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Greg Schiano’s brief time as the Patriots’ defensive coordinator ended with a pair of vaguely-worded statements from the former Bucs and Rutgers head coach and Bill Belichick himself Thursday.  

While the team’s coaching staff is obviously more populated than we know of at the moment, their comically blank defensive staff page on Thursday night (with only a picture of Steve Belichick, the team’s safeties coach) did serve as a fitting symbol for an offseason of change.

Not only is Rob Gronkowski gone, but so are a slew of familiar faces on the coaching staff. Brian Flores is the new head coach of the Dolphins, and pulled Chad O’Shea (offensive coordinator), Josh Boyer (cornerbacks, defensive passing game coordinator) and Jerry Schuplinski (assistant QBs) with him. Brendan Daly, their defensive line coach, recently took the same job in Kansas City.

Outside of a recent announcement that Jerod Mayo would come aboard as linebackers coach, there’s not much we know about a team that just watched a ton of coaches groomed by Belichick depart over the course of a few weeks.

While we’re past the point where someone will use this as a tool to chisel away at the Patriots dynasty, suggesting that, No, really, THIS is the time it’s actually coming to an end, I do think it warrants attention. Just not in a negative way.

It’s going to take decades to fully digest what Belichick has accomplished in New England. There will be minutiae from this dynasty that filters out over years. Stories that are finally told. Perspectives shared. Here’s a chance to see the best head coach in NFL history churn his staff again, post-Super Bowl, just before his 67th birthday. It will be both a lesson in preparedness—he does have one-time rising collegiate coaching star Bret Bielema just sitting on staff as a consultant, along with a handful of other coaching assistants who will undoubtedly earn bigger roles—and a rare window into what he might look for in a coach at a time when the league is changing rapidly.

There are times in the NFL when it’s right to push the panic button. This isn’t one of them. This is a time to watch and learn. 

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Bless this old man and his delicious looking pizza.​

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