The NFL career of recently retired Patriots assistant head coach/offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia spanned more than three decades, the bulk of which were spent coaching linemen to turn back the pass rush.
In an interview with the Boston Herald for a feature published Sunday, Scarnecchia listed three defenders — all top pass rushers — as especially disruptive forces.
“Thirty-two years, it transcends a lot of great players, from Mark Gastineau, when he was at his best, to Lawrence Taylor, when he was at his best,” Scarnecchia told the Herald‘s Karen Guregian. “All the way going forward to Von Miller. He’s an extraordinary talent. I could name a whole litany of these guys. If I had time, I could think of another 20 of them.”
Gastineau held the all-time single-season sack record before Michael Strahan broke it in 2001. Taylor was a 10-time Pro Bowler and a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Miller notched a combined 30 sacks in his first two NFL seasons. However, his 2013 campaign was shortened by a suspension and ended by a ACL tear on December 22.
Miller is only 24 years old, which raises hope of what he could become if he returns to health. Taylor posted a career-high 20.5 sacks in 1986 at age 27, while Gastineau turned 28 during his 22-sack tour de force in 1984. Miller, meanwhile, notched 18.5 sacks at the young age of 23 in 2012.