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Will Patriots now turn to former Bucs coach Schiano for defensive assistant help?

Florida Football Insiders

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With the NFL season concluding Sunday night with the Eagles thrilling 41-33 victory over the Patriots in Super Bowl LII, attention turns almost immediately to the remaining job openings and also, who might fill roles on the Patriots staff?

That’s because on Monday afternoon, the Lions officially announced Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia as their new head coach. That obviously leaves a void at that important position, but also Patricia might be taking an assistant or two with him from New England.

And, that’s where former Bucs coach Greg Schiano may be in the mix to join Bill Belichick’s staff as an assistant of some kind.

A report in Boston said Thursday night that Schiano would be interviewing, perhaps to replace Patricia or at least for some role on the defense in New England.

However, that report was countered Friday in Columbus, OH, where Schiano has been the defensive coordinator for Ohio State the last two years, by prominent writer/columnist Tim May:

Now, obviously, what does “NO interview has been set up” truly mean?

It means that one could have been set up at any time, since that tweet this past weekend or that the Patriots are waiting until today/tomorrow to have conversations about staff replacements.

It’s also very possible, that May nor anyone else, truly has any idea if Schiano and Belichick, who are tight in the coaching fraternity, have talked previously and privately/informally recently, about him coming to Foxboro to help.

This much we know: it was a debacle in December, where Tennessee fans revolted at the negotiations going on with Schiano and their then-athletic director Jack Currie about the Vols head coaching job. The fan revolt and social media venom directed at Currie and the program ended any chance of Schiano getting the job.

Currie was subsequently fired by the Tennessee administration later that week for his bumbling of their coaching search, and the Vols hired Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.

And ultimately, the national negative attention on Schiano that weekend means he’s just as “radioactive” now, as he was when the Bucs fired him after the 2013 season.

Further, it’s likely Schiano will never be able to get a prominent college head coaching job, now. At least not in the next 2-3 years, if ever.

Not only with the Tennessee controversy recently, but he had a mediocre record at Rutgers. And then, his dismal two years in Tampa Bay, where at one point he lost 13 out of 14 games over two seasons and was fired, will make any athletic department ask “is that the best we can do?”

So, if he’s looking to leave Ohio State, now and get back into the NFL, Belichick is the key. And this may be his only chance at it in the short term to get back.

Belichick previously personally endorsed Schiano to the Glazer Family in Tampa about the Bucs job, and also backed him in December around the Tennessee controversy.

The Buccaneers and Patriots held joint August practices in Tampa and Foxboro in Schiano’s two seasons before playing New England in preseason games.

Throughout Monday and into the evening, the website Football Scoop continued to report that Schiano is, in fact, leaving Ohio State to come to New England in some capacity. And, they even added to the report that he’s bringing University of Minnesota defensive coordinator, Robb Smith, with him:

Smith was a defensive assistant previously at Rutgers and with the Bucs under Schiano. However, in their story, they also relayed that Smith denied the report that he’s leaving the Gophers on Monday night.

It should also be noted that the second high school national signing day is coming up on Wednesday.

So, Schiano for the Buckeyes and Smith for the Gophers have recruiting classes that are both uncertain of what those coaches are going to do.

Does Schiano really want to leave Ohio State and get back in some form to the pros?

We are about to find out.

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