January 22

NFL notebook: Patriots’ assistant coach is retiring

Dante Scarnecchia has served as the assistant head coach.

The Associated Press

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Dante Scarnecchia is retiring after spending 30 of the past 32 seasons as an assistant coach with the New England Patriots.

Scarnecchia, 65, has been their offensive line coach since 1999 and also has served as assistant head coach since Bill Belichick became coach in 2000.

Dave DeGuglielmo was selected to succeed Scarnecchia as offensive line coach less than a week after being hired for that position at Maryland. His last previous coaching job was as offensive line coach for the New York Jets in 2012, his ninth as an NFL assistant.

The moves came one day after Pepper Johnson said he was leaving after 14 seasons as a Patriots defensive assistant, the past two as linebackers coach.

FALCONS: Atlanta hired Scott Pioli as assistant general manager, reuniting him with GM Thomas Dimitroff.

Pioli was director of player personnel for New England from 2000-08, including six seasons with Dimitroff, who directed college scouting. He was Kansas City’s general manager for four years before leaving by mutual agreement in January 2013.

COWBOYS: The team hired longtime New York Giants assistant Mike Pope to replace Wes Phillips as tight ends coach.

Pope was fired last week by the Giants, where he spent most of his 31 seasons as an NFL assistant coach. He was New York’s tight ends coach the past 14 years and from 1984-91.

GIANTS: Craig Johnson, a former Minnesota and Tennessee assistant, was named running backs coach

Johnson was the Vikings’ quarterbacks coach the past three seasons. Before that he spent a decade with the Titans, working two seasons as an offensive assistant, seven as the quarterbacks coach, and the final year as assistant head coach and running backs coach.

TITANS: Tennessee hired Mike Mularkey, the former Jacksonville and Buffalo head coach, as tight ends coach.

Mularkey coached the Jaguars to a 2-14 record in 2012 and was fired at the end of the season. He also went 14-18 as Buffalo’s coach in 2004-05.

49ERS: The team signed reserve quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson as one of the 13 players to reserve/future contracts.

Also signed were tackle Carter Bykoski, safety D.J. Campbell, running back Jewel Hampton, guard Al Netter, nose tackle Mike Purcell, receivers David Reed, Chuck Jacobs, Devon Wylie and DeMarco Sampson, punter Colton Schmidt, cornerback Dax Swanson and defensive tackle Christian Tupou.

RAIDERS: The franchise is being sued by current and former cheerleaders claiming wage theft and other unfair employment practices.

BROWNS: Team officials interviewed Buffalo defensive coordinator Mike Pettine for the second time in Mobile, Ala., and although the sides did not reach a deal, the 47-year-old has emerged as the front-runner to become Cleveland’s coach.

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