The Bill Belichick coaching tree took a big hit this week.
Many coaches who have been assistants under Belichick with the New England Patriots have gotten opportunities to coach their own NFL teams. Most have not fared well. And after this week, Belichick’s tree was almost non-existent.
On Monday, former Belichick defensive assistant, Brian Flores, was surprisingly fired by the Miami Dolphins despite leading them to a 9-8 season.
Then on Tuesday, the New York Giants decided to fire Joe Judge, who was their head coach for two seasons.
That left no former Belichick assistants as coaches in the NFL.
Some of the former Belichick assistants who became NFL head coaches include:
– Romeo Crennel
– Eric Mangini
– Josh McDaniels
– Jim Schwartz
– Bill O’Brien
– Matt Patricia
All of the aforementioned coaches were coordinators under Belichick, except Flores, who never officially held the defensive coordinator job title.
Most of the coaches on the list (and you can probably include Charlie Weis, who coached in college) were unsuccessful as head coaches. O’Brien had a successful run in Houston and could very well land another NFL or college head coach job. Flores should get another chance too, so it’s possible the tree could be revived. But for now, it’s dead.
If you go way back though and you don’t restrict the list to Patriots assistants, Belichick’s gets much more impressive. The legendary Nick Saban serve as his defensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns from 1991-1994. Pat Hill and Kirk Ferentz also were former Belichick assistants several years ago and became great college head coaches, while Al Groh also had some success at Virginia.
Steve Belichick needs to take over an NFL team fast and get them to the playoffs to make his dad’s tree in the NFL look better.
These results just might be proof that Tom Brady and Belichick were the two biggest reasons for the Patriots’ continued success over the years, and that the coordinators may have been interchangeable. It could also just be proof that some of the assistants, like Flores and Judge, were fired prematurely.
Photo: Oct 10, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick reacts during the second quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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