ST. PAUL, Minn. — Reaching the Super Bowl is practically an annual tradition for Bill Belichick at this point.
The man in charge of the most consistently dominant franchise in American pro sports is preparing to coach in his eighth Super Bowl since taking over the New England Patriots in 2000. Three more Super Bowl appearances as an assistant give him 11 in total, with seven of the first 10 resulting in championships.
A victory this Sunday in Super Bowl LII, though, would carry added significance for one of football’s greatest coaching minds. Why? Because it would be the first Belichick has won with both of his sons on his coaching staff.
Brian Belichick, Bill’s youngest, is in his first season as a Patriots coaching assistant after spending the 2016 campaign — his first out of college — in the team’s scouting department. A former Trinity College lacrosse player, he works alongside his older brother, Steve, who took over as New England’s safeties coach in 2016.
“It’s been a great experience to be able to come in every day and just experience things with them,” Bill Belichick said Monday at Super Bowl Opening Night. “You experience them with other people on your staff, too, but it’s great to have your kids involved. I think it’s been good for all of us.”
Brian Belichick wasn’t made available to reporters at Opening Night (“We’ve kind of kept him out of the line of fire, huh?” Bill joked), but his father offered a brief overview of his duties, which center around creating optimal situations for New England’s defense.
“He’s quality control on defense,” the head coach said. “He does a variety of different things to help our defensive staff prepare and kind of stay a week ahead of our opponent. Some advance work, that kind of thing.”
It’s a job Steve Belichick knows well. He spent four seasons as a coaching assistant before being promoted to his current position.
“Last year, he was doing scouting stuff, and then this year, he’s on the defensive staff doing what I did when I started,” Steve Belichick said. “And obviously, more advanced technologically, but (it’s also) what my dad did when he started defensively. It’s been really fun.”
Belichick said he’s loved having his younger brother on staff, calling the experience “really awesome.” The two began a tradition of tossing a football around on the field before each Patriots game this season.
“When you’re a coach and not a player, you kind of get cooped up in that office a lot,” Steve Belichick explained. “So that’s just a locked-in time every week that we get to get out and mess around and have fun.”
Brian Belichick’s coaching career still is in its infancy, but his role has boundless growth potential.
In addition to Steve Belichick, Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, linebackers coach Brian Flores, cornerbacks coach Josh Boyer, tight ends coach Nick Caley and assistant quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplinski all cut their teeth as coaching assistants early, as did current Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien and recently hired Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.