BOSTON (CBS) – 11-year NFL veteran and Sports Hub personality Mike Flynn appeared in studio Monday morning with Toucher & Rich, as he does every week for the entirety of the season, to offer his thoughts on the Patriots.

Flynn made his living on the offensive line as a center, helping anchor a unit that won a Super Bowl in 2000.

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So when it comes to the trenches he has unique insight and perspective as to what is plaguing the Patriots offense right now, and it starts with the big fellas up front.

“At least with the tackle position with Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer, we’ve seen them play better. So you know [the talent] is there. I think with the interior guys that is a big question mark for me,” said Flynn. “Jordan Devey got pulled yesterday when it was still a game at that point and they put Bryan Stork in there. Dan Connolly struggled all last year, Marcus Cannon is struggling this year. Over three weeks they don’t look good, and the disappointing thing is that your veteran guys (Solder and Vollmer) aren’t playing well either. I think the line will be an issue all year.”

The offense is far from a finished product, and the line is not the only unit having problems on that side of the ball.

However, Flynn notes that a bad offensive line can affect all aspects of the offense, and he believes that’s what is occurring right now with the Patriots.

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“How far can the quarterback drop back? You’re not running the ball well, so that takes away the effectiveness of the play action. The five-step drop is a little tentative, so for Tom Brady his progressions have to be much quicker,” said Flynn. “You can get to your second, third and check down reads with good protection, but if that’s not there I don’t know that it affects the playcalling, but you can’t get to Brandon LaFell, or that late dump off to somebody out of the backfield. That’s where that protection and being loose up front hurts the offense.”

One listener called in and wondered if the absence of longtime offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia is a reason why the line is playing so poor.

“I think that’s an easy excuse, or an easy reason to point to. Football coaches are important. Solder and Vollmer came in with Scarnecchia, and obviously they have a comfort level with him. Scarnecchia is a great coach. There are guys that have been in this league for a long time that aren’t great coaches, it’s just who they know. But what tells you that Scarnecchia is a great coach is he was here with a lot of different head coaches, and coached a lot of different positions. He was a special guy. There could be some of that, but Solder and Vollmer have been in the league. They’re not developing guys. They’ve established themselves in the league and are not playing well, so I’m not going to put this on the offensive line coach. I don’t think they’re being asked to do anything they haven’t done in the past.”

Listen below for the full discussion!

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