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Patriots announce replacement for Brian Daboll as tight ends coach 02.27.17 at 1:54 pm ET
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As the team usually does when finding new position coaches, the Patriots promoted from within.

New England named Nick Caley tight ends coach Monday afternoon.

Caley had been a coaching assistant with the team for the past two seasons after coaching in the college ranks for 10 years. He coached at John Carroll (2005-06), Akron (2006-07), Auburn (2008), Iowa State (2009-11), Eastern Illinois (2012), Arkansas (2013) and Florida Atlantic (2014).

He was also a graduate of John Carroll, just like Josh McDaniels and Nick Caserio.

Caley replaces Brian Daboll, who left the Patriots earlier this month to become the offensive coordinator at the University of Alabama.

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Patriots reportedly lose valuable member of coaching staff to University of Alabama 02.17.17 at 10:29 pm ET
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Patriots TE coach Brian Daboll reportedly will become Alabama's offensive coordinator. (Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports)

Patriots TE coach Brian Daboll reportedly will become Alabama’s offensive coordinator. (Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports)

After it was reported as a possibility earlier in the week, it looks like it will actually happen.

According to Chris Low of ESPN, Patriots tight ends coach Brian Daboll will be named the University of Alabama offensive coordinator.

Daboll was highly regarded in New England, as he was thought to be the coach to take over as offensive coordinator whenever Josh McDaniels were to leave the job. He has plenty of NFL experience, including being an NFL offensive coordinator with a number of teams — the Browns (2009-10), Dolphins (2011) and Chiefs (2012). He has been with the Patriots since 2013.

He also has a connection with Nick Saban, as he served as one of his graduate assistants when Saban was at Michigan State.

Also, with Bill Belichick being a close friend of Saban he likely recommended Daboll to Saban, while also likely helping Daboll decide whether or not to take the job.

As for who replaces Daboll in New England?

Belichick usually promotes within his staff, so look for coaching assistants Nick Caley, Mike Pellegrino or Cole Popovich to get consideration.

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Patriots TE coach Brian Daboll reportedly expected to interview for Alabama offensive coordinator position 02.13.17 at 3:06 pm ET
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Patriots TE coach Brian Daboll reportedly will interview for Alabama's OC position. (Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports)

Patriots TE coach Brian Daboll reportedly will interview for Alabama’s OC position. (Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports)

The Patriots didn’t lose any of their coordinators for head coaching jobs, but they could lose a position coach.

According to ESPN’s Bruce Feldman, Patriots tight ends coach Brian Daboll is expected to interview with Alabama to be its next offensive coordinator.

It’s worth noting Daboll has a connection with Nick Saban as he was his graduate assistant when Saban coached at Michigan State and Bill Belichick also has a good relationship with Saban.

Daboll was viewed as the Patriots’ next offensive coordinator if Josh McDaniels were to leave. He has called the plays in the Patriots’ final preseason game each of the last few seasons, typically a sign he would be the next man up if something were to happen to McDaniels.

The 41-year-old has plenty of experience, including being an NFL offensive coordinator with a number of teams — the Browns (2009-10), Dolphins (2011) and Chiefs (2012). Daboll has been with the Patriots since 2013.

Without reading too much into things, it could be a sign that McDaniels will stay with the Patriots as offensive coordinator for at least a few more years because if McDaniels was expected to leave soon, then it would make sense for Daboll to stay in New England.

Also, there’s no indication of how serious the interest is on both sides for Daboll or Saban/Alabama.

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Michael Williams is ‘looking for a lot more’ in Patriots passing game 10.05.15 at 10:48 pm ET
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Michael Williams worked out with a tight end in Detroit but never made it to the field. (Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Michael Williams worked out with a tight end in Detroit but never made it to the field. (Leon Halip/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — After six weeks in the system, Michael Williams is still working hard to get comfortable with the Patriots.

Listening to Bill Belichick Sunday during a conference call, the hard work is paying off. Belichick credited Williams’ transition from offensive tackle to tight end as a reason for feeling comfortable enough to deal Michael Hoomanawanui to the Saints last week for defensive end Akiem Hicks.

While many of his teammates were spending a good portion of their bye week resting and getting away from football somewhat, Williams was busy using the extra time to learn the offensive scheme since being dealt to the Patriots from the Lions on Aug. 25.

“Study. It’s taken a lot of my free time away,” Williams told Monday. “Had two weeks in the preseason and up till now to learn as much as I can and as much time as I can working with [tight ends] coach [Brian] Daboll every day. Just learning and studying and repetition. Repetition is big for a player for a player like me. I like to be able to do it. I learn in that type of way by doing. Just repetition in practice helps me learn things better.”

Ironically, Michael Hoomanawanui, the biggest teacher in the learning process for Williams, is now gone to New Orleans because Williams proved himself valuable enough as a third tight end.

“Honestly, Hooman was my biggest help,” Williams said. “He was a very smart player. All my questions were to Coach Daboll or him. He’s helped me to get to this point where I’m at. I’m sad to see him leave but it’s part of the business. But he was a really big help for me.”

As for Rob Gronkowski and Scott Chandler, Williams says it’s helpful to be around two veterans that know what is expected from the tight end position in the Josh McDaniels offense.

“Gronk is Gronk, best tight end in the league, just a monster,” Williams added. “You can’t do some of the things that he does. He is able to help you in learning the system. Chan is a wily vet who just has been around, knows his way, knows how to play the position. Just an all-around great room to help people learn, help young guys like me learn the offense.”

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Read More: Alabama, Brian Daboll, Michael Hoomananwanui, Michael Williams
With coaching vacancies in Foxboro, these names could be in mix for Patriots 01.23.14 at 1:44 pm ET
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With the recent exodus of coaches from the Patriots€™ staff — linebackers coach Pepper Johnson, offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia and tight ends coach George Godsey have departed — here are seven individuals could be the mix in Foxboro for either a new job with the Patriots or a promotion within the franchise.

Jim Schwartz — The former Lions head coach has been tight with Bill Belichick for several years. He worked with Belichick in Cleveland — the turkey sandwich story has been told and retold a million times (scroll down for the full tale) — before moving on to become a defensive coach for the Ravens and Titans. He was the head coach in Detroit from 2009 through 2013. Based on his work as a linebackers coach, he could be a candidate to take over for Johnson.

Greg Schiano — One of a handful of former college coaches Belichick cultivated a relationship with — Schiano was at Rutgers before moving to the Buccaneers, who fired him this month — Schiano reportedly is in the mix for the Browns head coaching job. If he doesn’t land with Cleveland, he could make his way to Foxboro to work on the defensive side of the ball. (One thing to remember when considering Schwartz and Schiano — Belichick has been very kind in the past to former head coaches who need a one-year, transitional job as assistants before they jump back into working as a coordinator or head coach. See Dom Capers.)

Brian Daboll — Daboll is already in the system, having returned last year to work as a vaguely defined “offensive assistant.” We know he had his fingerprints on several aspects of the offense in 2013 — for what it’€™s worth, during training camp, he was working extensively with the offensive line as well as Tim Tebow. (Remember him?) He wasn’t named to replace Scarnecchia as the offensive line coach but could move into Godsey’€™s role with the tight ends, or continue to serve as an unofficial offensive adviser.

Jerry Schlupinski — The Patriots have a track record of promoting from within, and if they go that route, Schlupisnki — a coaching assistant who joined the franchise in 2013 — could be their guy who has an expanded route in 2014. His pedigree is similar to personnel chief Nick Caserio and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels in that he made his bones at John Carroll University in Ohio — in fact, he played alongside them as a collegian. (He also worked at JCU as a coach.)

Joe Judge — Currently the assistant special teams coach, he could be another candidate to be promoted from within to take over one of the available positional vacancies. Judge has worked under special teams coach Scott O’€™Brien the last two seasons and has an impressive resume, having spent time as an assistant under Nick Saban at Alabama.

Patrick Graham — After spending a season as the defensive line coach, Graham could be shuffled back to the linebacker spot to take over for Johnson. (He was linebackers coach in 2011.) Then they would hire someone else to take over at defensive line. The Yale product joined the organization as a coaching assistant in 2009 and has worked as a defensive assistant as well as a linebackers and defensive line coach.

Matt Patricia — Graham’€™s coaching flexibility could also open up an expanded role for Patricia. It’€™s conceivable the Patriots could have Patricia handle a position grouping in addition to his current work as a coordinator. (They’ve done it for several seasons on the offensive side of the ball, where both Bill O’€™Brien and McDaniels have served the dual role of quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator.) Patricia also has experience coaching the linebackers, as he was there from 2006-10.

Read More: Brian Daboll, Dante Scarnecchia, George Godsey, Greg Schiano
If Josh McDaniels leaves for Cleveland, who could take over as Patriots offensive coordinator? 12.31.13 at 6:53 pm ET
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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 ‘€œoffensive 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.

Read More: Bill Belichick, Brian Daboll, Chad O'Shea, Josh McDaniels
Patriots leaning on plenty of coaching, both official and unofficial, through spring sessions 06.05.13 at 12:25 pm ET
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While the Patriots are rightly acknowledged as annually having one of the smallest coaching staffs in the league, they also continue to take on more unofficial advisers and assistants than many other teams.

Over the course of OTAs this spring, several coaches and former players (guys who played for Bill Belichick at multiple spots) were on the field working with players. Former Belichick players have always been welcome on the fields of Foxboro, regardless of whether or not they wore a Patriots uniform. Last summer, former Giants linebacker Carl Banks was spotted on the field during training camp in Patriots gear, working with former Giants teammate Pepper Johnson. The color commentator for the Giants radio team drew the ire of some New York fans for the decision.

On Tuesday, that group includes former offensive lineman Joe Andruzzi (who has worked in an advisory role in the past with the offensive linemen) and defensive lineman Anthony Pleasant, who played for Belichick in Cleveland and New England. They joined a group on the field that included longtime Belichick consigliere Ernie Adams, player personnel chief Nick Caserio (both of whom are a fairly constant presence on the field over the last few years) and Brian Daboll, who is listed on the masthead merely as an ‘€œoffensive assistant’€ in his first full year back with the Patriots.

Daboll is an intriguing figure — a former wide receivers coach in New England from 2002-06, he left to serve as an assistant with the Jets, Browns, Dolphins and Chiefs. No one outside the organization is quite sure what his role will be — Belichick said on draft weekend that ‘€œwe didn’€™t bring him in here to tape ankles’€ — but during the most recent round of OTAs, it appeared he was working with the offensive line on a fairly consistent basis.

Longtime offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia welcomes the chance to work with Daboll on a regular basis again.

‘€œI’€™ve known Brian a long time — 12 years,’€ Scarnecchia said Tuesday. ‘€œHe’€™s a really good football coach and he’€™s helping wherever he can. I really enjoy our time together.’€

That sentiment was echoed by running backs coach Ivan Fears, who — like Scarnecchia — got a chance to know Daboll in his first tour with the Patriots.

‘€œWe always could use another good football coach,’€ Fears said of the 38-year-old Daboll. ‘€œThe guy has got the experience that he’€™s got — been a coordinator in the league, seeing the things he’€™s seen, attack the defenses that he’€™s attacked. It’€™s always nice to have a guy like that around. It really is. So I’€™m excited to have a guy like that around. Especially he was here a long time ago with me, so we’€™re pretty close. I’€™m always happy to see Brian around.’€

Despite the fact that the Patriots coaching staff underwent minimal turnover this offseason, the chance for someone to bring a fresh perspective to a scenario — at least, a perspective that’€™s been out of the building for a few years — can be helpful.

‘€œBrian brings a great, fresh mindset into our meetings,’€ said offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. ‘€œHe can add to every group in our room. I pick his brain daily. He’€™s a really good resource to have here. What an addition for us to get him back and have him help us get better every day.’€

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