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Thursday, December 16, 2010
Patriots O-line deserves much love

By Tim Graham

Tom Brady has gotten the lion's share of the credit for the New England Patriots' success and rightly is considered the leading candidate for league MVP.

ESPN analyst Tim Hasselbeck and columnist Ross Tucker want to spread the credit around a little.

Hasselbeck recently shined a spotlight on how well the Patriots' offensive line has been performing lately.

"The most important thing is they're a group of guys that, for the most part, is a group of overachievers -- not a ton of guys that are big, physical specimens," Hasselbeck said. "They're kind of technicians at their positions. A perfect example of that would be Matt Light at left tackle. Not the biggest guy, not necessarily the strongest or even most athletic, but very sound in his technique and very productive.

"They're extremely well-coached. Dante Scarnecchia, their offensive line coach, has been with that group for a while and has done a very good job coaching that unit.

"But I don't think we can talk about that Patriots offensive line without mentioning Logan Mankins. When he came back to that football team, there was an attitude, a physical presence that came back to that group. You're starting to see the result of that, the run game really taking off for the New England Patriots. You're seeing BenJarvus Green-Ellis really have a couple very productive games since Logan Mankins has been back in the lineup."

Tucker provided insight as to why Scarnecchia has been so integral to the Patriots' success. Tucker is a former NFL offensive lineman who played under Scarnecchia in 2005.