Patriots May Be Hiring Greg Schiano to Take Over the Defense. Why?

PFT – The Patriots are set to lose linebackers coach and de facto defensive coordinator Brian Flores to the Dolphins after the Super Bowl and that will make two years in a row that the team’s top defensive assistant has moved on for a head coaching job.

Per a report from the Senior Bowl, former NFL head coach Greg Schiano is a likely addition to the top of the defensive staff for the 2019 season. Schiano is in Mobile to talk to teams and NFL Media reports that “the spot that appears likely” is on Bill Belichick’s staff in New England.

Now this is just a rumor in the wind so we have no idea if it’s actually true or not, but we still wanted to blog about it because this would be WILDLY out of character for Bill Belichick. The man *always* promotes from within.

While Schiano has never worked with Belichick, the Patriots coach has endorsed Schiano as a coach on more than one occasion since his son and current Patriots assistant Steve played for Schiano at Rutgers.”

Belichick likes to bring in young, smart guys and run them through the ringer until they either quit, move on, or become a football mind in his own mold. We very rarely see a big name come off the street to take over either side of the ball for Belichick. (Despite my downright mayoral campaign for the Pats to bring in former Oregon and Eagles and current UCLA head coach Chip Kelly to lead the offense….the pieces were all there!) Despite all that it never happened.

Just take a look at their last 5 defensive coordinators and their last 3 offensive coordinators (Bill has only ever had 3 OC’s in 18 years as coach of the Pats, that’s insane) and how long they had been with the team before. (Note: I am making a couple of assumptions here with titles since Brian Flores wasn’t technically the “defensive coordinator” he was still the man in charge of the Pats defense.)

Defensive Coordinators

  • Brian Flores (14 years)
  • Matt Patricia (8 years)
  • Dean Pees (2 years + bonus points for 3 years coaching at Navy)
  • Eric Mangini (5 years w/ Pats + 3 years w/ Jets + 1 year with Browns)
  • Romeo Crennel (3 years w/ Jets + 10 years w/ Giants)

Offensive Coordinators

  • Josh McDaniels (8 years)
  • Bill O’Brien (4 years)
  • Josh McDaniels (5 years)
  • Charlie Weis (3 years w/ Jets + 3 years w/ Giants)

And before you point to guys like Charlie Weis who didn’t have prior Patriots coaching experience under Belichick, Bill was the new HC in town and whats the first thing he did? Brought in guys he knew intimately from his time with the Browns, Jets, and Giants. Belichick has NEVER worked with Schiano at any level, which is why this is even more out of character. Maybe Bill sees the cupboards are bare and he can’t very well promote his son to defensive coordinator (yet) so why not bring in a guy he respects and at least in theory is on the same page philosophically. This is all before we even get into Schiano’s head coaching record at Rutgers (68-67) and his NFL coaching record in Tampa Bay (11-21).

Again it’s just out of character for Belichick, but as a man in his 60’s he may look around and see the well is dry as the rest of the league has come with a straw to suck any bit of water they can from that very well.

Or maybe, just maybe, this has been Belichick’s great white whale. After yearsss of drafting player after player from Rutgers, Bill finally gets his guy, the man who made it all possible; the former Rutgers head coach himself.

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