Getty Nick Caserio
Unless you’re a hardcore New England Patriots fan, you might not be familiar with Nick Caserio’s name. If you’re a Houston Texans fan, you might be getting to know him very well over the next few months.
Caserio is the Patriots’ current Director of Player Personnel. He has been with the organization for the last 18 years in a number of different capacities which began when he was an offensive coaching assistant in 2002.
On Tuesday, Caserio interviewed for the Texans’ general manager job and based on several reports, the meeting went very well.
Patriots executive Nick Caserio’s in-person interview with Texans went extremely well, according to league sources, in strong bid to potentially land the GM job. Nothing is done or imminent. Texans have other interviews scheduled. Caserio also interviewed with Panthers today
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) January 6, 2021
From @mortreport and me: Patriots’ Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio is in Houston to interview for the Texans’ GM job and, in the words of one source, “it has real promise.” Texans tried to hire Caserio in 2019, but were blocked, and now have an opportunity to hire him.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 5, 2021
If things continue to progress and no other candidate impresses the ownership and higher management group, including Janice McNair, Cal McNair, and Jamey Rootes, Caserio could become the Texans’ next GM succeeding former head coach Bill O’Brien who took the post in January 2020.
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What Happens if Caserio Bolts?
Per Patriots ESPN beat writer Mike Reiss, the team would likely turn to Dave Zeigler to fill Caserio’s role.
If Nick Caserio were to move on, the next highest-ranking staffer in the personnel department is Dave Ziegler, who is highly regarded. Ziegler was promoted from director of pro personnel to assistant director of player personnel prior to the 2020 season. https://t.co/vx2xZmrZ4m
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) January 5, 2021
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Ziegler is apparently on the Denver Broncos’ radar:
Broncos requested permission to interview Dave Ziegler, the Patriots’ assistant director of player personnel, for their GM job, per league source.
Ziegler started his NFL career with the Broncos and was a college teammate of Nick Caserio and Patriots OC Josh McDaniels.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 6, 2021
Providence Journal’s Mark Daniels offered a few more names to consider including former Patriots’ front office staff member and recently fired Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn.
If that scenario happens, the Patriots could turn to Eliot Wolf or bring back someone like Bob Quinn.
— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) January 6, 2021
Bill Belichick has been operating as the team’s de facto general manager for years. It’s unclear how much input Caserio or any other member of the front office has when it comes to making personnel decisions. However, we do know, the final say has been with Belichick.
Some in the Texans’ universe have pointed out the Patriots’ failure to draft studs–especially with their first-round picks–and they are using that as fuel to attack the potential hire.
Nick Caserio and the Patriots have drafted two eventual pro-bowlers in the past 8 drafts.
— Seth C. Payne (@SethCPayne) January 5, 2021
I genuinely don’t know how to feel if they hire Nick Caserio. I’m always optimistic but… I really wanted them to separate themselves from all these Patriots staff members.
— EverythingTexans (@houstonfball) January 6, 2021
Because Belichick has had the final say, we don’t know if we’ve seen Caserio’s real vision for building a winning football team. Perhaps the Texans’ brass feels they understand Caserio’s vision, and they liked what they heard.
Unsuccessfully Copying the Patriot Way
Whether it is the NBA, NFL, or MLB, all of them are copycat leagues.
When an organization, coach, or staff has success, much of the rest of the league will try to emulate their formula to some degree. Because the Patriots have been the most successful organization in the NFL over the past 2 decades, it makes sense for other teams to attempt to duplicate their culture and philosophies.
Unfortunately, this approach has been largely unsuccessful for most–especially the Texans. Most recently, the team dumped O’Brien, who spent 2 years with Belichick in Cleveland in the 1990s and then another 5 with the Hoodie in New England from 2007-12. The Texans also have Romeo Crennel on their staff who was the Patriots’ defensive coordinator for 3 years early in Belichick’s tenure and worked with him in the early 1990s when both were a part of Bill Parcells’ staff in the New York Giants organization. Crennel has been with the Texans organization since 2014 in a variety of roles.
To put it plainly, there is a ton of Patriots-like influence associated with the Texans. If they hire Caserio, that approach–which has yet to lead them even to a Super Bowl appearance–would be continuing.