Greg Schiano announced on Thursday that he has decided to step down from the New England Patriots’ staff, citing reasons of faith and family.
The New England Patriots‘ coaching carousel continues to spin, even after it finally appeared like the staff might stabilize. Just a day after the team announced the hire of former defensive captain and star player Jerod Mayo as their new linebackers coach, presumptive defensive coordinator Greg Schiano released a joint statement with head coach Bill Belichick detailing that he no longer plans to join the Patriots’ coaching staff.
While Schiano’s hire was never officially announced, news broke that he was expected to replace Brian Flores as New England’s new defensive coordinator as early as February 6, just three days after Super Bowl 53.
Schiano, of course, is the former head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. He was assistant head coach and defensive coordinator for the Ohio State Buckeyes from 2016-2018, when he was initially recruited by Belichick to join the team as the defensive coordinator then. Schiano ultimately decided to stay with the Buckeyes that February in 2018, and spent all of this past college football season with the team.
A year later, reports came out that Schiano again was planning on leaving Ohio State for the Patriots, but as it turns out, those reports may have been premature.
Schiano cited a “need to spend more time on my faith and family” in the statement.
"“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,” Schiano said. “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 recalibrate my priorities.”"
Belichick said in his portion of the statement that Schiano “is a friend who we support completely.” Whether or not the longtime Pats head coach was surprised or taken aback by Schiano’s sudden change of heart is unknown, but one would imagine the about-face must have been at least slightly surprising and disappointing for Belichick. The two coaches have been friends for decades.
Now, the Patriots must pivot once again. They lost Matt Patricia to the Detroit Lions first; they replaced him with Brian Flores, who they lost to the Miami Dolphins; they replaced him with Greg Schiano, and now it seems they’ve lost him as well.
Perhaps at this point, it’d be best for Belichick to just coach the defense himself and rely on his defensive coaching assistants to help share the load.