The New England Patriots have had one of the most dominant defenses in recent history this season.
As a testament to their strength, they lead the league in scoring defense (7.6 ppg), total defense (234.0 ypg), interceptions (19) and sacks (31). But what you may not have known is that the unit is led by the head coach’s oldest son.
Although the Patriots don’t have a defensive coordinator in title, the Boston Herald’s Andrew Callahan reported that 32-year-old Steve Belichick has been calling plays for the team during the regular season.
The younger Belichick has been a part of his father’s coaching staff since 2012 when he joined as a coaching assistant. He became the safeties coach in 2016 and saw his title change again to secondary/safeties coach this season.
“He’s also one of those guys who, like his dad, appreciates the history of the game,” inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo said, “appreciates the X’s and O’s and how the game’s evolved.”
Strangely enough, Belichick hasn’t admitted to calling the plays when asked by the media, despite several Patriots confirming it. But his players, especially in the secondary, have gushed about his dedication to watching film and meticulous notes on the sideline.
“We’ve started to gel with (Steve Belichick), knowing what he’s going to call and the way he thinks through the game,” safety Terrence Brooks said. “I remember before one of his first games calling it, he was a little nervous, and I had to shake him up a little bit and pep talk him up and tell him that he’s one of the best.
“He was just sitting there, and I was like, ‘C’mon, get it together. Let’s go! You’re one of the best. This is nothing.’ And he popped up.”
It was natural for the younger Belichick to add more to his plate after defensive coordinator and play-caller Brian Flores left to take the Miami Dolphins head coaching job in the offseason. And as his responsibilities become more public, Belichick will surely grab the attention of other teams.
Many have wondered how much longer the Belichick era might last in New England, but it looks like there may not be an end in sight.
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