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Patriots in talks to bring back Dante Scarnecchia

By on February 8, 2016 at 11:27am

Mike Reiss of ESPN is reporting that the Patriots are in talks to bring back retired offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia. The legendary offensive line coach retired after the 2013 season after having spent two decades coaching in New England. His replacement, Dave DeGuglielmo, had an up and down tenure in New England that ranged from a line that under-performed at times to a Super Bowl victory.

The play of the New England’s offensive line was the biggest issue in their AFC Championship loss to Denver and bringing Scarnecchia back would provide an instant upgrade. The Patriots still need to address the tackle position, however. Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer have had injury issues and Marcus Cannon is a reserve player at best. Getting a quality third tackle will go  along way towards solving the Patriots’ problems.

Scarnecchia is a Hall of Fame level assistant coach who has routinely gotten the best out of his players. It is a major reason why he lasted through the regimes of several different head coaches and why some unheralded linemen became Super Bowl Champions. Many of the players on the roster have played under him and are comfortable with his style and respect his coaching acumen.

 

The familiarity that Scarnecchia brings to the table is a major selling point for him. He has had success in New England in the past and specifically with many of the same players that are still in Foxboro. Bill Belichick trusts him and Tom Brady will feel more comfortable knowing who is coaching his protectors. It is not set in stone yet, but it would be surprising at this point if he does not come back. Patriots fans should feel happy if he does; he won’t fix all of New England’s issues, but he will greatly improve a unit that was a black eye in the AFC Championship game.

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1. Super Bowl:

CAM NEWTON

*I have never seen a more gutless, undisciplined performance in big game history by a player – never mind and MVP. When he slid before a first down marker early in the game I knew Carolina was in trouble. Then refusing to dive after his fumble will go down as the most cowardly play in sports history. And then almost worse with two minutes left he quit letting the clock run down. Dab that – you fraud.

MISC

* Lady Gaga great voice but crazy eye liner freaking me out

* Think about how crazy this world is – Ray Lewis who was involved with two MURDERS is introduced and is cheered and then Tom Brady who carries himself the right way, says the right thing, takes less money for his team – and he gets booed (This is what Goodell did to him and his family)

* Head official Clete had the Ed Hoculi starter’s kit for a shirt

* Has to be the worst Super Bowl in its 50-year history

* The two quarterbacks set football back to the days before the forward pass (31-64

48% / 0 TD – 2 INT)

* Vegas made a killing – all the money was on the Patriots and Carolina to beat Denver Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: Cam Newton Submits Gutless Performance (True Colors When it Matters) »

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1. Super Bowl:

* Had to turn off any pre-game discussions about Carolina and mostly Denver

* Hate having to root for Cam Newton but can’t let Peyton Manning close the gap with Brady

* Sad when the Patriots don’t get us to February

* Won’t be nervous all weekend

2. Favorite sports uniforms:

* White Habs

* ABA New Jersey Nets

* Baby Blue Penguins

* Old Washington Bullets

* Either of the Blackhawks

* Pat Patriot Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: Who Cares About the Super Bowl »

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NBA.com

Winners of seven of their last eight and 10 of there last 13 the Celtics head to Cleveland for a Friday night match up with the beast of the east, the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs stand alone atop the Eastern Conference at 35-13 while Boston has mustered a 29-22 record, good for a third place tie with Atlanta. The Celtics have been winning games by putting up points, scoring over 100 points in 13 of their last 14 games, that ties them for fifth best in the NBA with San Antonio. Defensive intensity has also been a mainstay with the C’s giving up 100.3 points per game, not too shabby, and good for ninth best in the NBA, just behind Indiana and ahead of the Clippers.

Led by All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas there is no doubt that the Celtics are on the rise and coming down the stretch run will hope to continue this push for home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. It should be noted however that the competition that Boston has recently played is not near what they will face Friday night. The Celtics have essentially taken care of business and won games they are supposed to win to be considered a contender in Eastern Conference. The most notable recent victories have come over the Pistons, Pacers and Bulls who, if the regular season ended today, would be in the playoffs.

Cleveland on the other hand is in a different class than recent Celtics competitors. They are 7-3 in their last 10 games and have had marquee wins over San Antonio and the Clippers. Changes for Cleveland since they beat the Celtics 89-77 in December include the presence of Kyrie Irving who did not play as he was still rehabilitating a fractured knee cap and Cavs new head coach, ex-Celtics assistant coach Tyronn Lue, after the surprise firing of David Blatt.

Its likely going to be a difficult environment for the Celtics playing in Cleveland in front of a Friday night packed house. Not to mention LeBron James and the Cavs will be looking to rebound from a loss to the Hornets in a game where they did not face their opponents leading scorer Kemba Walker. Instead they were torched by Jeremy Lin, that’s right Jeremy Lin who hung 24 points and eight dimes on Cleveland, sending them too defeat. Expect a fired up crowd and a Cavaliers team trying to fend off a second straight loss as the Celtics try to keep their string of winning ways alive at Quicken Loans Arena.

Key match ups to watch will be Isaiah Thomas, who is coming into the game scoring 21.4 points per game to go with 6.6 assists, and Kyrie Irving who is averaging 17.2 points per contest. However it is somewhat unlikely they will actually defend one another all the time as Brad Stevens will rotate Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley onto Irving to stifle his attack with their tenacious on ball defense. Another match up to watch will be Jae Crowder doing his best to slow down the LeBron James freight train and the carousel of Celtics bigs trying to rebound with Kevin Love, Timofey Mozgov and Tristan Thompson.

If the Celtics are able to score over 100 points, as they have been consistently doing, and are able to keep the Cavs off the offensive glass for easy put backs, they will have a shot of dethroning the King and his Cavs in their own castle. On the other hand, if the Celtics are forced to grind out a poor shooting performance like the game back in December they will surely struggle against the defending Eastern Conference Champs.

Its a potential playoff preview of two teams heading in the right direction, the Cavs under the new direction of Tyronn Lue, and the red hot C’s playing their best basketball under Brad Stevens. The Q Arena should be rocking on Friday night and Celtics fans will be able to see how this improved Boston team measures up against the likely number one seed in the east!

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Celtics

After one of the worst seasons in franchise history (25-57 in 2013-14), the Celtics went shopping for a new head coach and landed on a very talented Brad Stevens who was running a top NCAA program at Butler University. In his first year with the Celtics, the team showed improvement, ending up with a respectable record of 40-42 while squeezing into the playoffs.

Regardless of expectations from the fans, Stevens was surely looking for nothing more than continued improvement coming into the 2015-2016. With a little more than half the season in the books, it seems safe to say the Celtics have indeed made that next step forward. With a current record of 27-22, they are ranked #6 in the Eastern Conference with a reasonably good chance of making the playoffs. Continue reading Orlando Magic Snaps Boston’s 5-Game Winning Streak »

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1. Patriots laments: it’s only been a week – ugh!

* More on the offensive line – They were so bad that they not only could they not provide Brady protection but almost as bad is they couldn’t RUN block five against three

* Julian Edelman should hang the picture from Sports Illustrated showing Talib taunting him while he is prostrate on the ground

* Brady hit more than any quarterback in almost a decade – speaks to talent and compete incompetence but also insanely bad blocking schemes, play design and adjustments

* Why didn’t they roll out more?

* Last time the Patriots didn’t defer after winning coin toss – 2008 during the game that Brady’s knee got blown up

2. A suggestion from reader Marty J – Celtics picks when finishing in the bottom ten of the league:

2014 – finished 5th lowest – got 6th pick – Marcus Smart (33% chance top three pick) Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: Dog Day of Sports! »

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Avery Bradley

At a time when the Boston Celtics are playing good ball, they last thing they want to see is personnel issues that could disrupt what seems to be great team chemistry. That may have been a bit too much to expect as G Avery Bradley has come forward with apparent issues related to his current four-year, $32 million contract

Based on information provided by writer Matt Moore of the Boston Globe, Johnson is becoming increasingly more dissatisfied with the contract he signed back in 2014 when represented by sports agent Mitchell Butler. He signed the contract after four years with the Celtics when he spent a good deal of time on the sidelines due to various injuries. Continue reading Celtics’ Avery Bradley Unhappy With Current Contract »

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