Bill Belichick isn’t one to dish out compliments, so when he goes on and on about how great someone is, it means a little extra.
Just look at what he said last January about director of player personnel Nick Caserio.
“Nick does a great job,” Belichick said. “He does a lot of different things for us. I'm sure he does more than anybody in the league at his position in terms of his interaction with the team, the coaching staff and the college and pro scouting. He's involved in a lot of different things and does a great job at all of them. His job description would be several pages.”
And why does this have any relevance now?
According to multiple reports, the Texans are interested in stealing him from the Patriots to be their next general manager following Brian Gaine being fired last Friday. It was reported Monday Houston has already put in an official request to interview him.
This is the second time the Texans have requested permission to interview Caserio, as in 2018 it was denied by the Patriots. But, it might be more difficult to deny this time around.
It was easy to deny then as the Patriots were still in the playoffs, now it may be a different story. Caserio’s official title is director of player personnel, so he would be interviewing for technically a promotion, which is why the organization would likely not be able to deny the request.
Caserio may have some interest in the job as he is very comfortable with the people he would be working with on a daily basis in head coach Bill O’Brien, who spent a number of years in New England. Also, Jack Easterby, the former Patriots character coach who joined Houston this offseason, who apparently will have more of a role in the decision-making process.
New England and Belichick need to do whatever it needs to do to keep Caserio around, even if it means giving him the official general manager’s title because he’s that important.
Caserio does a little bit of everything with the Patriots and is essentially Belichick’s right-hand man. He’s heavily involved in the constriction of the roster. The John Carroll grad heads up the draft and then also is part of the process of adding and releasing players. During the season he can be seen on the practice field in a coaching role almost every single day and is even on the coaches headsets on game day.
It would be hard to find anyone in the NFL that does as much as him.
While it would be a huge blow to lose him in any year, this year might be one of the worst. Following losing essentially the entire defensive coaching staff, Belichick likely is going to have more of a hands-on role with that unit and that potentially could take away some of his time with other things. That would be where Caserio would come in.
Imagine if Caserio left. That would likely leave Belichick with his normal head-coaching duties, an expanded role with the defense, and then all the duties that come with roster construction. At 67 years old, Belichick should be getting things taken off his plate, not added on to it.
It’s unclear what Caserio is feeling. He could love his situation in New England and not want to go anywhere. Or, he could want to continue to climb the ladder and get the official GM title, which would mean the Houston job would be very appealing.
If that is the case, the Patriots and Belichick may need to tweak his role and title immediately so he doesn’t go anywhere.
There are not too many people worth going all-in for, but then again not too many people can do all the things Caserio does.