On Sunday, the New England Patriots won Super Bowl 53. One day later, the team officially lost de facto defensive coordinator Brian Flores to the Miami Dolphins: Flores will serve as the team’s new head coach. Him moving to South Beach has left the Patriots without a defensive signal caller yet again, after Flores himself only took over for Matt Patricia — the head coach of the Detroit Lions — this season.
Now, it looks as if the Patriots have filled the vacancy: according to the Boston Globe’s Jim McBride, the team is expected to name Greg Schiano as its new defensive coordinator soon. Schiano, of course, is no stranger in New England mainly because he is among the select group of coaches in Bill Belichick’s circle of trust: the two men built a friendship when Schiano was coaching at Rutgers when Belichick’s son Steve — now the team’s safeties coach — went there.
Schiano himself is an experienced coach, who had out of a job since being let go as Ohio State’s defensive coordinator in early January. The 52-year old also previously worked as head coach at Rutgers for 11 years and saw current Patriots Devin McCourty, Jason McCourty and Duron Harmon play for him, and later served as head coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for two years. Schiano then moved to Ohio State as the Buckeyes’ defensive coordinator for three seasons.
Ohio State had the second and third best defense in college football during Schiano’s final two seasons but still parted ways with him. This, in turn, cleared the way for him to come to New England and take over for Brian Flores, who just made his unit play a historic game in the Super Bowl. The question still remains who will take over Flores’ other role as linebackers coach. Steve Belichick or one of the team’s defensive assistants — Mike Pellegrino or Brian Belichick — might get the job. Of course, it is also possible that Schiano brings one of his own guys in to run the position.