By: Christine Roy
Heading into his 30th year with the team, New England Patriots coach Dante Scarnecchia has been Bill Belichick’s secret weapon. (USA TODAY Sports)
It’s no secret that for the past few years, the Patriots have dominated defenses throughout the league. In 2012 they finished the season as the top ranked offense averaging 34.8 points per game. When Tom Brady was on the money, there was no defense that could stop this offense.
Scarnecchia has become a staple on the Patriots sideline, and a valuable one at that. (FILE:USPresswire)
But there’s more to the story than passing yards and touchdowns. Thanks to the hard working front five on the offensive line, Brady has time to set up his passes and the running backs have holes to break through. The man behind this sometimes overlooked part of the team, is Dante Scarnecchia.
With 43 years of experience, Scarnecchia has become a staple on the Patriots sidelines. The 65-year-old is the longest tenured coach in Patriots history and the only one who has been a part of all seven championship teams. He’s entering his 30th season with the team and is showing no signs of slowing down. His main focus is on the offensive line and it’s his knowhow that makes all the difference.
Across the board, the Patriots were top ten in all categories when it came to offensive rankings for the 2012 season. Injuries did plague the Patriots at times, but as per usual with this team, the next man on the totem pole stepped in and went to work.
This season the offensive line gave up 31 sacks, good enough for ninth in the regular season. On those sacks they gave up 172 yards which put them at sixth in the league. Quantifying the success of an offensive line can be difficult but one thing you can say about the Patriots is they’re consistent. Dating back to 2009 they haven’t fallen below 10th in the league when it comes to sacks allowed. In a time when rosters and coaches change with the slightest breeze, this team has held firm to its roots.
For the Patriots, it’s not just the stats that matter. We’ve heard Bill Belichick say over and over again at his post game press conferences that it’s any team, on any given Sunday. It’s about going out there and playing your best football week after week. Scarnecchia gives the Patriots the ability to do that on a regular basis. He has worked with some of the greatest players the Patriots have seen and he’s also created something out of nothing when it seems all hope is lost.
Consistency is the way the Patriots win football games. They have a strong crop of talent and an even better coaching staff. Where they’ll be when Scarnecchia decides to call it quits…well, lets just not think about that just yet.
He has a mind that equals Belichick’s and the two are a duo to be reckoned with when it comes to football IQ. Not to mention the guy looks like he can keep pace with just about any player on the field. The Patriots are lucky to have such a coach on their sidelines and in the years to come, it will be his influence that will help him continue creating some of the best offensive linemen in the game.