Greg Schiano is a Perfect Fit for the Patriots

With the 2018 season wrapping up this Sunday in Atlanta, it’s time for the rest of the league to try and get themselves a piece of the Belichick coaching tree.

Josh McDaniels will no doubt have multiple head coach offers, as he does every season; although NFL owners may have soured on McDaniels after he ghosted Indianapolis last season. Patriots linebackers coach and defensive play-caller Brian Flores has been tapped as the new head coach of the Miami Dolphins, although the Patriots are being tight-lipped on the departure, as usual. Multiple reports also indicate that Flores will bring along Chad O’Shea to be the Dolphins’ new offensive coordinator. O’Shea has been with the Patriots for the last 10 seasons as the wide receivers coach.

The Patriots will need to fill the hole that Flores will leave on the defensive coaching staff and former Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano has been linked to being a possible replacement.

Greg Schiano’s defensive prowess can be traced back to the beginning of his playing days when he was a linebacker at Bucknell University. During his junior season, Schiano led his team with 114 tackles and was named to the all-conference team. Schiano got into the coaching game when he was named the defensive back coach for Penn State from 1991 to 1995. Thus leading to his first job in the NFL with the Chicago Bears as a defensive assistant. He was promoted to defensive backfield coach during his final year in Chicago.

His next stop was the University of Miami as defensive coordinator. He had such success with the Hurricanes that he landed his first head coaching gig with Rutgers University. He is credited with turning the disparaged program around (four straight bowl game victories) over his coaching stint from 2000-11, although he ended with a career record of  68-67.

He left Rutgers in 2012 for his first NFL head coaching position with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he spent two seasons before being fired after missing the playoffs. He finished his time in Tampa with a disappointing 11-21 record.

But that didn’t end the career of Greg Schiano. He has been the defensive coordinator for the Ohio State Buckeyes for the past three years but was not retained after this past season. Schiano was rumored to be leaving Ohio State last season to become New England’s defensive coordinator, replacing Matt Patricia after he took the head coaching gig in Detroit. Schiano pulled the plug on the Patriots before he ever made it to New England, much like McDaniels did to the Colts only days earlier.

Schiano has had multiple ties to Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots over the years, and the two have been long-time friends. He coached at Rutgers from 2001-11 in which time Steve Belichick, Bill’s son, played for Schiano. Steve Belichick is currently the safeties coach for New England, and would no doubt fit right in with Schiano as offensive coordinator. The Patriots also held joint preseason practices with the Buccaneers during Schiano’s stay in Tampa Bay.

In November of 2017, Bill was asked about his friend and Bill replied, “I think Greg’s a tremendous coach. I’ve learned an awful lot from him and had an opportunity to spend a lot of time with him when he was at Rutgers. He’s one of the very best coaches I think in our profession. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Greg and the way he runs his program and the job that he does.’’

Belichick’s high praise and respect for Greg Schiano’s coaching philosophies can be seen by the players that Belichick chooses to put on his roster. Bill drafted Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon, and former Patriots linebacker Steve Beauharnais, who all went to Rutgers during Schiano’s tenure. He also signed free agents Alex Silvestro, Justin Francis, Tiquan Underwood, Jonathan Freeny and Jason McCourty, who are also former players of Schiano while at Rutgers.

The camaraderie between Bill Belichick and Greg Schiano is a perfect match as far as head coach and defensive coordinator go. The kicker is the familiarity of the players that make this a perfect match for both the Patriots and Schiano.

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