Dante Scarnecchia explained why Nick Caley could be a good option to succeed Josh McDaniels

The Patriots' offensive coaching staff is in flux following McDaniels's departure.

Nick Caley could have a significant role on the Patriots' offensive coaching staff in 2022. Barry Chin/Globe Staff

The Patriots’ search to replace Josh McDaniels has dominated their offseason headlines so far.

In recent days, it’s been speculated that Bill Belichick might not name an offensive coordinator and instead reshuffle the offensive coaching staff around. But even though they might not officially name an offensive coordinator, former Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia explained to The Athletic’s Jeff Howe how the Patriots’ offensive coaching staff might work in 2022.

“Josh was title-less but in that role [in 2005],” Scarnecchia said. “So he threw his life into it and was one of the best in the game. It can be done. It has been done. I would suspect if it’s not Billy O., it would probably be somebody on the existing staff. And I would suspect, like [Belichick] has done the last couple years with the defense, it will be a title-less role. But really, if you’re calling the plays, you’re coordinating the offense.


One of the coaches that could stand to benefit from the Patriots’ offensive coaching staff shuffle is Nick Caley. The Patriots’ current tight ends coach, who came to New England as a 2015 offensive assistant before getting promoted to his current role in 2017, has been viewed by insiders as someone who could have an increased role on the Patriots’ offensive coaching staff.

Scarnecchia believes that Caley’s positional coaching experience could make him a reasonable choice to succeed McDaniels.

“When you coach the tight ends, you’re coaching a position that transcends the entire offense,” Scarnecchia said. “He’s involved in the passing game, so Nick has been in every passing-game meeting. And the run game, so he’s been in every run-game meeting. Nick has been in a lot of meetings, as has Joe Judge. They’ve got to get somebody who can mentor the quarterback. Somebody has to oversee the offense.”

Caley appears to be well-respected in the Patriots’ organization and around the league. In November, Caley was included in the NFL Network’s list of coaches 45 and under who are viewed around the league as strong head coaching candidates. The Patriots also view Caley highly and Belichick blocked a team interested in him from interviewing him, Monday Morning Quarterback’s Albert Breer said on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher and Rich.”


Patriots radio announcer Scott Zolak believes Caley could switch roles from tight ends coach quarterbacks coach. Judge, who returned to the team as an offensive assistant earlier in February, has also been viewed as someone who could have a major role on the Patriots’ offensive staff next season. Both Breer and Zolak speculated that Judge would likely work in the passing game in some way, either as a quarterbacks coach or working with the tight ends and receivers.


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