One day after the New England offensive line struggled mightily against the Broncos pass rush in the AFC Championship Game loss in Denver, the team has reportedly parted ways with the group's position coach, Dave DeGuglielmo.
NFL Network was the first to report DeGuglielmo's departure as the coach's contract was up after just two seasons in New England.
DeGuglielmo's offensive line allowed Tom Brady to be sacked four times in the loss in Denver, but worse than that the quarterback was hit 20 times according to press box statistics and the number could easily have been more than that.
The veteran coach, who previously worked for the Dolphins and Jets, dealt with a ton of personnel changes in his short, two-year stint in New England. Pro Bowl guard and captain Logan Mankins was traded just before the start of the 2014 season. Captain Dan Connolly retired this past offseason. Ryan Wendell and Nate Solder landed on injured reserve this fall.
DeGuglielmo was also tasked with working a trio of young fourth-round picks into the mix the last two years – 2014 center Bryan Stork and 2015 guards Tre' Jackson and Shaq Mason.
His first season in New England got off to a hellacious start, as the line struggled to find consistency both in terms of personnel and performance. But that turned around in the middle of the year and the unit was more than good enough for the Super Bowl run.
That same was not true this fall, however. The unit utilized endless combinations – both out of necessity and at times by choice – and never was really good enough. The only time the passing game rolled was when Brady got rid of the ball at a ridiculously quick rate. Otherwise, the 38-year-old franchise was hit far too often, with that peaking in Sunday evening's loss. Stork seemed to regress, while veterans Sebastian Vollmer and Marcus Cannon struggled, the latter having by far the worst year of his career.
DeGuglielmo certainly had the unenviable job of replacing legendary line coach Dante Scarnecchia in New England and, for one year, did the job well enough to earn a Super Bowl ring.
But less than a year later, with his contract running out, DeGuglielmo finds himself out of work and the Patriots are once again looking for a new offensive line coach for the second time in less than three years.