NFL Insider: Patriots May Have ‘Already Lost’ Key Coach

New England Patriots coaches on sideline

Getty New England Patriots coaches watch from the sidelines.

After watching Josh McDaniels and a few trusted assistants take their talents to the Las Vegas Raiders, Bill Belichick may soon see another member of his coaching staff wearing another team’s colors.

On the January 5 edition of “Zolak & Bertrand,” Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer delivered insight on the status of New England Patriots tight end coach Nick Caley. Once viewed as a potential candidate to replace McDaniels, he looks poised to find a new employer.

“Bill [Belichick] wasn’t ready to give him clarity, so he declined to sign an extension [in New England] because I think his logic was, ‘If you don’t give me an extension or if you don’t give me clarity on my role, like, how am I going to commit to being here for longer than the next year?'” Breer said. “I think that there are some very real questions that they all have to answer at the end of the year. There’s no question about that.”


Albert Breer on how Robert Kraft feels about the Patriots performance in 2022 | Zolak & BertrandThe MMQB's Albert Breer joins "Zolak & Bertrand" on NBC Sports Boston to discuss his report that Robert Kraft has not been happy with the offensive set-up under Bill Belichick this season. What does this mean for the offseason? Also, could Tight Ends coach Nick Caley be here next year? And what to think of…2023-01-05T18:12:12Z

 

Patriots owner Robert Kraft views Caley, 39, as a “promising young coach,” said Breer, who questioned whether the Patriots would keep him beyond this season.

“I wonder if you’ve already lost Nick,” Breer said. “Like, I think Nick might be gone now.”


Nick Caley Could Have a Bright Future Outside of New England

He may not have the same name recognition as Patriots assistants Matt Patricia and Joe Judge, but Caley could enter the national spotlight in the coming months.

With an expiring contract and a resume that includes two Super Bowl championships and nearly a decade of experience working for the Patriots, Caley has a prime opportunity to land a promotion this offseason.

On November 17, NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero listed Caley among the young NFL coaches to “watch in future years.”

In addition, Mike Dussault of Patriots.com addressed the future of New England’s coaching staff in his December 20 mailbag on the team’s official site.

“I’d expect even more departures this year with Nick Caley and Jerod Mayo topping the list of candidates to leave,” Dussault wrote. “The staff and the front office need to continue to be reinforced.”


Will Bill Belichick Have to Overhaul His Coaching Staff?

Caley isn’t the only member of Belichick’s coaching staff who faces an uncertain future.

After all, what role will Patricia play in 2023?

Put in charge of not only calling plays but also overseeing the offensive line, the former defensive coordinator has faced plenty of criticism in his first season as the team’s de facto offensive coordinator.

Coming off a 2021 campaign in which they ranked sixth in scoring and 15th in total yards, the Patriots have plummeted to 17th and 26th, respectively.

Plus, second-year quarterback Mac Jones has regressed after putting together a promising rookie season that included 3,801 passing yards, 22 touchdowns against 13 interceptions and a 10-7 record.

Patricia’s future in Foxborough hinges heavily on how Kraft views the situation. Will he demand Belichick make wholesale changes or will Kraft continue to let his longtime coach continue to make all football-related decisions?

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