Patriots Coach Dante Scarnecchia Sends Wake-Up Call to Anthony Castonzo, Boston College Linemen


Patriots Coach Dante Scarnecchia Sends Wake-Up Call to Anthony Castonzo, Boston College Linemen CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — For a half-hour last Wednesday, a handful of offensive linemen were immersed into Dante Scarnecchia's NFL world.

Scarnecchia, the Patriots' legendary offensive line coach, barked out orders during Boston College's pro day, and he woke the masses with the intensity of the drills. They started out by stretching and testing their flexibility before Scarnecchia led a pep talk for about 10-15 minutes, and then the half-dozen offensive linemen got straight to blocking drills.

"He was coaching us up," Boston College tackle Anthony Castonzo said. "It was like a practice. It wasn't like he was running us through drills. He was actually coaching us, so it was nice. I learned some stuff out there."

Castonzo will be a first-round pick, and Scarnecchia paid extra close attention to him, especially since it's unclear when or if the other attending linemen will be selected. At the very least, each player under Scarnecchia's tutelage received a big wakeup call about the increased intensity of an NFL practice.

"He pushed you through drills," BC interior lineman Thomas Claiborne said. "He kept pushing, pushing, pushing, but he's a good guy. He's got a lot of insight.

"The drills, he said they weren't going to be very conditioned, but I was breaking a little sweat, and I was out there breathing a little heavy. It was good. It was all in good fun."

Scarnecchia's presence at the pro day doesn't necessarily mean the Patriots have a heavy interest in Castonzo — who is represented by agent Tom Condon, a thorn in the Patriots' side since he led the Ben Watson negotiations — but it was a good sign for Castonzo. Even if the Pats were playing a poker game and trying to publicly portray their interest in Castonzo, it shows the strong likelihood that he gets taken in the middle of the first round.

Giants offensive line coach Pat Flaherty was also at BC's pro day — Scarnecchia and Flaherty were the only two coaches of the 20 NFL personnel members who were scheduled to be in attendance — and got his turn to lead some drills. He just didn't have the same command over the crew as the 63-year-old Scarnecchia, who had 40 years on the prospects he worked into the ground.

"[Scarnecchia] actually said we could have been out here for an hour," Castonzo said. "We were having fun. He commended us that we were working hard out there. He looked like he was having a lot of fun out there. He said he loves to see guys work."

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