Patriots outside linebackers coach Steve Belichick is becoming a fixture in New England—just like his father, six-time Super Bowl champion Bill Belichick.
Hired by the Patriots shortly after leaving Rutgers, where he played football and lacrosse from 2008-11, the younger Belichick has worked in several roles within the organization en route to three Super Bowl championships. The 2023 season will mark his 12th year with the franchise.
There was a time, however, when Belichick was a just another green, wide-eyed young assistant. Appearing on longtime NFL defensive end Chris Long’s podcast Wednesday, recently retired former Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty told a classic story about Belichick’s early years working under his dad.
According to McCourty, Belichick learned two weeks before New England’s offseason program began in 2016 that he would replace then-safeties coach Brian Flores in a defensive shake-up.
The move came as a shock to Belichick, and he expressed his bewilderment to the team’s safeties accordingly.
“He’s walking in the room. It’s me, Pat Chung, Duron Harmon, Nate Ebner", McCourty said, ticking off the Patriots’ safeties at the time. “We’ve got all these veterans … and he walks in and goes, ‘Yo, I’m going to be honest with y’all. I don’t know what the f— I’m doing right now. My dad told me two weeks ago that I was even going to have this job.’”
McCourty praised Belichick’s candor, citing New England’s narrow 19-17 loss to the Buccaneers in 2021 as a game in which Belichick played a crucial role.
Somehow, despite their safeties coach’s inexperience, the Patriots put it all together in the ’16 and won Super Bowl LI over the Falcons.