Earlier today we discussed potential replacements in the New England Patriots hierarchical structure at offensive coordinator. Brian Daboll, formerly Patriots tight end coach, has left to be offensive coordinator at the University of Alabama. Daboll was expected to be “next-in-line” for the offensive coordinator job if Josh McDaniels ever left for a head coaching gig.
We did not fully examine the possible tight end coaches of the Patriots, and ESPN’s Mike Reiss has shed some more light on the coaching job in his excellent Sunday quick hits.
Reiss notes that Daboll “will make considerably more at Alabama than with the Patriots, as he easily more than doubles his salary,” which sounds ridiculous (#amateurism), but he also believes “the odds are highest that the Patriots will promote from within to fill the void.”
So the question becomes who can the Patriots promote from within to the tight end coaching job?
I will say that none of the current coaching assistants make sense as a potential tight ends coach, with Cole Popovich tied to the hip of offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia; Nick Caley holding experience as a defensive backs coach; and Mike Pellegrino a former lacrosse player.
I wouldn’t count out wide receivers coach Chad O’Shea taking the tight ends under his wing as he coached tight ends at the University of Houston from 1998-99. Other coaches with experience coaching tight ends include offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia (Patriots from 1982-88 and 1991-92) and defensive line coach Brendan Daly (Drake in 1998; Villanova in 1999; Illinois State in 2004).
An alternative approach could involve drawing into the scouting department, like when director of player personnel Nick Caserio chipped in a season as wide receivers coach in 2007. Someone with former coaching experience like national scout DuJuan Daniels, area scout Tim Heffelfinger, pro scout Steve Cargile, area scout Jonathan Howard, area scout Brandon Yeargan, or pro scout Frank Ross could be on the radar, but Daniels and Heffelfinger have 10+ years in their current roles and are unlikely to move.
It will be curious to see how the Patriots fill the tight end opening, especially if it comes in house.
Reiss also highlights the results of the Patriots trading OG Logan Mankins (TE Tim Wright and EDGE Trey Flowers) and trading EDGE Chandler Jones (OG Joe Thuney and WR Malcolm Mitchell). If the Patriots can flip the 3rd round pick from trading LB Jamie Collins into another key contributor, then Patriots head coach Bill Belichick will reportedly receive a Howler from the Ministry of Magic for performing magic in front of Muggles.