Now that it's abundantly clear the Patriots will be doing almost a complete revamp of the defensive coaching staff — the last one left not named Belichick, please turn out the lights — it's time to let you know exactly what to expect if, indeed, Greg Schiano is the next defensive coordinator for the Patriots.
To recap, Brian Flores took the Dolphins coaching job and brought with him cornerbacks coach Josh Boyer (along with offensive coaches Chad O'Shea and Jerry Schuplinski, and former Patriots linebackers coach Pat Graham). Meanwhile, defensive line coach Brendan Daly reportedly has joined the Chiefs.
That leaves just Steve Belichick as the only official defensive assistant left on staff. Of course, you have "consultant" Brett Bielema and coaching assistants DeMarcus Covington, Mike Pellegrino, Cole Popovich, Atif Austin and Brian Belichick still in the building.
As far as the possible defensive staff in '19, I could envision Bielema as the line coach, Schiano as defensive coordinator/secondary with Steve Belichick as the top assistant. Covington should be ready to handle the linebackers. Still, it's a little light in some places -- they could need to find another FOB (Friend of Bill) with some gravitas. Last we heard from former Patriots assistant Pepper Johnson, he was ready to get back in. He'd make a lot of sense.
Regardless of how the assistant duties shake out, there's little doubt Schiano will have to do a lot of the heavy lifting.
There are few writers who have as much experience with Schiano as I have. As a Rutgers alumnus, I watched just about every game he coached in college. When he made the jump from college to the pros with Tampa Bay, he and I talked extensively on and off the record while he was readying for his first season with the Bucs.
So when it comes to Schiano becoming New England's DC, there are parts about him that will be a great asset to Belichick. There are other parts about Schiano that ... well, let's just say this should be interesting.
Let's start here: this has been and will be Belichick's defense. He sets