Just three short weeks ago, all of New England Patriots nation was discussing the apparent cast of possible candidates available for the team to fill perhaps their most considerable off-season need, a new offensive coordinator.
We touched on the usual suspects from inside the Bill Belichick family football tree, and also named a few viable options from outside the organization.
But as of Wednesday morning, the Patriots surprised some with the announcement of a couple of interviews that will be conducted before the end of the week. Not surprisingly, all the announced candidates have connections to Bill Belichick and the Patriots organization.
Patriots have a former NFL wide receiver on their radar
The first announced interview was of a candidate that seemingly flew under everyone’s radar. On Wednesday the Patriots announced that they had contacted the Minnesota Vikings requesting permission to interview their wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell.
McCardell never played in the Patriots organization, but he did play under Bill Belichick for the Cleveland Browns from ’92 – ’95. For the entirety of his coaching career, McCardell has served as a positional coach for wide receivers.
McCardell started his coaching career in Washington during the 2010 – 20011 season. He then joined Doug Marone’s staff in Jacksonville from 2017 – 2020 and held the same title at the University of Maryland from 2014 – 2015.
Along with his time as a player in Cleveland, McCardell also spent parts of 17-NFL seasons with the Jaguars, Buccaneers, Chargers, and Washington and was named an All-Pro two times. In 2002 with Tampa Bay, McCardell scored six touchdowns on the way to a Super Bowl win.
The day’s second and slightly bigger surprise came when the Patriots announced an interview with the University of Oregon Offensive Line Coach and Associate Head Coach Adrian Klemm.
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Klemm has a unique connection with Belichick aside from the five seasons he played under Bill in New England, where they won three super bowl titles together. Klemm was actually the first draft selection Belichick ever made as the leader of the Pats when he selected the big offensive tackle out of the University of Hawaii as the 46th overall pick in 2000.
Klemm also served as the run game coordinator in Oregon and has received high praise for his contributions to the high-powered Ducks’ offense.
Lastly, the Patriots have also interviewed the current Patriot’s Tight End Coach, Nick Caley. Caley has long been considered a Belichick favorite, as he’s been with the Pats for the past eight seasons.
The hiring of a new offensive coordinator remains the key focus for all of Patriots nation in the young off-season.