Marc Fortier

Patriots Defensive Coordinator Greg Schiano Stepping Down

The former Ohio State defensive coordinator joined the team less than two months ago

NBC Sports - Boston

New England Patriots defensive coordinator Greg Schiano is stepping down from his position less than two months after he joined the team.

Multiple outlets reported that Schiano was going to be hired by the Patriots in early February to serve as defensive coordinator. No official announcement was ever made.

Through the team, Schiano issued a statement Thursday saying that he had informed head coach Bill Belichick and owner Robert Kraft that he would be stepping down from his position with the team.

"This is not the result of any one event," he said, "but rather a realization that I need to spend more time on my faith and family. I don't want to look back years from now and wish I had done things differently. Therefore, I am taking time away from the game to recalibrate my priorities."

Belichick said in a statement that he respects Schiano greatly and appreciates his contributions to the Patriots staff and the team.

"He is a friend who we support completely," he added.

Belichick and Schiano have a close relationship dating to 2011, when the latter coached Belichick's son, Stephen, as a long-snapper at Rutgers University.

The former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach had spent the last three seasons as Ohio State's defensive coordinator.

He was expected to take over as the defensive signal-caller after former linebackers coach Brian Flores was hired as the Miami Dolphins' head coach during the offseason.

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