In the days since Greg Schiano abruptly resigned from his yet-to-be-announced position as New England Patriots defensive coordinator, additional details have filtered about what compelled him to abandon such a desirable opportunity.
According to multiple reports, Schiano’s reasoning was as simple as what he shared in his statement: He wanted to devote more time to his family. Specifically, he reportedly didn’t want to uproot that family, which currently is planted in Columbus, Ohio, where Schiano last worked as Ohio State’s defensive coordinator.
From Ben Volin of The Boston Globe:
Maybe there is more to it, but from everything I know about the coach, the decision really was about family. A league source has said that Schiano doesn’t want to move his family until his daughter, a high school sophomore in Columbus, Ohio, graduates. Schiano basically had an open invitation to join Bill Belichick’s staff for several years, and only took it now because he was let go from Ohio State in January.
Even though Schiano agreed to join the Patriots and was at the Combine last month, my hunch is he discovered pretty quickly that being a long-distance father wasn’t going to work. And it’s better for Schiano to acknowledge this now, five months before the Patriots’ first snap of the season, than to realize it in August.
From Albert Breer of The MMQB:
… I think the statement he released — saying family was a driving factor in his decision — was truthful. His high school-aged daughter is a big-time women’s soccer recruit and his twin sons are playing college football. That made displacing his family and diving into the job in Foxboro tough. Maybe he’ll have some regret down the line on leaving his close friend Bill Belichick’s staff, but my sense is that he feared there’d be deeper regret if he went the other way, which is something we can all respect.
It remains to be seen how the Patriots will replace Schiano, who was expected to take over for Brian Flores after New England’s 2018 defensive play-caller landed a head-coaching gig with the Miami Dolphins. The most likely scenario involves Belichick becoming the team’s de facto defensive coordinator for a season while grooming an assistant to take the reins in 2020.
The makeup of the Patriots’ defensive coaching staff as a whole remains somewhat of a mystery. Flores took cornerbacks coach Josh Boyer with him to Miami, and defensive line coach Brendan Daly jumped to the Kansas City Chiefs, leaving Steve Belichick (safeties) as New England’s lone remaining defensive position coach.
Ex-Patriots star Jerod Mayo announced last week he’d been hired to coach the team’s linebackers, and 2018 coaching assistant DeMarcus Covington (who primarily worked with linebackers) could take on more responsibilities this season. The Patriots also reportedly hired longtime Schiano assistant Bob Fraser for an unspecified defensive role, but it’s unclear whether he’ll remain on staff with Schiano now gone.
The Patriots have yet to announce any coaching hires.
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