Just realized that one of my favorite sections of today’s story on Patriots veteran offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia was cut in the editing process. These things happen when you submit a 1,900-word story (yes, the submitted story was much longer) on deadline. But I wanted you guys to see it. It would have been in between the part about Dan Koppen being Scarnecchia’s favorite, and the way his grandkids have softened him.
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(Trouble) might be the word used to describe Scarnecchia’s relationship with left tackle Matt Light for much of their 11 years together. Their screaming matches in the offensive line meeting rooms are legendary.
“Oh, man,” former lineman Damien Woody said. “He and Matt Light had a lot of yelling matches when I was there. And Matt was a young guy at the time but Matt was the type of guy who wasn’t afraid to voice his opinion or whatever. So he and Dante used to get into all the time.
“If he felt like Dante was jumping all on us for no reason, then Matt was like, ‘I’m going to let you know.’ And Dante, you can really get him going really quickly. Him and Matt, they would go at it a lot but at the end of the day, calmer heads would prevail and you just keep them moving. But they’ve had some combustible moments in the past.”
Mankins had a quick explanation for the blowups.
“They’re both just stubborn,” he said. “They would go round and round. Those two, they both always think they’re right and are not going to give in.”
But it seems like, during what could be the final Super Bowl run for both men, Scarnecchia and Light have given into the love.
“We have (had fights), there’s no doubt about it,” Scarnecchia said. “I think there was a point in time where he thought he probably thought he knew more than what he actually knew, which can be dangerous.
“I think that we are truly, the two of us, in a happy place. We really are. And honestly, I’m grateful for that. Very grateful.”
Was that some genuine public display of affection from Scarnecchia to one of his players?
“He’s all right,” Scarnecchia said, snapping back into form. “He’s no box of chocolates.”