Ben Volin yesterday on the Patriots successfully keeping Nick Caserio away from the Houston Texans and through next year’s draft:
The Patriots may have won this round, but keeping Caserio isn’t the real story here. The real story is this: Nick Caserio wants out of New England.
Specifically, he wants that Texans job. …
The Patriots’ win keeps Bill Belichick’s right-hand man in Foxborough for another season but also exposes some tension inside the walls of Gillette Stadium that we thought had simmered since last year.
Belichick and Tom Brady seem to have smoothed things over. But there has been a surprising exodus of coaches and scouts over the last two years (especially this year), which raises questions about the working environment in Foxborough. …
And now we see that Caserio wants out, too. If Caserio wanted to stay in New England, he would have just turned down the Texans’ overtures. Instead, the Patriots had to lawyer up to enforce Caserio’s contract. …
But it’s certainly a significant plot twist that Caserio wants out.
Ben Volin, afterward:
And there, in a nutshell, is everything you need to know about the Boston sports media.
I wrote a recap of the Patriots blowing Houston out in this Nick Caserio Bowl over the weekend and addressed the situation inside the Pats’ organization with this:
As far as going forward, who knows? Everyone thinks things might be awkward between Caserio and Belichick right now, but I doubt it. He didn’t get to be Belichick’s right hand man on personnel matters by not being brilliant. At least smart enough to know he’s locked into the New England job until 2020 and they weren’t going to simply let him walk to a competitor. I’m guessing it’s a lot worse in Houston.
And left it at that. Then after Volin ran to the top of his tower and declared to all the other trolls that it was war:
… I had a few people ask me if I was going to respond. I decided there was no need to. One, because no part of my opinion changed. And B), because when it comes to these reports that the offices at One Patriots Place are basically Fight Club, with blood splattered on the walls and bits of broken tooth and torn flesh all over the floor, the best thing to do is simply wait it out.
If you’re a veteran of watching the anti-Patriots propagandists trying to incite panic, you realize there’s a pattern to how these things play out. The initial reaction to every story, big or small, negative or benign, is always the same. Worst case scenario. Panic in the streets. Mass hysteria. Anarchy in Foxboro.
From coaches leaving to taping the Jets sidelines from the non-sidelines-taping-approved area, from players signing for big money elsewhere to deflated footballs, from restrictions being put on an outside trainer to the Director of Player Personnel being contractually unavailable to another team, it’s always, always, always the cataclysm that’s finally going to bring this dynasty to an end.
That is, until it isn’t. Until it turns out there was nothing to the story. Until we find out it was all pure speculation, conjecture and opinions pulled out of asses. By which time it’s too late because the media has already gotten the benefit of the TV and radio ratings and the digital media the clicks which were baited.
In this case, Volin assumes that Nick Caserio is not the man who was happy to sign a contract that prevented him from talking to other teams. But now that he can’t talk to other teams, he’s … what? In the time out chair, sulking and not playing nice with others? Is he hold up in his office, refusing to do any work? Or worse, is he Bill O’Brien’s man on the inside, who’ll be undermining the Pats from within? In the 2020 draft will he end up taking a bunch of guys with torn ACLs, amputees and medical school cadavers and hope Belichick doesn’t know the difference?
Whatever Volin was implying, he wasn’t at all shy about reporting that “Caserio wants out.” Which he said repeatedly. As FACT. And within hours, had to admit that it was purely his opinion disguised as reporting. And in the weeks and months to come, as Caserio is doing his due diligence, signing free agents, making roster moves, swinging trades and prepping for the draft, the people who buy into this stuff will be onto some other speculative bullshit. Which, as always, will make it sound like the Patriots are in turmoil while half the teams in the NFL are total garbage fires. That’s just how journalism is done around here.