, where he coached the offensive line for two seasons. When Meyers was hired as the head coach of the Colts in 1989, Scarnecchia left New England to be promoted to the offensive line coach for the Colts. He only lasted two season in Indy and returned to New England, coaching special teams, defense, and eventually settling in as offensive line coach in 1999. Scarnecchia retired upon the completion of his 30th NFL season in 2013 and will be returning for his 31st in 2016.

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