New England Patriots long snapper Joe Cardona (49) during warm ups prior to an NFL Super Bowl LI football game against the Atlanta Falcons at NRG Stadium, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017 in Houston. (Associated Press/Perry Knotts)
ATLANTA — Dante Scarnecchia, former Marine Sergeant, places a high value on respect for authority.
He just can't stand the phrase universally used to express it.
"Guys come in and all they ever say is, 'Yes, sir,' which I hate," Scarnecchia says.
There's a mini-rant coming.
"That's kind of a reflective phrase that says, 'Please don't yell at me anymore because I'm saying Yes, sir to you,'" Scarnecchia says. "So I tell them, 'Don't say Yes, sir.' Just say, 'OK, I got it.'"
"Don't even say that because I hate that worse," Scarnecchia says. "Just shake your head. It drives me nuts."
Scarnecchia, the Patriots' legendary 70-year-old offensive line coach, might have trouble getting his players to break this habit. It's been ingrained in many of them.
The Patriots have assembled a roster with an unusually high number of players coming from families with parents working in military or law enforcement.