FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- In a move that has been anticipated for several weeks, the New England Patriots are moving toward hiring Greg Schiano for their coaching staff, league sources tell ESPN.
Schiano will be given the title of defensive coordinator, according to The Boston Globe.
The Patriots didn't have an official defensive coordinator in 2018, but Brian Flores was their defensive playcaller on game day and spearheaded the game-planning process. Flores was officially hired as Miami Dolphins head coach Monday.
That was also the same day that Schiano was flying into Boston, according to sources, which reflected how his addition to the staff in some capacity was weeks in the making.
Once the former Ohio State defensive coordinator announced he wasn't returning to the Buckeyes in 2019 to pursue opportunities in the NFL, it was widely assumed he would land with Bill Belichick and the Patriots.
Schiano is a longtime friend of Belichick's and coached Belichick's son Steve at Rutgers for one season. He also coached current Patriots defensive backs Devin McCourty, Jason McCourty and Duron Harmon.
Schiano was on the cusp of being named University of Tennessee head coach in 2017. But the university reversed course after public outcry among Tennessee fans, with people citing his connection to the Jerry Sandusky era at Penn State. Belichick had offered his public support for Schiano.
"I think Greg's a tremendous coach, I've learned an awful lot from him," Belichick said at the time. "Had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with him when he was at Rutgers. ... He's one of the very best coaches in our profession. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Greg and the way he runs the program and the job he does."