Urban Meyer has already dodged one bullet when it comes to the boss of his defense. Now, it appears he may have to dodge another, more significant one.
According to Gary Tanguay of NBC Sports Boston, Greg Schiano is expected to interview with the New England Patriots for their soon-to-be vacancy at defensive coordinator. Following Sunday’s Super Bowl, Bill Belichick‘s current coordinator on that side of the ball, Matt Patricia, is leaving to take over as the head coach of the Detroit Lions.
Schiano was set to become the new head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers before a certain segment of the fanbase used social media and other means to very vociferously object to the hiring based on Schiano’s (flimsy) connection to the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State. That backlash forced the university to reverse course on Schiano, setting the stage for an embarrassing series of snubs — and the athletic director working on a deal with Mike Leach one night only to be fired the next day — over the next couple of weeks before settling on Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt as its next head coach.
The long-time head coach at Rutgers before moving on to the same job with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Schiano, a long-time pal of Belichick’s, has been Meyer’s coordinator and associate head coach the past two seasons.
Schiano would be the second defensive assistant Meyer has lost to the NFL this year as Kerry Coombs left for a job with the Tennessee Titans. Meyer had also previously hired Washington State defensive coordinator Alex Grinch as his 10th assistant early last month, a move that was no doubt made with at least one eye on the possibility of losing Schiano either this year or next.