What Greg Schiano stepping down means for Patriots coaching staff


What an interesting offseason it has been for the Patriots.

The team has lost five assistant coaches, Trey Flowers and Trent Brown have signed with other teams via free agency, Rob Gronkowski retired two weeks after free agency began and now Greg Schiano, who was likely the new defensive coordinator, has stepped down before even officially being introduced.

The Patriots now have just two coaches on the defensive side of the ball: Steve Belichick (safeties coach last year) and Jerod Mayo (reportedly hired as linebackers coach Wednesday). There's also Brett Bielema, but he didn't have an official role last season.

Following the news, the No. 1 question has to be who will be defensive coordinator?

From this perspective, it could very well be Bill Belichick himself.

Given the time of year, it is a little late to add a coach, especially of that importance, and there aren't any real internal options already on staff. Bielema is possible, but it just doesn't make much sense given he didn't really have a defined role last season, and it was his first in New England. He also could have been hired over Schiano, but wasn't.

It's also worth wondering what will happen to Bob Fraser, who reportedly was scheduled to follow Schiano to New England. He has worked under Schiano during his last 11 seasons, whether in the NFL or college.

Belichick and Co. have work to do on the defensive side of the ball, as a defensive line coach, cornerbacks coach as well as a potential coordinator need to be hired. It's very well possible these positions (besides coordinator) have been filled, and they just haven't yet been announced. But, with the announcement coming out of nowhere and likely coming as a surprise to everyone, it certainly will have an impact on things in the short term.

In the end, the news won't dramatically effect things, as it wasn't like Schiano had plans to redo the defense, it just appears like it will mean more work on Belichick's plate.