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Bedard: Dante Scarnecchia’s retirement accelerates Patriots’ brain drain

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(Getty Images)

The Patriots officially announced the retirement of veteran assistant Dante Scarnecchia tonight.

“It was a privilege to coach with Dante for so long,” said Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. “I knew that long before his initial retirement and throughout a second act of continued excellence. Dante is among the very best assistant coaches ever.”

“Dante Scarnecchia has been unbelievable in every way. As a coach, he was extraordinarily talented at teaching his players and bringing the most out of each of them,” said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft. “Dante put everything he had into helping his players achieve their maximum potential — the mark of a great coach. His contributions to our team and to the game of football are unprecedented over the last four decades. Yet even more remarkable is the impact Dante has had on countless players, coaches and staff members who have walked through our doors. He modeled the principles he believed in through his hard work, diligence and integrity. He held himself accountable. He trained alongside his players. He treated everyone with respect. There truly is no way to sum up the incredible career he’s had, the positive impact he’s made on our franchise or how much he will be missed. We are forever grateful for Dante and wish him the absolutely best in his next chapter, along with his lovely wife Susan and his family. The New England Patriots are better because of Dante Scarnecchia, and he will always have a home with us.”

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You don't have to be an offensive line connoisseur to know how much offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia has meant to the New England Patriots.

We've all written our Ode To Scar in covering the team. Mine came at the Super Bowl for the Boston Globe in 2012. The stories are all similar. His impact undeniable.

I've had the honor to hear him "clinic" — coach-speak for the talks given at various football clinics — about a half-dozen times over the past decade or so. It's the closest any of us will get to actually being coached by Scarnecchia. And I'll tell you what — and this is not hyperbole, or me blowing smoke (mostly because that would tick Scar off) — he's probably