It will be challenging, if not impossible, for the Patriots to replace Dante Scarnecchia.
But since this offseason also saw Tom Brady flee New England, the now-former offensive line coach choosing to retire is a big departure that has flown under the radar a bit.
Scarnecchia, now 72 years old, decided the 2019 season would be his last coaching, retiring for the second time. As a result, Cole Popovich and Carmen Bricillo will take over as the coaches of New England’s offensive line.
In a conversation with ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Scarnecchia explained why he’s confident the duo will be able to succeed.
“They’re both really good coaches and both really good people. Very, very smart guys,” Scarnecchia said. “I know no one has been named, and there are reasons for that, but clearly those are the two guys that are going to do it, and I think they’ll do an outstanding job. The other thing is they know the players. It’s not like they’re new, coming in from the outside. They’ve both been around there — especially Cole, who has been in the system for five years. Carm for one.”
Popovich and Bricillo have a tall task in front of them, but they will benefit from the return of center David Andrews, who already has had some high expectations set for him in 2020.