If Josh McDaniels leaves for Cleveland, who could take over as Patriots offensive coordinator?
|12.31.13 at 6:53 pm ET|
If offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels does ultimately decide to leave the Patriots for the head coaching job in Cleveland, here are four possible plans for New England going forward when it comes to the OC job.
Chad O’Shea: He was hired as New England’s receivers coach on Feb. 25, 2009, and while the franchise has struggled at times when it comes to drafting and developing at the position, he’s had a good run of success with the players under his tutelage as of late. This year, he was able to oversee the integration of newcomers like Danny Amendola, Kenbrell Thompkins, Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce into the passing game, while veterans like Julian Edelman and Wes Welker have both publicly expressed their support for O’Shea. The 41-year-old has also worked as an offensive assistant with the wide receivers for the Vikings (2006-08). He started his NFL coaching career with the Chiefs, where he served as a volunteer special teams assistant in 2003 and assisted with special teams and linebackers for two seasons from 2004-05.
Brian Daboll: Daboll made his bones with the Patriots from 2001-2006 as a wide receivers coach, helping youngsters like Deion Branch and David Givens become impactful pass catchers. He also spent time as a defensive assistant in New England before working with the Jets, Browns, Dolphins and Chiefs as either a quarterbacks coach or offensive coordinator. He returned to the franchise this year as a vaguely named ‘offensive coaching assistant,’ and has held a variety of responsibilities over the course of the 2013 season. (For what it’s worth, he appeared to spend a lot of time during training camp with the offensive line, as well as old pal Tim Tebow.) Based on his resume, his background in the New England system, and his working relationship with the rest of the coaching staff, the 38-year-old could likely make the most seamless transition into the OC job. In addition, it would allow other offensive assistants to stay in their current jobs, creating more continuity on the coaching staff going forward.
Bill Belichick: It’s always a very real possibility that the Patriots decide not to name a coordinator. They’ve done it before — including in 2011, when they decided not to name a defensive coordinator, even though Matt Patricia had essentially taken over as the DC in waiting. If the Patriots can’t find someone they feel good about, at least at this point, they could go without for a year or two, assign more overall responsibility to a younger assistant like O’Shea or Daboll, and if it looks like they have taken to the job, officially name them OC in a year or two.
Nick Caserio: No one has a more extensive background at just about every level of the organization that Caserio — the 38-year-old has worked as an assistant coach, scout, and is currently the director of player personnel. He joined the franchise in 2001 as a personnel assistant, and became an offensive coaching assistant in 2002 before moving on as a scout in 2003. He served as the team’s director of pro personnel from 2004 through 2006 before taking a year to return to the field, this time as the wide receivers coach. He returned to the front office in 2008, and has held his current position with the Patriots since then. (In terms of game-day logistics, he has called offensive plays in the past, and has sat upstairs in the booth on game days.) Caserio could be a temporary fix — if the Patriots wants to promote from within but they don’t believe someone like O’Shea is quite ready, Caserio could get the call.