The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, after coming oh-so-close to hiring Oregon's Chip Kelly, have apparently now landed on Greg Schiano of Rutgers. ESPN's Adam Schefter says Rutgers and Schiano are close to a deal.
It seems like the choice of Schiano comes out of nowhere. His name hadn't once been associated with any of the other coaching vacancies around the league. In fact, the last time he was came after the 2006 season when Rutgers went 11-2 and Michigan was believed to be interested.
In 2001, Schiano took over a Rutgers program that was an absolute doormat and led it to six bowl games over the last seven years. He also comes with the endorsement of a pretty good current NFL head coach: Bill Belichick.
Here's Rick Stroud at the Tampa Bay Times, passing along a quote from Peter King on the Dan Patrick's radio show.
"As far as a coaching sleeper," said King, "I think Greg Schiano is going to be a very good coach in the NFL.
"If you asked (New England Patriots coach) Bill Belichick right now, and I know because I've seen Schiano at Patriots training camp a couple of times," King said, "Bill has tremendous regard for Greg Schiano, and I think he believes that Schiano will be an excellent NFL coach someday."
It won't make the waves that a Chip Kelly hire would have. On the spectrum of mind-blowing offenses, Kelly and Schiano are pretty much on opposite sides. Schiano prefers a pro-style offense, though he isn't afraid to mix in a new wrinkle here or there. The Rutgers defense ranked 13th in the nation this year in both points allowed per game and yards allowed per game.