Scarnecchia has O-line ready for anything


Scarnecchia has O-line ready for anything

There was no update on Logan Mankins' knee during a conference call on Monday with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien. His status for Week 17 is still unknown. What is known, though, is that the Patriots' healthy offensive linemen stepped up during the second half of Saturday's 27-24 win over the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium.

Much of the praise has been given to players like Donald Thomas and rookie Marcus Cannon, who had to be thrown right into the fire after Matt Light was a late inactive and Mankins left late in the first quarter.

But beyond the on-field execution were the adjustments that New England's O-line made at the half. And those adjustments were made by offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia, who got plenty of praise from his fellow coaches on Monday.

"We have a lot of depth up there, because we bring in guys that are multiple-position guys," said O'Brien. "They're smart guys and they're tough guys, and then Dante gets them ready to play. So when one guy goes down, it's really the next-guy-up mentality. "

That mentality can easily be credited to the players for being ready when called upon. But the guy that keeps them prepared and in the right mindset is Scarnecchia.

"I have a tremendous amount of respect for Dante, and what he's done in his career," said O'Brien. "He's a guy that I've learned a lot from. He really helps me a lot during games. I rely on him quite a bit. He's a no-nonsense guy, he's a very direct guy, and we have a good relationship, it's an open relationship. And I enjoy working with him. He does a hell of a job."

Veteran offensive lineman Brian Waters echoed those sentiments after Saturday's come-from-behind win against the Dolphins.

"He's a great coach, flat out," said Waters on Saturday. "And he's going to always preach that you've got to be ready to go. No matter what the situation is, he always makes sure those guys get reps during the course of the week and that they're always prepared. He's as tough on those guys as he is on anybody, to make sure that they're prepared and ready to go."

And according to Belichick on Monday, there's certainly a reason why Scarnecchia is the only coach in Patriots franchise history to be a member of all six teams that went to the Super Bowl.
"Dante does a great job for us and he has since Ive been here," Belichick said Monday. "We go back quite a ways back to the 96 season here. Dante, as Ive said many times before, is really just an outstanding coach at every level whether its working with experienced players or developing young players or game planning against sophisticated schemes or teaching the most basic techniques to rookies, undrafted players, things like that.
"He really is very thorough, well prepared, smart, communicates well with his players . . . I have a lot of confidence in him. Hes done a great job all the years that Ive been here. Im fortunate to have him as part of the staff."

Roethlisberger responds to Edelman comments: 'We've got our trophies'

Roethlisberger responds to Edelman comments: 'We've got our trophies'

On Monday, Julian Edelman took a light shot at the Steelers when asked about Antonio Brown streaming Mike Tomlin’s postgame speech on Facebook Live. 

"That's how that team is run," Edelman said on WEEI Monday. "I personally don't think that would be something that would happen in our locker room, but hey, whatever. Some people like red and some people like blue. Some people like tulips and some people like roses. Whatever."

Ben Roethlisberger, one of the players who was speaking during Brown’s video, was asked to respond to Edelman’s comments Wednesday. He did so by saying the Steelers are run in a manner that’s gotten them six Super Bowl championships. 

“I don’t think I need to speak much,” Roethlisberger said. “We’ve got our trophies out there. I’ve got owners that I think are the best in the business. They’re family to us, and I’m sure if he talked to his owner, he would say the same thing about the Rooneys. Anybody in here in the football world or the regular world that owns the Rooneys knows what they stand for. It’s a blessing to call them a family.”

Brown, whose actions were admonished by Tomlin Tuesday, could be fined if the NFL determines that he violated the league’s social media policy. The policy is as follows: 

"The use of social media by coaches, players, and other club football operations personnel is prohibited on game day (including halftime) beginning 90 minutes before kickoff until after the post-game locker room is open to the media and players have first fulfilled their obligation to be available to the news media who are at the game."

Brown apologizes for 'distraction' caused by Facebook Live video

Brown apologizes for 'distraction' caused by Facebook Live video

Pittsburgh Steelers wideout Antonio Brown posted an apology on social media Tuesday night for his Facebook Live video that has caused a stir over the last few days.

"I let my emotions and genuine excitement get the best of me, and I wanted to share that moment with our fans," said Brown in a statement on his Twitter. ""It was wrong of me to do, against team and NFL policy, and I have apologized to Coach Tomlin and my teammates for my actions.

"I'm sorry to them for letting it become a distraction and something that they've had to answer questions about while we're preparing for a big game on Sunday."

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said on Tuesday that he has “absolutely no worries on the video's effect" on Sunday's game against the Patriots, but it was "selfish and inconsiderate" of his star wide receiver.

Brown could still be fined for violating the league's social-media policy. The policy states that players, coaches and football operations personnel are banned from using social media on game days 90 minutes before kickoff, during games, and before "traditional media interviews."