Does Dante Scarnecchia retiring impact Tom Brady’s future?

Ryan Hannable
January 29, 2020 - 12:38 pm
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Every little thing that happens between now and March 18 with the Patriots will be connected to Tom Brady — someway, somehow.

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On Tuesday, that was long-time offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia retiring following spending 48 seasons coaching, including 36 in the NFL and 34 with the Patriots. There’s no question it’s a major loss for the organization, but does this news impact Brady’s decision on his future in any way?

The short answer is no, it doesn’t at all.

Brady is the quarterback, and the quarterback really doesn’t spend much time working with the offensive line, especially the offensive line coach. 

While Scarnecchia was an important piece to what the Patriots did as an offense, he wasn’t the offensive coordinator. This isn’t Josh McDaniels leaving. There really isn’t much communication when it comes to game-planning between quarterback and offensive line coach. Sure, Scarnecchia was loved inside the Gillette Stadium facility and was a tremendous coach and person, but just because he’s not returning to New England in 2020 doesn’t mean it decreases the chances of Brady re-signing.

Essentially, it would be like saying Devin McCourty is less likely to return to the Patriots because Bret Bielema is now in New York.

On the field, Brady would really not notice Scarnecchia not being there. The legendary coach absolutely made his players better, but it comes down to executing on the field. The Patriots and Scarnecchia likely prepared for his departure and whoever his replacement will be — potentially Carmen Bricillo or Cole Popovich — will have learned from the best and can pass the knowledge along.

It is also worth noting the unit will have several of its leaders returning — Marcus Cannon, Shaq Mason, and likely David Andrews. Not to mention first-round pick Isaiah Wynn coming off an offseason where he was healthy and can build on his first extended time in the league.

Joe Thuney will likely need to be replaced at left guard, but it isn’t like the offensive line is a disaster. Last season was not ideal due to injuries, but it should be a much improved unit in 2020, even without Scarnecchia.

Also, Scarnecchia took two years off in 2014 and 2015. While 2015, and the AFC title game against Denver in particular, wasn’t great for the offensive line, the Patriots did win the Super Bowl the year before. This isn’t discrediting Scarnecchia in any way, it’s just saying the Patriots and Brady have proven in the past they can win without him. 

Yes, every little thing that happens with the Patriots over the next several weeks will be connected to Brady, but this really doesn’t have any impact at all.

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