03-24-2008, 07:37 AM
In the Starting Line-up
Join Date: Mar 2006
Good article by Reiss on coaches/scouts being in sync...
Patriots want scouts, coaches on same page
When the Patriots shuffled their coaching staff last month, they made a not-often-seen change, with Nick Caserio moving from receivers coach to director of player personnel.
Generally, coaches coach and scouts scout. There is the downstairs (coaching offices) and the upstairs (front office).
In his new role, which is still evolving, the 32-year-old Caserio will work under vice president of player personnel Scott Pioli. He will oversee parts of both the pro personnel and college scouting departments, helping fill some of the void created when director of college scouting Thomas Dimitroff was hired as Atlanta Falcons general manager.
Caserio's shift in responsibilities highlights how the Patriots view the melding of coaching and scouting, especially at this time of year, with the draft fast approaching (April 26-27).
A good scout must think like a coach, and a good coach must also be able to wear a scouting hat at times. The thinking is that Caserio's experience in both areas will strengthen the team's overall operation, because the essence of scouting isn't just identifying talented players, it's knowing how they will fit into a team's system.
"That overall linkage between the personnel/scouting department and what goes on downstairs from a coaching perspective is critical," said Caserio, who enters his eighth season with the Patriots, having shifted liberally between the two areas.
"That's why when your people evaluate college players, they need to understand how you do things, understand your system, and determine how those players will project to something they've never done before. It's very system-specific, and each team has its own criteria."
Exactly what we mean when we talk about players who fit the Pats profile and system. There will always be ranked prospects (both high and low), but which one's fit the best? Simply stated, this means the Pats won't draft the highest consensus ranked edge rusher or CB -- they'll draft the best prospect for their system.
"What we want to try to do is maximize each spot on the roster; we want to be stronger at No. 1 than the opponent, stronger at No. 25 than they are, and stronger at No. 53 than they are, we're always looking to upgrade the talent level on the team, and play together to be functional."
- Bill Belichick -