When assistant head coach/offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia called it quits this winter after three decades in Foxborough, it left an enormous hole in New England’s coaching staff.
“It’s going to be a big change. I was lucky enough to have him for nine seasons. I wish that could have continued,” Pro Bowl guard and co-captain
“But it will be a lot different. That’s the only o-line coach I’ve known for quite a while now, so, it’ll be a bit of a change.”
As a returning co-captain, Mankins is already in a position of leadership among his peers in the Patriots locker room, but he was asked if that might increase now that such a respected figure is no longer overseeing the o-line.
“It might, it might not. I’m kind of the leader of that room before, so, I would assume it would be about the same. It just depends on how things are going and what is happening. It’s hard to predict how things are going to go.”
Mankins has already begun the process of forging a working relationship with his new position coach.
“Yeah, I have met him and talked to him. We didn’t really talk about too much, just getting to know each other a little bit and talk about what he’s done and what he has in store for us. But he seems like a great guy, and I look forward to working with him.”
“Personally,” Mankins continued, “I just want a coach that’s fair, he’s going to treat everyone the same, there’s no one on a pedestal. He’s going to work us hard, let us get away with things. I think I learned to appreciate that from Dante. He was a hard coach, but he was a fair coach. We always knew he had our backs. He demanded a lot of us, but I think that’s what made a lot of us good players. That’s why he was such a successful coach and lasted so long.”
Hear more from Mankins in his complete interview on patriots.com.