Houston Texans ‘Watching’ New England Patriots Coach Nick Caley, Potential Offenisve Coordinator?
Despite the Texans finishing a dismal 3-13-1 in 2022, many have questioned the logic of firing veteran coach Lovie Smith after just one season in charge.
However, the Texans could be in line to once again tap a popular coaching tree for a top spot on their coaching staff.
In fact, an ESPN report on Wednesday identified New England Patriots tight ends coach Nick Caley as a “name to watch” for the Houston Texans offensive coordinator position — should the Texans hire the current Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon as their next coach.
“Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon impressed the Texans in interviews last year and should be a strong candidate for the job again this year,” ESPN’s Dan Graziano wrote. “If he gets the job, I’m told one of the names to watch out for as his offensive coordinator is Patriots tight ends coach Nick Caley, who has a relationship with Texans wide receiver Nick Caserio from Caserio’s time in New England.”
Gannon, who interviewed with the Texans on Saturday, had met with Houston twice last year. He became a finalist for the job that almost went to Josh McCown before the team promoted Smith.
If reports are to be believed, Gannon may be keeping his sharp eye on the Pats coach for his potential staff in Houston.
Earlier this year, Caley was named to NFL Media’s ‘Watch List’ of rising coaching candidates under the age of 45. The 39-year-old is currently the Patriots’ longest-tenured offensive assistant. He coached at the collegiate level for 10 years before joining the team’s staff in 2015. In 2017, Caley was promoted to become New England’s tight ends coach. He added to his resume in 2020, adding the title of the team’s linebackers coach in addition to his tight ends coach duties.
During his time in New England, Caley has earned a strong reputation for his leadership and knowledge among his peers as well as his players. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that he was rumored as a possible candidate to replace Josh McDaniels as New England’s offensive coordinator last offseason. However, coach Bill Belichick eventually decided to fill that void with a combination of Matt Patricia and Joe Judge.
Although he’s highly regarded by both Belichick and Kraft, it’s uncertain whether Caley will make the Patriots’ coaching staff for 2023. With his contract set to expire in the coming days, he likely won’t be missed applicants. According to multiple reports, Caley is scheduled to meet with the New York Jets about their opening at offensive coordinator this week.
While Texans fans may be less enamored with the idea of dipping back into the New England coaching well, Caley (who, like Caserio, is a product of John Carroll University) may be a better fit. better logistically and stylistically in Houston than originally thought.
Follow Mike D’Abate on Twitter @mdabateNFL
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