BOSTON (CBS) — Just when you thought the Patriots’ offseason couldn’t get any more interesting, Bill Belichick is now looking for a new defensive coordinator for the second time in less than two months. Perhaps in the end, he’ll just name himself the DC of the NEP.
Greg Schiano’s surprise resignation on Thursday reopens the hole on Belichick’s coaching staff that originally formed when defensive play-caller Brian Flores left to become head coach of the Miami Dolphins. Unfortunately for Belichick, Flores wasn’t the only one to leave New England this offseason, with Josh Boyer vacating his post as Patriots’ cornerbacks coach to take over as Flores’ pass-defense coordinator. Defensive line coach Brendan Daly also left Belichick’s staff, becoming the run-game coordinator in Kansas City.
Mix in the loss of free agent defensive end Trey Flowers, and the New England defense has had its share of departures in the two months since the franchise won its sixth Super Bowl. But given this team’s run of success over the past two decades, they’ve become fairly accustomed to losing key contributors, whether they’re players or coaches.
And wearing a couple of different hoodies for the Patriots wouldn’t be anything new for Belichick, either. He was the acting defensive coordinator in both 2010 and 2011 after Dean Peas left (before Matt Patricia was officially given the title in 2012). He also handled duties on offense in 2009 after Josh McDaniels’ departure for Denver.
There would be concern that Belichick, who will be 67 when the 2019 season kicks off, may be spreading himself too thin trying to handle all the duties of head coach and all the duties of a defensive coordinator. But Schiano wasn’t brought in to re-invent the wheel, and the New England D shouldn’t change too much heading into next season. And if there is anyone who has a grasp on the system, it’s the man who put it in place.
If Belichick feels he can’t handle the double-dip of head coach and defensive coordinator, he’ll go out and find someone he trusts or promote from within (with Brett Bielema the likely front-runner). But it’s much more likely that Belichick will be multitasking quite a bit on the New England sideline next season.