Greg Schiano Reportedly Hired as Patriots DC After Super Bowl 53 Win

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 6, 2019

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 11: Defensive coordinator Greg Schiano of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks on during a game against the Michigan State Spartans at Ohio Stadium on November 11, 2017 in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State won 48-3. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Greg Schiano is heading back to the NFL and joining Bill Belichick's staff with the New England Patriots.

New England will reportedly hire Schiano as its defensive coordinator, according to Jim McBride of the Boston Globe.

This comes after Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported Schiano was a candidate to become the team's defensive coordinator if and when the Miami Dolphins hired Brian Flores as their next head coach, which they did following New England's Super Bowl victory.

Gary Tanguay of NBC Sports Boston also reported before last year's Super Bowl that Schiano was expected to interview for the defensive coordinator spot after Matt Patricia left to become the Detroit Lions head coach.

Schiano was most recently the defensive coordinator at Ohio State for the last three seasons. The Buckeyes finished fifth and eighth in the country, respectively, in yards allowed per game in his first two years, but they dropped to an uncharacteristic 68th in 2018.

New head coach Ryan Day elected to move on without Schiano on the staff after Urban Meyer retired following the 2018 season.

Schiano struggled during his one chance as head coach in the NFL with an 11-21 record in 2012 and 2013 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, he found success prior to that as the head coach at Rutgers from 2001 through 2011. He accumulated a 68-67 record and led the Scarlet Knights to six bowl appearances, an impressive total considering they have been to just 10 bowls in program history.

It appeared as if Schiano would be granted the opportunity to be a head coach at the collegiate level again following the 2017 season. Arthur Weinstein of Sporting News noted he and Tennessee agreed to a six-year contract, but the school pulled out of the deal amid protests because Schiano was on the Penn State staff during Jerry Sandusky's tenure as the defensive backs coach from 1991 through 1995.

"Many observers contended Schiano had no connection to that scandal and Tennessee had treated him unfairly in bowing to what they called a mob mentality," Weinstein wrote.

With Tennessee off the table and Ohio State in the rearview mirror, New England took the chance to hire him. There is a connection in place considering Belichick's son, Steve, played for Schiano at Rutgers, and the Patriots head coach spoke glowingly of the newest member of his staff in November 2017.

"He's one of the very best coaches I think in our profession," Belichick said, per Kevin Duffy of MassLive. "I have a tremendous amount of respect for Greg and the way he runs his program and the job that he does."

Schiano will have big shoes to fill with the Patriots.

Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News noted New England finished among the top 10 in scoring defense in 11 of the 12 seasons when Patricia was on the defensive staff. It was seventh in the league in 2018 under Flores, who called the defense's plays technically as the linebackers coach, and held the Los Angeles Rams to three points in the most recent Super Bowl.

This is a team coming off three Super Bowl titles and four appearances in the last five years. While the Tom Brady and Bill Belichick combination receives much of the deserved credit for the Patriots dynasty, the defense has consistently been an underrated part of the success.

It will be up to Schiano to continue the pattern of dominance moving forward.