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Dante Scarnecchia gives updates on Marcus Cannon, Trent Brown, state of offensive line

Ryan Hannable
August 28, 2018 - 12:58 pm

FOXBORO -- Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia has been around the game a long time, so when he says a group is a good group, it certainly means something.

Speaking to reporters at Gillette Stadium Tuesday, the 70-year-old praised the entire unit, much of which is the same as last year.

“I think they have a really good work ethic. All of them," he said. "I’ve told this to this group, all these linemen — this is a really good group of guys. For the most part they have stayed out there and really worked hard to develop their skills and become better players."

On the interior, Joe Thuney, Shaq Mason and David Andrews all return from last year and then Trent Brown has been added to the mix at left tackle. At right tackle, Marcus Cannon hasn't been on the field much this summer, so it has been LaAdrian Waddle in that spot.

Cannon returned to practice Monday, but only on a limited basis. Even though he's yet to be a full participant, it's a good sign for his availability Week 1.

“It’s frustrating very much for Marcus because he wants to be out there, but what are you going to do? You just keep working at it and hope things get better," Scarnecchia said. "He’s out there now. He’s not doing team stuff, he’s doing individual stuff. That is a start. We’ll just bring him along and hopefully get Marcus to be Marcus.”

As for Brown, he's played mostly right tackle in his career, but has made the switch to left tackle and performed quite well.

"He definitely has skills to play out there, there’s no doubt," Scarnecchia said. "He’s long. He’s big. He’s a powerful guy. We like what we see and we’ll just have to see how it looks when everything gets going.”

For the most part, all of the unit has been on the field this summer, which has made the long-time coach happy.

“We’ve been able to keep four of them out there the whole time, and that’s a good thing," he said. "The inside three guys were like they were last year. They have just played together for a long time in this league, really. They understand what’s to be expected of one another. They’re also working really, really well together. And I really appreciate tat. As it goes, Joe, and his interaction with Trent, that’s getting better. Less mystery over there. Trent, I think as you can see, has got some dynamic skills. And he’s working hard to be a really good player on every down. I think that’s been something that’s been encouraging as we’ve gone on.”

It would seem like Cannon, Brown, Thuney, Andrews, Waddle, Mason and Ted Karras are locks, and then Ulrick John, Matt Tobin and James Ferentz are battling for the final spot.

Related: 4 players missing from Patriots practice