The Patriots are set to name Greg Schiano as their new defensive coordinator, Jim McBride of the Boston Globe reports. Once hired, the former Buccaneers head coach will replace former play-caller Brian Flores, who is now the head coach of the Dolphins.
Schiano will be Bill Belichick’s third defensive coordinator in three seasons, because the Patriots’ DC job has proven to be a major launching pad to head coaching positions. Last year, Matt Patricia parlayed his experience into the Lions’ top job. This time around, Flores moved up the ladder with a five-year fully guaranteed deal to manage one of the Pats’ divisional rivals.
Schiano has longstanding relationship with Belichick, one that has led to a pipeline between the league’s most successful franchise and the Rutgers football program. Defensive backs Devin McCourty, Jason McCourty, and Duron Harmon all played for Schiano at RU and the Pats have signed scores of other former Scarlet Knights. On a related note, one can’t help but wonder whether the Schiano hire could push the McCourty brothers to continue playing.
“I think Coach Schiano is a great defensive coach and he’s really coached all the positions — line, linebacker, DBs,” Belichick said in 2015. “He’s had a lot of extensive work with defensive backs and I think he does a great job with them. The way he runs his program, runs his defense, teaches and so forth, that’s all a great part of preparing players either in a similar way that we do it or when he was in college prepared them to come into our program with some changes but minimal maybe compared to other teams.”
Schiano’s first made a name for himself at RU, taking the program from a laughing stock to a bowl game contender. Most recently, he served as Ohio State’s defensive coordinator.
When on the banks of the old Raritan in 2006, Schiano’s Scarlet Knights ranked as high as No. 7 in the Associated Press poll.
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