Since losing Dante Scarnecchia to retirement in 2020, the New England Patriots have gone through several offensive line coaches. Cole Popovich, Carmen Bricillo and Matt Patricia all came and went, with neither of them able to provide the same stability that Scarnecchia brought to the table.
The latest candidate to help replace the newly-minted Patriots Hall of Famer is Adrian Klemm. A former second-round draft pick by the team in 2000 — he actually was the first ever selection of the Bill Belichick era — Klemm found limited success as a player, but has made a name for himself in coaching after ending his active career in 2006.
Now, he is returning to his NFL roots: the Patriots hired him earlier this offseason. Even though his title has yet to be made official, it is a safe bet that he will be coaching the offensive line.
Count Dante Scarnecchia among those who believe that Klemm will be doing a good job.
“Adrian went into coaching right after he got done playing. I think he’s had a really good career in college,” Scarnecchia told the 6 Rings and Football Things podcast last week.
“I remember I went out to work out a player at UCLA, and Adrian was the offensive line coach. I sat at a distance and watched him coach the whole practice. He’s a detailed guy. He’s tough. He doesn’t have much patience for guys that aren’t working hard. I was really impressed with the way he went about his business.”
Klemm spent his first five years as a pro under Scarnecchia in New England, appearing in 26 games as a reserve tackle and guard. He left for the Green Bay Packers in 2005, but after only one season saw his career come to an end.
Since then, he has spent time at SMU, UCLA and with the Pittsburgh Steelers. In 2022, Klemm worked as associate head coach, offensive line coach and run game coordinator at Oregon — putting himself back on the Patriots’ radar: he unsuccessfully interviewed for their vacant offensive coordinator position, but was eventually hired to work with the O-line.
Scarnecchia believes that he will have the unit ready to play — and bounce back after what was a disappointing 2022 season.
“I think he’ll go out there, and he’ll be demanding of them, and work hard with them,” he said. “I really look for them to play pretty well this year, I really do.”