A day after Tom Brady called Patriots assistant Dante Scarnecchia the “greatest offensive line coach in history,” New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels added his voice to the praise.
The Patriots’ offensive line delivered a dominant effort against the Chiefs in the AFC Championship, opening huge holes for the running game and keeping Brady from being sacked even once. That unit will likely significantly figure into how New England fares in the Super Bowl as the Los Angeles Rams’ defensive line is among the best in the sport.
“Scar is an extremely hard worker. I don’t think anybody works harder than him and we have a lot of guys that work hard here,” McDaniels said. “He is incredibly well-prepared and detailed in his preparation for the opponent and in terms of his preparation for the players that he’s responsible for coaching on a daily basis. He’s extremely thorough. He’s a great communicator and a great teacher of the fundamental aspects of the game of football. Any player would tell you that in order to be good in this league, you’re going to have to be good fundamentally and technically and nobody’s a better teacher that I’ve worked with on that stuff than Dante.
“He’s a great part of our staff. He’s helpful in every way to all the assistant coaches that work with him and he’s a competitive guy that wants to do well in every area that he’s responsible for and does anything and everything he can to help us win,” McDaniels continued. I can’t say enough about the type of person he is, the type of coach he is, what he’s meant to me and the other guys on our staff and me personally throughout my entire career because I was young when I came over here on the offensive side and I’ve learned more from Dante than I can possibly describe. He’s just a great teacher, great person, great, great football coach.”
With the exception of two seasons where he retired (2014 and 2015) and then returned, Scarnecchia has been with the Patriots in varying capacities since 1991.
“Dante is the greatest offensive line coach in the history of the NFL, and he gets those guys playing so well together,” Brady said on his weekly WEEI interview Monday morning. “Their communication is just...to go through yesterday’s game without a penalty or a false start, I mean that crowd noise last night was almost deafening on every play.”
Belichick lauds McVay
The comparisons between New England Patriots’ grizzled veteran coach Bill Belichick and the Rams’ young Sean McVay figure to be prominent in the two weeks leading up to Super Bowl LIII on Feb. 3 in Atlanta.
Belichick, 66, used his first media appearance since the AFC Championship to praise his 32-year-old counterpart. McVay was the youngest coach ever in the National Football League when he was hired at age 30 and he’ll be the youngest coach ever to coach in the Super Bowl. He turned the Rams from a struggling franchise to NFC champs in two season.
Count Belichick, the second-oldest coach in the league at 66, among McVay’s growing list of admirers.
“I have a ton of respect for Sean. He’s done a great job in the two years he’s been with the Rams,” Belichick said on a conference call Tuesday. “His teams have performed at an extremely high level. They’re very consistent, they’re well coached. He has a great scheme. The players execute it on a consistent basis at a very high level.
“He’s got a great coaching staff on offense, defense and special teams. They’re good in every area. Coach McVay has done a tremendous job,” Belichick continued. “He’s got a great team. They’re going to be very hard to beat. We’re going to compete against them and do the best we can to be ready to go a week from Sunday, but I think he’s done an outstanding job.”
Belichick is attempting to become the oldest coach to win a Super Bowl. The current honor belongs to Tom Coughlin, who beat Belichick in 2012, at age 65.
Patriots defensive line coach Brendan Daly echoed his boss.
“They’ve done a fantastic job. They have an offense that’s very balanced. They’re versatile,” Daly said. “They present a lot of problems with their personnel and their scheme. It’s interesting to see them adapt and evolve over the course of the season. They’ve had some injury situations they’ve handled rather seamlessly ... They’re explosive. They’re able to score points. They’re able to play the game a number of different ways and they’ve been extremely effectively.”