Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano is expected to leave the Buckeyes to take the same position with the NFL's New England Patriots, according to a report by Football Scoop's Zach Barnett.
"It was reported last week that Schiano would interview for the job, and sources tell us the deal (is) expected to be completed," Barnett wrote Monday morning.
After giving up 41 points and 533 yards in their loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night, the Patriots are in the market for a new defensive coordinator after their previous defensive coordinator, Matt Patricia, was hired by the Detroit Lions as their new head coach on Monday afternoon.
The Patriots also, however, have an internal candidate to be promoted to defensive coordinator in linebackers coach Brian Flores, and some reports have suggested that Schiano could join the Patriots in a role other than defensive coordinator, such as assistant head coach. Fox Sports' Bruce Feldman said Monday that he has been told Schiano has not yet decided on whether to leave Ohio State to take a job in New England.
Saw the report that Greg Schiano is leaving #OhioState for the #Patriots DC job. Am told Schiano hasn't decided whether he's leaving OSU yet. Brian Flores may get promoted to DC in New England. Schiano could have a job on the Pats staff w/ Belichick but still hasn't decided.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) February 5, 2018
Football Scoop has since reported that in addition to hiring Schiano, the Patriots are also expected to add Minnesota defensive coordinator Robb Smith – who worked with Schiano at Rutgers and with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – to their coaching staff. Smith, however, has directly denied that report on his Twitter account.
It is expected, Barnett reports, that Alex Grinch – who was hired by the Buckeyes in January, but has yet to be given an official title – will be Ohio State's new defensive coordinator if Schiano leaves.
It's presumable that Grinch, who was previously the defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Washington State, would also take over Schiano's role as safeties coach if he leaves, while the Buckeyes remain in the market for a new cornerbacks coach to replace Kerry Coombs, who officially took a job with the NFL's Tennessee Titans last week.
The departure of Schiano in addition to Coombs would leave the Buckeyes with two open spots on their coaching staff, but with 10 full-time assistant coaching spots this year instead of nine and Grinch already hired, Ohio State would not be tied to directly replacing Schiano in filling the other vacancy.
Schiano has appeared to be on the way out of Columbus sooner than later since November, when he had a deal in place to become Tennessee's head coach before the Volunteers backed out at the 11th hour. While he missed out on the opportunity to become a college head coach, joining the Patriots would give Schiano the opportunity to work with a longtime friend in Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.
While Schiano has spent most of his coaching career in the college game, he was a defensive assistant coach for the Chicago Bears from 1996 to 1998 in addition to his two seasons coaching the Buccaneers in 2012 and 2013.
Stay tuned with Eleven Warriors for further coverage of this story as more information becomes available.