In case you were wondering, Bill Belichick still is not particularly fond of the New York Jets.
While answering a question Wednesday about longtime colleague Romeo Crennel, the New England Patriots coach went out of his way not to mention the Jets, whom he and Crennel both worked for from 1997 to 1999.
Crennel and Belichick first connected in 1981, when both coached special teams under then-New York Giants head coach Bill Parcells. Both were on Parcells’ staff when the Patriots reached the Super Bowl during the 1996 season, then followed the legendary coach back to the Big Apple when the Jets hired him.
The two briefly separated in 2000, when Crennel took a job as the Cleveland Browns’ defensive coordinator, before reuniting 2001 and winning three Super Bowl titles together in New England.
Belichick, of course, spent one single day as the Jets’ head coach in 2000 before jumping ship to New England. He’s spent the past 18 seasons there, with the Jets serving as his primary rival throughout his Patriots tenure.
Crennel now serves as the assistant head coach/defense for the Houston Texans, who hosted the Patriots for two joint practices this week.
“I relied on him through the years, both with our team when I worked with him, but even at times outside when we could help each other and it wasn’t a conflict in competitiveness,” Belichick told reporters. “He’s helped me with a lot of things. I’ve learned a lot from the way he handles players, teaches, fundamentals that he teaches. Romeo works hard. He’s very well-prepared. He’s a sound football coach.”
Belichick still sees Crennel’s fingerprints on his current Patriots coaching staff.
“(He) did a great job of bringing along some of our younger coaches,” Belichick told reporters. “Coaches like (Patriots offensive coordinator) Josh McDaniels, (former Pats tight ends coach) Brian Daboll, guys like that who were on our staff that he taught — or helped teach — to become great football coaches that have carried on his legacy.”
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
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