Patriots assistant coaches rarely get a chance to talk.
But for up-and-down Pats left tackle Nate Solder, it was the perfect time for line coach Dante Scarnecchia to chime in.
Scarnecchia compared Solder’s early struggles to Matt Light’s first years on the job replacing Bruce Armstrong, a boost for the second-year tackle.
“I think all young tackles struggle on plays and protections in this league,” Scarnecchia said, via Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com. “Just do a little thinking. Who did Matt Light replace?
“Did any of you think that it was going to be [easy]? Did you think he had any problems with it to start with? Well, hell ya. They all [have] problems. It was as painful as it could ever be [with Light]. Just like anything, he got better and became a really good player, ‘one that you can’t replace.’”
Scarnecchia then went onto to say he was actually encouraged by Solder’s progress, as well as that of the line as a whole.
“I think Nate Solder is a better player today than he was all of last year, so you figure that out. Next question,” he said. “Personally, I’m really pleased with the way [Solder and Marcus Cannon] are developing. Is it the finished product? No. We have a couple more weeks to get it as good as it can be, and then we’re going to play games. . . .
“There is no cliff I’m throwing myself off right now. I’m telling you the truth. That glass is half full and filling up. That’s just how I see it.”
At that point, Bill Belichick was seen loading tranquilizer darts into a gun pointed at Scarnecchia’s neck.