Belichick picking off lots of former Schiano players
Oddly, this is our second consecutive post with a Patriots theme, but it’s worth checking out.
A story in today’s Boston Globe addresses the interesting trend New England has developed of drafting and/or signing Greg Schiano’s former players from Rutgers.
It’s not necessarily a shocking trend given Bucs coach Schiano’s relationship with Patriots coach Bill Belichick.
But with the Patriots drafting three Rutgers players over the weekend and signing another as a rookie free agent, this a little more than coincidental. That brings to seven the number of former Scartlet Knights either drafted or signed as rookie free agents by the Patriots since 2010. All were coached by Schiano, who was the coach there until January 2012.
Belichick came to know Schiano when Belichick’s son attended Rutgers. That’s when he learned they had a lot in common, making Schiano’s players appealing to the Patriots.
"I've known Coach Schiano for quite a while,” Belichick said. “I'd say the players he recruits and the program he runs is in a lot of ways similar to what we do.
"So the fact that he's recruited those kids four to five years ahead of when they come into this league and they've been in a program that's, in a lot of ways, probably similar to ours, it's probably not that surprising that we would like some of the kids he's produced, both talent-wise and in total makeup.”
Safety Duron Harmon, one of the Rutgers draftees now in New England, said Schiano has “instilled in his players a great football mind-set. We know how to prepare for games. We prepare like professionals at Rutgers University. I think a lot of players when they get to the NFL, they don't know how to watch film, they don't know how to practice, they don't know how to do the certain things that you have to do to be a great football player.”
An interesting kicker here: After two drafts as head coach of the Bucs, Schiano hasn’t drafted any former Rutgers players, though he has brought in free agents who played there.