Why the NY Jets are interviewing mysterious Nick Caley

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By: Michael Nania

The New York Jets will continue their offensive coordinator search with Patriots tight ends coach Nick Caley: But why?

Today, the New York Jets are interviewing New England Patriots tight ends coach Nick Caley for their vacant offensive coordinator position, per Albert Breer.

Every Jets fan had the same reaction to this news: Huh?

Out of all the names to be mentioned as candidates for the Jets’ OC role, Caley is the strangest. Caley, 39, has been an assistant for the Patriots’ offense since 2015 and has never called plays at any level. He has been coaching the Patriots’ tight ends since 2017, which isn’t necessarily a gold star on his resume since the Patriots’ tight ends have been largely disappointing during this time period.

So, why are the Jets interviewing him?

There are a few reasons worth considering.

Firstly, I think tight ends coaches are underrated candidates for the offensive coordinator role. At first glance, coaching tight ends does not seem as glamorous as coaching quarterbacks, coaching wide receivers, or serving as a passing game coordinator. But think about this: tight ends are heavily involved in both the passing game and the running game. Tight ends coaches have to be completely familiarized with both facets of the offense, while other positions might be more one-dimensional.

Another explanation to consider is that the Jets might just be interviewing Caley to get some intel on a division rival. It’s smart gamesmanship to use interviews as an opportunity to pick the brains of other organizations. Perhaps the Jets want to learn about the gameplans New England used to shut down New York’s offense in four consecutive games over the past two years.

Finally, it’s not fair to always assume that a coach’s coaching ability is directly attached to the performance of the unit he oversees. What if he’s a great coach and the players aren’t holding up their end of the bargain? The opposite can also be true. What if a coach is mediocre and gets bailed out by amazing execution from the players?

Coaching ability is very difficult for outsiders to analyze. Unless you are in the building with a coach every day, you know nothing about their ability to motivate, teach, instill discipline, command respect, relate with players, lead men, and all of the unquantifiable stuff that makes a good coach.

With this in mind, it’s very likely that if a candidate like Caley emerges, it’s probably because he has a strong reputation in league circles.

To learn more about Caley’s reputation, we brought Patriots beat reporter Zack Cox of NESN onto the Cool Your Jets Podcast. Zack provided an inside look at Caley’s tenure in New England, giving Jets fans an idea of why their team might be considering him for the OC position.

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