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."

Patriots represented at Stanford, Utah, Missouri pro days


Patriots represented at Stanford, Utah, Missouri pro days

The Patriots had a busy day of gathering intel on Thursday. A very busy day. 

While Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia represented the Patriots at Ohio State and Notre Dame, respectively, the team had other representatives at high-profile pro days around the country including Stanford, Missouri and Utah. 

Here are a few of the players the Patriots were able to get a better look at . . . 

Stanford: The Patriots have shown plenty of interest in players coming from David Shaw's program in the past (Cameron Fleming, Jordan Richards), and they'll undoubtedly appreciate the talents brought to the table by two of the school's projected first-rounders in Solomon Thomas and Christian McCaffrey. Thomas is a powerful 6-foot-3, 273-pound defensive lineman who can play just about anywhere up front. McCaffrey, meanwhile, is one of the most athletic running backs in this year's class. He worked out as a receiver on Thursday and could fill a multitude of roles as a pro, whether it's as a back, a slot receiver or a kick-returner. The Patriots would need to trade back into the first round to have a prayer at landing either player. 

Utah: The Utes have a handful of draftable offensive linemen and one who is expected to come off the board in the first round. Garrett Bolles, who lit up the combine, might be the top tackle available -- and there are those who believe he's just starting to tap into his potential. Isaac Asiata is a monster guard (6-3, 323, 34-inch arms) who put up more bench-press reps than any other offensive lineman at this year's combine, and center JJ Dielman is an intriguing later-round option. One of the quickest risers in the pre-draft process? Marcus Williams, who is an eye-popping athlete. He was top-five for those at his position at the combine in the vertical, broad jump and three-cone drill, and he looks like a ready-made NFL free safety. The Patriots are pretty well stocked at that spot, but if they're picking at the bottom of the first round and going with the best player available, they may very well think that's Williams. 

Missouri: Defensive players were in focus for scouts and coaches at the Tigers pro day, and Charles Harris was the headliner. One of the most impressive players within a very deep class of edge defenders, the 6-3, 253-pounder appears to have the quickness and burst to give NFL tackles fits. One of Harris' teammates up front, Josh Augusta, ran a pretty ridiculous 40-yard dash Thursday, clocking in just a shade under five seconds. Ridiculous, why? Because he's a defensive tackle who wighed 390 pounds during the season. That's moving. Augusta dropped down to 347 after being diagnosed with a thyroid issue in January and is looking to get to 335. Corner Aarion Penton can competes well for the football, but his size (5-9, 177) may scare teams off until late in the draft. 

Curran: Patriots, Darrelle Revis have not discussed deal

Curran: Patriots, Darrelle Revis have not discussed deal

The Patriots and Darrelle Revis have not discussed a deal that would bring the cornerback back to New England, according to CSNNE's Tom Curran.

This comes after CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reported multiple anonymous NFL executives were convinced Revis would return to the Patriots.

Revis spent one season with the Patriots in 2014 when New England won Super Bowl XLIX. However, the Patriots did not pick up Revis' second-year option in the following offseason, and he elected to sign with the New York Jets in free agency. He played 14 games in 2015 and 15 games in 2016. He finished last season with 53 tackles, five pass deflections and one interception

The 31-year-old cornerback declined significantly during the 2016 season. Even Tom Brady said he noticed Revis was struggling phyiscally in the Patriots' Week 12 win over the Jets.

"I know he's not feeling great," Brady said in November. "I could see after the game, he winced a few times getting up. It looked like his leg was bothering him a little bit. But he's still very close on a lot of those plays. Even though you're hitting them, he's still very competitive.

"He's been one of the great players in the league for a long time. He's given up more plays this year than in the past, but you've gotta have a lot of respect for his style and his game."