THE CASE FOR CASERIO
7 things I don't know for a fact, but just know are true about Nick Caserio
Plenty of fans and media have voiced their displeasure with the hiring of GM Nick Caserio, and their concerns are more than valid. But I wanted to look at this hiring from a different perspective, because my only real concern with this hire has more to do with former NFL team chaplain, Jack Easterby, still being in the building and possibly having input into personnel decisions. So I decided to put this list together and give a tip of the cap to one of my favorite HBO Real Time segments that gave me the idea for this article. So without further ado:
Here are 7 things I don't know for a fact, but just know are true about Nick Caserio.
1) He CLEARLY wanted the job. The Texans tried to hire Nick Caserio in 2019 but failed to do so because they handled the process in an incompetent manner, surprise surprise, which caused the Patriots to file tampering charges against Houston. Fast-forward to 2021 when Caserio interviews for the job in person, unlike several other candidates, when he could have done it over Zoom. If you really want a job, you show up in person for the interview. Especially when there were reports not that long ago stating the Texans might wait a year to hire a new GM and coach when COVID isn't an issue and interviews can take place in person. He read the room, the room being CEO Cal McNair, and got on a flight to Houston and landed the job. Also, he put language in his Patriots contract after the debacle with the Texans that would preclude a tampering issue from occurring again.
2) He won't be overpaying veteran players with big money. Overpaying guys, especially players with only a couple of good years left, is not how he's been taught to do business. Caserio does not seem like a guy that would have offered Whitney Mercilus the boat anchor contract he currently has that's killing the Texans' cap. Countless times we've seen the Patriots walk away from a player one year too early, instead of one year too late. Richard Seymour comes to mind when the Pats were able to get a first round pick for him late in his career and sent him on his way to the Raiders. Tom Brady will likely be another example. Sure Brady had a great season, but next year could be a different story. It will be interesting to see what he does with JJ Watt.
3) He's basically had the GM job in New England for several years. The Texans' other candidates can't say the same. Belichick may have had the final say on the big decisions, but he's the best coach in NFL history. The GM candidates the Texans have already interviewed were the number two or number three guys in their respective front offices.
4) Caserio can bring all three phases of the football building together. You want a guy that can bring together coaches, players, and the front office. This is something Lance Zierlein mentioned in one of our SportsMap videos this week. Caserio has worked in all phases of the organization. Yes, he's known for his experience in New England's front office, but he was also the wide receivers coach for the 2007 Patriots. Brady threw 50 TD passes that year. Caserio also played QB in college for John Carroll University, so he has some experience in all three phases.
5) He knows what he's getting into as far as lack of draft capital and cap space. Caserio's been considering this job for a year and a half, so he would be crazy not to keep an eye on what the Texans have been up to. And let's face it, the national media has been crushing the Texans' decisions for months, so you would have to be living under a rock to not know what's going on in Houston. Plus, whatever you think about Jack Easterby, Caserio has had the opportunity to talk to him and get some information that may not be widely known.
6) He's very familiar with how a great QB can elevate a roster without a ton of talent. This one is easy. The Pats haven't been that great for several years from a talent standpoint, but because of Tom Brady, they were contenders for a Super Bowl every year. This will be extremely important since all the Texans have is Deshaun Watson and a bunch of dudes for the most part.
7) He knows Jack Easterby better than any other GM candidate they interviewed. This one is also pretty simple, and Caserio could win the entire fan base over if he shocks the world and fires Easterby. Clearly, that may not happen. But if he can get Easterby to handle the tasks in Houston like he did in New England where he was actually an asset to the franchise, that would be huge.
At this point as Texans fans all we can do is give Caserio a chance and hope that he hires the right coach, and doesn't let Easterby cause problems in the building. The Patriots are good at managing the salary cap, and he will certainly need that experience since the Texans are currently more than $17 million over the cap for 2021. Sometimes a hiring looks like the wrong move at the moment but ends up working out for the best. Let's just hope this is one of those times.
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