That Patriots have fired offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo, according to Ian Rapoport and confirmed by ESPN, one day after the Patriots’ offensive line was repeatedly pummeled in the AFC Championship game. The Broncos won 20-18 mostly on the strength of their pressure, as they hit Tom Brady 20 times, the most any quarterback has been hit since 2006. Most damning for DeGuglielmo and the Patriots offensive line, the Broncos did it while bringing a season-low percentage of blitzes.
While the Patriots offensive line undoubtedly failed yesterday, not all of the blame should be laid at DeGuglielmo’s feet. He has been praised this season for working through a large number of injuries and mixing-and-matching a patchwork offensive line that has mostly held together. He was also working with one of the lesser talented Patriots units, as Bill Belichick just doesn’t spend high draft picks on offensive lineman.
But the modern NFL is a vicious game, and apparently somebody had to pay for the offensive line’s failures.
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