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Caserio, in his second season as director of player personnel, also is helping out on the practice field as a receivers coach, lending a hand to first-year WRs coach Chad O’Shea.
“At this point of the year, I certainly enjoy it,” Caserio said yesterday, “and I think what we’re trying to do right now is wherever I can help and whatever capacity that might be, then I’m certainly more than willing to do.”
Caserio, 33, said his responsibilities off the field haven’t changed drastically since Scott Pioli, the Patriots’ former vice president of player personnel, left to become the Kansas City Chiefs GM in January. The Pats added Floyd Reese as senior football adviser shortly after Pioli’s departure. Jason Licht rejoined the Patriots’ personnel department in February as director of pro personnel.
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“I think what we have been able to do is that we have allocated some of the responsibilities, (but) in the end, we all work together,” he said. “Floyd has a wealth of experience in the league, Jason has been with us previously, so we have different people. Everybody sort of understands their role and we all work together. So I wouldn’t say (my role) has changed all that much. In the end, maybe there’s a few more things that end up crossing my desk, but I wouldn’t say there is a drastic change in terms of responsibilities.”
Caserio clearly enjoys his time coaching, so it is possible that he is simply helping to ease the transition for Licht, who spent four seasons with New England from 1999-2002 before working in the Eagles’ front office for five years and the Cardinals last year, or Reese, who has no prior experience with the Patriots, to take over in the future, clearing the way for him to return to the field full-time.
In typical Patriots style, he did not say Thursday whether a return to coaching was in his future.
"I think my situation has kinda been unique," Caserio said. "Even if you go back a few years ago when (Ivan Fears) was out ... I was out on the field working with the running backs. I have had some degree of experience in the system. So I think, at this point of the year, I certainly enjoy it ... and wherever I can help and whatever capacity that might be, then I'm certainly more than willing to do."
Caserio also doesn't feel the pressure of living up to Pioli, who built the Patriots' three Super Bowl champions and seven AFC East winners.
"I am not Scott Pioli I am my own person, and I am just going to try to perform my job to the best of my ability. Hopefully, in the end, it's not about me. It's about how we do collectively as an organization, and I play a small part in that.
Caserio received no bump up in title since Scott Pioli’s departure to Kansas City, and he now shares some of his pseudo-general manager duties - the financial ones in particular - with new senior football adviser Floyd Reese. He acknowledged that his responsibilities did not undergo a “drastic” change, while calling Reese “a joy to be around.”
Coach Bill Belichick said the transition in the front office has been positive.
“I thought the draft process with Nick and our scouts, Jon Robinson and Jason (Licht) and all those guys, and Floyd with the contracts, all that’s gone pretty smoothly,” Belichick said.
Caserio wouldn’t rule out a potential future desire to be a head coach.
“Whatever opportunities present themselves,” he said, “that’s down the road.”
For now, Caserio will be found anywhere and everywhere, with a concentration on scouting. What he said he will not do is compare his current job performance to that of Pioli, his close friend who helped guide the Pats to three Super Bowl titles.