Mike Florio Highlights Potential Coaching Problem For Patriots

Can Bill Belichick be totally unbiased with all of his coaches?


Mike Florio believes Bill Belichick might have set himself up to be in a very difficult spot with two specific additions to the Patriots’ coaching staff.

Two New England coaches on the defensive side of the ball are Belichick’s sons. Steve Belichick is responsible for the outside linebackers and appears to have a hand in some of the defensive play-calling. Brian Belichick, meanwhile, coaches the Patriots safeties.

New England’s defense, from top to bottom, was shredded by the Buffalo Bills on Saturday night at Highmark Stadium. The Patriots don’t have the defensive personnel to totally neutralize Josh Allen and Co., but that was a historically poor performance by a unit that looked solid for three quarters of the season. Some of those shortcomings down the stretch fall on the coaching staff.

Belichick eventually might decide coaches need to be included among the personnel changes in Foxboro. Florio believes such a scenario could be tough to navigate for the future Hall of Famer.

“To the extent that one of the problems is the performance of his son, Steve, there ain’t anything he can do about it,” Florio said Monday on NBC Sports. “This is one of the problems of hiring your kids to be on your coaching staff. If they’re not getting it done, what are you gonna do? What are you gonna do? Fire ’em? And then, if you think other guys need to be fired and your son possibly deserves similar scrutiny, you can’t fire them if you can’t fire your son. This is why the whole business of ‘Bringing Your Son To Work Everyday Day’ has real pitfalls and (it’s) dangerous.

“I don’t think it’s unfair to say that. The defensive performance that we saw on Saturday night was so uncharacteristic of a Bill Belichick-coached defense. You have to look around at everybody and wonder what the hell happened. There’s two members of the coaching staff that are his sons that are never going to get the same scrutiny that anybody else would and that’s one of the risks of hiring your kids to be on your coaching staff.”

For starters, there’s no guarantee Steve and Brian Belichick will stick around in New England as long as their dad is the head coach. Both very well could seek opportunities elsewhere. Furthermore, Florio might be underestimating Bill Belichick’s fierce commitment to winning. Would anyone be totally floored if he removed either — or both — of his sons from his coaching staff?

It’s not a meaningless storyline, but as far as the Patriots’ list of problems is concerned, Belichick’s kids probably are nowhere near the top.

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