Greg Schiano is the new defensive coordinator of the New England Patriots. That comes after a three-year run as the defensive coordinator at Ohio State under Urban Meyer. New head coach Ryan Day informed Schiano that he was not being retained in January.
And of course there was the Tennessee episode, where Greg Schiano was initially reported as the next Tennessee Volunteer coaching hire, and then there was a massive fan revolt led by Clay Travis and some state politicians. That outcry was, in part, based on Schiano’s history as a Penn State assistant under Jerry Sandusky, and the deposition testimony by Mike McQueary that assistant Tom Bradley had told McQueary about Greg Schiano also witnessing something with Sandusky.
Peter King appeared on the Dale & Keefe show today to talk about various Patriots topics, and during the course of that conversation, things turned to Schiano. Here’s what King said in relevant part:
It’s clear that there was a mutual admiration society, Bill Belichick and Greg Schiano, and I’ll tell you, look, I’m I’m gonna be a little bit getting the hair on the back of my neck to stand up about Greg Schiano, quite honestly. I think Greg Schiano has gotten jobbed more than any coach on a high level over the last few years in football. Let’s go back to when he was in Tampa. Was he a nut job with some of his rules? Yes, no question about it. Could he have not attacked the middle of the Giants’ offensive line when they were in victory formation? Yes, absolutely, I don’t think you should do that.
But I’ll also tell you this. He had a quarterback, Josh Freeman, who was an insubordinate person when he was the Bucs’ quarterback. And again, look, no quarterback has to, underline has to, it’s not mandatory that you work seven days during the football season. Josh Freeman didn’t think that he should work either much or at all on Tuesdays, that was his day off. And it was always hard for the staff to reach him.
And then the thing in Tennessee, which was stirred up by, to me, some people who don’t know Greg Schiano at all. And he should be the coach of the Tennessee Volunteers right now, and I just think that he’s gotten jobbed.
Here’s the full audio, the discussion of Schiano starts at around the 10:45 mark.
King obviously has a relationship with Schiano and respects him. Back when the Tennessee debacle was going down, King brought Dan Wetzel onto his MMQB podcast and talked about the situation, arising out of the insurance carrier lawsuit against Penn State.
“Here’s this allegation. Is it true? I don’t know, you don’t know, nobody knows. Maybe, maybe, that all did happen. Maybe Greg Schiano did see it, there’s no way to know at this point. I can’t rule it out 100%.
But you have to look at it as Mike McQueary was the star witness for the state of Pennsylvania … he worked with the attorney general’s office for years, he was the key witness to put away Sandusky, the school president, the vice president, and the athletic director. Four criminal trials, he was the star witness. He also had his own whistleblower lawsuit against Penn State, which he won. He did preliminary hearings, he did grand jury testimony, he did courtroom testimony. I saw him three different times on the stand tell his whole story.
And at no point in any other publicly known or any of the publicly stated interviews did he ever mention Greg Schiano. This is the only time his name came up. Presumably, during all his years as a cooperating witness, with a prosecutor, with the attorney general’s office that was trying to get everybody at Penn State, who would have loved Tom Bradley and Greg Schiano on knowing about Sandusky and doing nothing … they never went after Bradley or Schiano.”
There is no corroboration to this double hearsay allegation, there’s no proof, there’s no evidence, there’s nothing to go anywhere with it.”
After a 56-14 Tampa Bay loss in September of 2014, in Lovie Smith’s first year after Schiano was fired, King tweeted this.
And back in January 2012, King was prominently pushing that Schiano was a NFL coaching candidate. There was a report that Schiano had no interest in the NFL despite Peter King’s comments about him making a good NFL coach.
King has written, tweeted and said on radio that Schiano, who has close ties to Patriots coach Bill Belichick, would make a good NFL coach. He suggested the Dolphins should consider the 45-year-old Schiano — though no contact has been made by the NFL team.
Schiano took the Tampa Bay job two weeks later.
So it’s obvious that they have a relationship, that King knows Schiano, and thinks he has been done hard by the Tennessee situation. As for the claims about Josh Freeman, plenty of NFL coaches would like a do-over on that front, based on never finding a franchise star quarterback who lived up to the demands of the position.