The New England Patriots are not a team that will rest on its laurels for long.
Per a league (NFL) source, the Patriots are expected to name Greg Schiano as their new defensive coordinator, within the next 24 hours. The Boston Globe’s Jim McBride was among the first to report Schiano’s imminent hiring.
It has barely been three days since the Pats secured a Super Bowl LIII victory over the Los Angeles Rams (the sixth in team history), and only one day after 1.5 million fans packed the streets of Boston to congratulate and celebrate with the team during their victory parade. However, the Patriots are a team that prides itself on taking ‘no days off.’ As a result, they acted quickly to fill the open position on their coaching staff. Schiano effectively replaces former linebackers coach Brian Flores, who was the team’s defensive play caller for the 2018 season. Flores was named the new head coach of the Miami Dolphins on Monday.
Only three days earlier, NFL Network Insider, Ian Rapoport had reported that Schiano was ‘likely join the Patriots’ staff in a key role.’ It had been uncertain (but quietly expected) as to whether Schiano would be given the official title of ‘defensive coordinator.’ Flores was technically the team’s linebackers coach this season. He was, however, considered the de-facto defensive coordinator, despite not holding that official title.
Schiano will be head coach Bill Belichick’s third defensive coordinator in three seasons. The last person to hold that title, Matt Patricia, left the position following the 2017 season to become the head coach of the Detroit Lions.
Schiano most recently served as defensive coordinator and associate head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes. He parted ways with the school last month, presumably to join the Pats once their season ended. However, this is not the first time that Schiano has been linked to a possible position with New England. It was widely reported that he had considered a similar arrangement in New England last February, after Patricia’s departure. He ultimately remained at Ohio State for 2018. This time, though, the lure of an NFL-return proved to be an offer Schiano could not refuse.
This will be the third NFL stop for Schiano. He had previously served as an assistant with the Chicago Bears, in the late 1990s. Most notably, he held the title of Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ head coach in 2012-13. However, he is perhaps best-known for tenure as the head coach at Rutgers for 11 years. Patriots defensive backs Devin and Jason McCourty and Duron Harmon all played for Schiano at Rutgers. That, in conjunction with his close relationship to Belichick, should help him to adjust to life in Foxboro a bit more easily.
–Mike D’Abate is a Managing Editor and National Columnist for Full Press Coverage Sports Media. He covers the New England Patriots and the NFL. Follow him on Twitter @mdabateFPC