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Reports: Pats set to interview OC candidates

According to NFL Network, the Patriots will interview Nick Caley and have asked permission to speak to Minnesota's Keenan McCardell for their offensive coordinator position.

Patriots tight ends coach Nick Caley (left) and Vikings wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell.
Patriots tight ends coach Nick Caley (left) and Vikings wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell.

Last week the Patriots issued a statement saying they would begin interviewing candidates for offensive coordinator this week. On Wednesday we started to hear about some individuals the team plans to meet with.

According to NFL Network, the Patriots have requested permission from Minnesota to speak with Vikings wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell. NFLN also reported the Patriots are interviewing tight ends coach Nick Caley for the vacant position. Caley reportedly interviewed for the same position with the Jets on Tuesday.

McCardell enjoyed a long and productive career as a wide receiver from 1991-2007, playing for Bill Belichick in Cleveland from 1992-95. He has been coaching wide receivers in the NFL for eight seasons, the last two in Minnesota working with Justin Jefferson among others. McCardell was a holdover from Mike Zimmer's staff in Minnesota and remained there when Kevin O'Connell took over in 2022.

Previously McCardell coached receivers in Washington (2010-11) and Jacksonville (2017-20) with a stint in college at Maryland (2014-15) in between.

As a player McCardell played for the Browns, Jaguars, Buccaneers, San Diego and Washington, winning a Super Bowl with Tampa in 2002. He finished with 883 receptions for 11,373 yards and 63 touchdowns.

In addition to his ties with Belichick from his playing days with the Browns, McCardell also was part of Doug Marrone's staff in Jacksonville. Belichick is friendly with Marrone, who has an extensive background as an offensive line coach. It's possible the Patriots would need to fill a vacancy there as well depending on where Matt Patricia winds up in 2023.

Much has been made of Belichick's apparent desire to implement more of the Kyle Shanahan system into his offense, and McCardell was in Washington when Shanahan was the offensive coordinator. O'Connell, who was a third-round pick for the Patriots under Belichick, came to Minnesota from Sean McVay's system in Los Angeles. McVay is also a disciple of Shanahan.

Caley was reportedly denied the opportunity to leave with Josh McDaniels last season when the former Patriots offensive coordinator left to head up the Raiders. He's been in New England since 2015 and worked with tight ends for the last six seasons.

Late in the season, NFL Network ran a piece identifying future head coaching candidates and Caley was part of the list.

"Obviously, you want to aspire and you want to grow and I have aspirations to do those things the right way through growth and trying to serve the best I can here," Caley said. According to reports, Caley's contract is due to expire at the end of the league year, which would free him up for various openings around the league.

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