Joe Andruzzi likes the look of the Patriots’ offensive line
|06.10.12 at 2:33 pm ET|
Late last week, I had the opportunity to talk with former Patriots offensive lineman Joe Andruzzi about his post-football life, which includes heading up the Joe Andruzzi Foundation, as well as working as a part-time strength and conditioning coach with the Patriots.
Andruzzi, the starting left guard on all three Super Bowl-winning teams, was a regular presence on the field during the most recent round of OTA’s, and said so far, he likes what he sees, despite the fact that there are a lot of new faces.
‘Not just on the offensive line, but there are a lot of new faces everywhere in the locker room,’ he said. ‘That being said, the aura around the offensive line is still there. These guys still know that regardless of whether you’re a veteran or a guy just getting here off the street, that this is a football team where you’re held accountable for everything you do, on and off the field. You always have to worry about doing your job and getting it right.
‘I think across the board, these guys are hungry. A lot of the younger guys just want a chance, and they’ll do everything they can to make the most of that chance,’ he added. ‘Specifically, in regards to the offensive linemen, it’s a group of real hardworking guys. They’ve all been consistent through the offseason program. They’ve done a great job of sticking together — the guys usually stick together by position, and they all try and push each other. This is a group of real competitors.’
The offensive line is in a bit of a state of flux, with starting left tackle Matt Light now retired, starting left guard Logan Mankins coming off a serious knee injury and starting right guard Brian Waters hinting at retirement. New faces include veteran Robert Gallery, as well as younger guys like Nate Solder, Marcus Cannon and Donald Thomas, all of whom are ready to assume larger roles in 2012.
Andruzzi isn’t worried about any sort of breakdown in continuity — not as long as Dante Scarnecchia is in charge.
‘Dante is by far one of the best coaches in that staff,’ Andruzzi said of Scarnecchia, who will be entering his31st season in the league and his 13th straight year as New England’s offensive line coach. ‘You can give him five guys off the street and he’ll get them ready to play at a high level.’