Belichick shows different personality telling stories of Dante Scarnecchia originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The New England Patriots inducted two new names to their Hall of Fame this past week, adding long time coach Dante Scarnecchia and linebacker Mike Vrabel. During Scarnecchia’s induction, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick showed a side of himself that is rare to see, filled with laughter and emotion.
Scarnecchia, who coached the Patriots in some capacity for 34 seasons, started with the organization in the 1982 season as a special teams and tight end coach. After a two-year hiatus, where he was an offensive line coach for the Indianapolis Colts, Scarnecchia returned to New England under coach Dick MacPherson as a special teams and offensive line coach. Belichick named Scarnecchia the assistant head coach in the 2000 season.
Playing under six head coaches and four different ownership groups, Scarnecchia was on the sidelines for 10 AFC Championship games, winning five Super Bowls.
When honoring Scarnecchia at his induction, Belichick recalled a story of when the Patriots signed ‘Big Cat’ James Williams.
“We don’t call him Big Cat for nothing,” Belichick said on the six-foot-seven 330-pound lineman, “he [Williams] could block out the sun. You’re in the shade when you’re around him.”
Garnishing chuckles from the crowd, Belichick continued on, recounting Scarnecchia’s interaction with the big man.
“It’s about the fourth, fifth, sixth day of training camp and frustrations are starting to kick in,” Belichick said as his voiced raised with enthusiasm, “and I can still see Scar, and he’s looking straight up at him like this,” as he reenacted Scar pointing straight up at Williams.
“Big Cat, you don’t use our techniques, that’s why you’re not doing this right! You’re not having any success because you’re doing it your way, and your way’s not working! So, you better start doing it our way or you’re never going to be any good!” Belichick said with emotion in his best Scarnecchia impression.
“He’s still looking straight up in the air [at Williams]!” Belichick continued on with laughter erupting from the crowd.
“And Big Cat is looking straight down at him [Scarnecchia], and I’m thinking that any second now, Big Cat is just going to…” Belichick said with a laugh as he motioned a downward punch.
With Belichick often seen as an emotionless coach, especially with his very straightforward answers at press conferences, it is extremely refreshing to see the human side to him. With the season not on his side so far after a 1-5 start, and rumors of his future in question, it’s good to see that he is still able to let loose a bit and have fun honoring those who helped him become one of the most winningest head coaches of all time.