To say the Las Vegas Raiders raided the New England Patriots this offseason would be an understatement. Not only did they hire offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as head coach but also poached Dave Ziegler to take over as general manager. The moves didn’t stop there as the Raiders hired multiple assistants off their staff, including Mick Lombardi and offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo.
Apparently, McDaniels was looking to bring over another coach but the Patriots and head coach Bill Belichick wouldn’t let it happen. According to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, Las Vegas were targeting tight ends coach Nick Caley.
“Tight ends coach Nick Caley’s role seems to be a little in flux,” Breer wrote. “I’d expect he’ll have more responsibility in ’22. The Patriots blocked Caley from talking to the Raiders, and his role in New England this fall could dictate whether he stays put or goes to Las Vegas in ’23.”
The Raiders haven’t hired a tight ends coach yet so perhaps they were banking on Caley coming over. With McDaniels leaving, there’s a lot more opportunity to move up in the Patriots’ coaching staff right now so Caley could be better off staying put.
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Raiders Could Play Without TE Coach This Season
McDaniels will effectively be the Raiders’ offensive coordinator this season. They’ll be running his offense and he’ll be calling most of the plays. Lombardi is technically the offensive coordinator but he’ll mostly be assisting McDaniels. With Las Vegas not having a tight ends coach, it’s possible that Lombardi will be taking over some of those duties.
He spent the last two seasons as a wide receivers coach so he has experience as a positions coach. The Raiders have a great tight end room headlined by Darren Waller and Foster Moreau. Lombardi wouldn’t have to do much to make sure those guys are ready to go every Sunday. McDaniels is clearly confident that the team doesn’t need a dedicated tight ends coach right now. He could also be waiting to see if Caley becomes available next season. In the meantime, coaching the tight ends will likely be a shared duty.
Waller Not Going Anywhere
Prior to the 2022 NFL Draft, Waller found himself in the middle of trade rumors. There’s been speculation that he might not have a long-term future with the team due to Davante Adams’ massive contract. However, his contract is reasonable right now and it would make no sense for the Raiders to trade him yet.
Waller isn’t going anywhere this season. He’s a very valuable piece of the team right now and a leader. McDaniels has to be thrilled about the idea of having a dynamic weapon like Waller to work with. The trio of Adams, Waller and Hunter Renfrow might be the best receiving trio in the NFL. It’s still possible that he gets moved in the future but he’s safe for this season. If he has a huge season in the new offense, it’s hard to imagine the Raiders will actually consider letting him go.