Although the Super Bowl is a big event, it is also a reminder that the NFL is a small world with a lot of connections. Bears offensive line coach Harry Hiestand delivered that message when he spoke about Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia.
Hiestand and Scarnecchia were introduced by Bears offensive coordinator Ron Turner, who broke into coaching as a graduate assistant with Scarnecchia at Pacific in 1977.
Hiestand first met Scarnecchia at the University of Illinois.
"One year, Dante was coming to Illinois to work out some of our offensive linemen who were draft eligible, and when he came I had a chance to meet with him. I've always admired his work," said Hiestand, who was Illinois' offensive line coach. "He's had tremendous success in what he does. He's a great coach, one of the great coaches in the offensive line to ever coach in the NFL. He's somebody who has influenced a lot of people in the way he's done it. More importantly, he's a great man too. You get to know him, he's something really special."