The Patriots have not replaced Greg Schiano ever since he walked away from his newly-appointed defensive coordinator role on March 28, and it appears they aren’t going to replace him.
Turns out they’ve already got a pretty qualified guy on staff.
According to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe, Belichick will appoint himself as New England’s new defensive coordinator.
Belichick, of course, is overqualified for the job, having served as Bill Parcells’ defensive coordinator for the New York Giants and Jets in the 1980s and 90s, helping Big Blue win two Super Bowls and Gang Green reach the AFC Championship in 1998. He has remained involved with the defense during his ongoing 6-time Super Bowl champion run as head coach of the Patriots.
According to Volin, Belichick coaches the Pats’ defensive linemen on game day and often told former coordinators Matt Patricia and Brian Flores (now the head coaches of the Lions and Dolphins, respectively) when to make blitz calls.
The news must be a surprise to Bret Bielema, who reportedly told confidants he was going to be New England’s defensive coordinator. The former Wisconsin and Arkansas head coach spent the 2018 season as a consultant to Belichick, and has been announced by the club as the Pats’ defensive line coach for the 2019 campaign.
It’s possible Belichick will use the 2019 campaign as a stop-gap while observing which internal candidate proves to be most worthy of handling the defense full-time for 2020 and beyond; both Patricia and Flores were promoted from within, though Schiano was an outside hire. Bielema and safeties coach Steve Belichick seem like the most likely candidates should form hold.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.