Dante Scarnecchia details what Patriots look for during spring sessions

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OTAs and mandatory minicamp give the first real scope of what an NFL team will look like in the coming season.

The New England Patriots wrapped up minicamp last week and it’s already given a look into Cam Newton and Mac Jones’ progress. Josh Uche is a player that’s stood out and lesser-known players like Isaiah Zuber also get a chance to shine.

Minicamp doesn’t determine as much as training camp in late July, but it still provides important information. Legendary Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia joined the Ken & Curtis Show this past weekend and explained some of those important aspects of spring sessions.

“I think that when you get the new guys in and you’re in these OTAs and the spring sessions and then ultimately minicamp, I think what you’re really seeing is just a couple of things,” Scarnecchia said, transcribed by WEEI. “One is how well does the guy take coaching? How well he listens. How well he really applies what you’re trying to get taught. And that’s true for techniques and that’s true for the offensive system that you have put in this spring. Does he act appropriately if the linebacker he’s suppose to squeeze on, he squeezes on? Or not. That along with his mental makeup, not his physical toughness, but his mental toughness. Can he take hard coaching? Can he do the things that you want him to get done?

“You’ll never know how well he can do until you get the pads on and get him out there, but if you spend draft choices on guys that we have there, and I will speak from an offensive line standpoint, like [Isaiah] Wynn and David Andrews and Ted Karras and on and on and on, what you thought of them in the evaluation process will be validated as for as intelligence and as far as the mental toughness and how well they take coaching. You’re not going to know for sure until you get the pads on and you see what the guy can do.”

Now that the Patriots have a better idea of what the team looks like, they can focus on training camp and how to narrow in on the 53-man roster.

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