Patriots

Dante Scarnecchia discussed Josh McDaniels’ departure, what it means for the Patriots’ offense

"He’s going to be missed because of his ability to mentor quarterbacks, especially during a game."

Josh McDaniels Mac Jones
Mac Jones and Josh McDaniels in Dec. 2021. Stan Grossfeld/Globe Staff

As the Patriots continue to reconfigure the team’s roster in the offseason, one aspect of the team that will undoubtedly be different in 2022 is the offensive coaching.

Former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels left in January to become the head coach of the Raiders, casting uncertainty over a vital part of quarterback Mac Jones’s continued development.

Beyond working specifically with Jones, McDaniels oversaw the rest of the offense, including the play-calling.

Speaking with WEEI’s “Ken & Curtis” over the weekend, longtime Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia described how McDaniels led his part of the team.

“I think where Josh is always going to be most missed is his ability to adjust the game play during the course of the game,” Scarnecchia explained. “I think he was extraordinary at that.”

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In addition was McDaniels’s personal ability to work with quarterbacks, whether it was Tom Brady or Jones in his rookie season.

“He’s going to be missed because of his ability to mentor quarterbacks, especially during a game,” said Scarnecchia. “I’ve already said this ad nauseam so many times: his being with the quarterback on the bench over the course of a game is both soothing and informative to them. Those two areas, plus I really think just the way we had all of our meetings, and we were able to formulate plans, and come out with a common thing between everybody. It was a very, very pleasant environment.”

Questions have proliferated since McDaniels’s departure about exactly who will replace him. Bill Belichick’s penchant for avoiding traditional titles for assistant coaches has only added to the mystery.

But as Scarnecchia pointed out, that’s hardly a new practice. McDaniels (and fellow former assistant Bill O’Brien) started as coaches without the official title of offensive coordinator.

Looking at the 2022 list, Scarnecchia noted that it’s possible Belichick will simply repeat the process with either Matt Patricia, Joe Judge, or Nick Caley.

“I see more of the same of that with either Joe or Matt or Nick, whoever they give it to,” he said. “They’re good coaches, they’ll work at it, and we have to hope for the best.”

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