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Short-time Patriots defensive coordinator Greg Schiano is close to returning to football, eyes head coaching job at Rutgers

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Read more: Greg Schiano steps down as Patriots’ Defensive Coordinator

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New England Patriots Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images

Shortly after their victory in Super Bowl 53, the New England Patriots lost defensive play-caller Brian Flores to the Miami Dolphins. In order to fill the void created by the departure, head coach Bill Belichick hired an old friend of his: Greg Schiano, the long-time Rutgers head coach who also spent time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and at Ohio State before agreeing to join Belichick’s staff in New England. The marriage did not last long, though.

Only a month into his tenure with the Patriots, however, Schiano abruptly decided to resign from his position as defensive coordinator.

“I have informed Mr. Kraft and Coach Belichick that I am stepping down from my position at the Patriots,” Schiano announced in a statement released by the team. “This is not the result of any one event, but rather a realization that I need to spend more time on my faith and family. I don’t want to look back years from now and wish I had done things differently. Therefore, I am taking time away from the game to re-calibrate my priorities.”

The 53-year-old was away from football ever since his announcement in late March, but it looks as if his self-imposed sabbatical will come to an end soon: as first reported by NJ.com’s James Kratch, Schiano is close to returning to Rutgers. According to Mark Schlabach of ESPN, the two parties have recently met for an interview even though a reunion is reportedly “far from being done” just yet.

Nevertheless, it appears as if the short-time Patriots assistant coach is ready to get back to the sidelines — just not in New England. His former team, meanwhile, is thriving without him: the Patriots field the best scoring defense in all of football with Bill Belichick, and assistant coaches Steve Belichick and Jerod Mayo leading the unit. Only one reminder remains of Schiano’s tenure with the club, coaching assistant and long-time Schiano confidante Bob Fraser.