New England Patriots

By Matt McCarthy,

The Greg Schiano era in Foxboro is over before it even began.

The Patriots released a statement from Schiano Thursday afternoon in which he announced he is stepping down as the team’s defensive coordinator. Schiano, a longtime friend of Bill Belichick, was brought in after the Super Bowl to replace Brian Flores, who is now the head coach of the Miami Dolphins.

Schiano did not offer many specifics, other than saying he plans to spend time away from football.

“I have informed Mr. Kraft and Coach Belichick that I am stepping down from my position at the Patriots,” Schiano said. “This is not the result of any one event, 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 issued a short statement wishing Schiano well.

“I respect Coach Schiano greatly and appreciate his contributions to our staff and team. He is a friend who we support completely,” Belichick said.

The Patriots never officially announced Schiano as their defensive coordinator.

There is no information yet on who might replace Schiano on the staff.

You can hear Matt McCarthy on various 98.5 The Sports Hub programs. Follow him on Twitter @MattMcCarthy985.