And so the Nick Caserio War that began just about a year ago is finally over.
The plot by Jack Easterby - the former Patriots Team Chaplain/Life Coach/Morality Coordinator who inexplicably has seized all the power in the Houston Texans organization - has finally come to fruition. His masterplan apparently is to what every other NFL franchise and Power 5 Conference program has tried at one time or another: Which is try to replicate Bill Belichick's empire by hiring someone who's been a witness to Bill Belichick's empire and hope they can do what he's done. It's not just everyone's default setting Plan A, it's Plans A through Y and only after it's failed miserably do they try to come up with a Plan Z. And in Easterby's case, what he lacks in originality, he more than makes up for in disloyalty the man who gave him a career in football.
And that's fine. It's only business. Nick Caserio, like Easterby, knew he'd reached the limit of how much control and credit he'd get working in the cold darkness of Belichick's mighty shadow. He'd get a press conference or two in and around the draft. A few interviews during training camp. But for the most part was fated to work in the background until he went elsewhere. He's been with the Patriots in some capacity or other since 2002, which is several lifetimes in a football front office unless you're someone who's content to work in anonymity like Ernie Adams. And there's only one of him. So it's only natural that Caserio would want the chance to shoot his own shot.
Though it is worth asking why the Texans would be interested. Isn't the knock on the Patriots that they can't scout or draft? Isn't the cliche that GM Bill is always failing Coach Bill? That they've failed miserably identifying college talent and only succeeded because they got lucky that one time when they selected a quarterback in the sixth round in 2000, which is two years before Caserio took a job in Foxboro? If all that's true, why would anyone want to hire the guy who's been the Director of Personnel overseeing this debacle?
I'm asking rhetorically, but reading between the lines it doesn't sound like Caserio's new quarterback is:
Bill O'Brien didn't work out. Romeo Crennel (in an impossible situation) is not the answer. Easterby has alienated everyone in Houston in record time. So you can appreciate Deshaun Watson's Twitter eyeroll at his organization continuing to operate off the same playbook while he just gets older and JJ Watt apologizes to him for squandering another year of his career.
As for the Patriots, it's not like they didn't see this coming. Only Caserio's contract kept him here for 2020 so there's no way they don't have a line of succession to the throne all set to go. And just like they kept winning after Scott Pioli left and Thomas Dimitroff left and dozens of others have come and gone, they've still got the only man who truly matters.
Besides, a lot of these former minions of The Hooded One have run their new organizations like sleeper agents, installed to destroy them with from within. And I'm not ruling out that being the case here. That Caserio is the Manchurian GM, sent to Houston to exact revenge on Easterby. We'll know for sure if he trades a disgruntled Watson to New England, gets fired by Easterby and then returns to his old job. From my blog to God's ears.