The Patriots have “parted ways” with offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo, according to Ian Rappaport of the NFL Network.
This was only his second year at that position but late in the season the injuries piled up and the offensive line succumbed to extreme inconsistency. On top of the injuries, there was a little too much reliance on a crew that was relatively lacking in the experience category.
Granted it didn’t help that three of his captains were not even on the 2015 roster. Dan Connolly retired after the 2014 campaign and Mankins was traded during the preseason of that year for Tim Wright (who went on to play in nine games and catch nine passes for 77 yards, just not in Foxboro: he was cut and the Lions picked him up) and a fourth-round draft pick.
Ryan Wendell was ravaged with injuries; first an illness kept him out and then he suffered a knee injury forcing him to have a demoted status during the weeks leading up to the concussion that put him on the injured reserve for good. He recorded all of 13 total snaps, and thrusted David Andrews into the starting spot.
Alongside the undrafted rookie were all fourth-round picks, a pair from each of the last two draft classes in Bryan Stork and Cameron Fleming from 2014, and Tre’ Jackson and Shaq Mason from 2015.
That alone will be enough pressure on your shoulders but having Tom Brady behind those guys makes it even more crucial.
Brady needs the time to actually run the offense to its potential and with the lack of consistency of the same guys in the same positions; Brady can’t build trust as easy and won’t be terribly confident in them.
Knowing you need to get it out as quick as possible as a quarterback is not an easy thought to have in your head while you’re looking into the jaws of an NFL defense. You need to let the play develop but if you can’t even have the time to let them develop, there is no way in hell you’ll be able to have success.
Case and point: AFC Championship game.
Brady was hit 20 (20!!) times in Denver, the most all season long. On the season, Brady took 38 total sacks which is now his third highest single-season amount.
And that was only the passing game.
On the ground? The Pats ranked 30th in the league in regular season rushing offense and Tom Brady led the team in rushing two times this year.
It was clear at a variety of different points during the season that something was wrong in those trenches and we have all seen it with our eyes over these 20 games, there’s no more need to harp on those.
At this point, Patriots Nation needs to move onto both the 2016 calendar year just like Bryan Stork in his last press conference.
As for who is going to be filling his shoes? It is still unsure whether or not Bellichek and his staff will promote someone from in-house. However, if it were to come from within the organization, ESPN’s Mike Reiss thinks that Brian Daboll, who has been coaching the tight ends, is the likely replacement as he spent plenty of time with former O-Line coach Dante Scarnecchia before he retired in 2014.
In the end, this firing makes a lot of sense and it looks as though the Patriots are already gearing up for another big run next year.
Plenty of time to go get #OneForTheThumb
By Cole McNanna