FOXBORO, Mass. — Brian Belichick will return for his ninth season with the New England Patriots.

He served as the safeties coach the last four seasons. However, with his father and longtime head coach, Bill Belichick, no longer in New England and his brother, Steve Belichick, departing for the University of Washington’s defensive coordinator job, many questioned whether Brian Belichick would return.

It was reported in early February that Brian Belichick would be back as the lone Belichick on staff. One of Jerod Mayo’s first moves reportedly was offering Brian and Steve Belichick jobs on his coaching staff.

While being introduced as the Patriots defensive coordinator at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday afternoon, DeMarcus Covington explained why Brian Belichick and a few other holdovers were given the chance to return.

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“They’re familiar with the players. Our players are familiar with them,” Covington said. “They’re familiar with our philosophy on what we wanted to do, and then they’ve also worked with me and know what I want to do.

“And then also the foundation, they have been here, too. We all came in here pretty much together. And so, I think, when you look at those things, and you look at how the players and the coaches combine, and how we get the best out of our players, that’s what’s important to me. Who can do that, who can coach their players good, who can get their players to go out there and play at a high level, and execute to the standard we want to have.”

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Brian Belichick has had success in his role with the safeties, as Covington noted. He oversaw breakout campaigns from Kyle Dugger and Jabrill Peppers in recent years, worked alongside Patriots great Devin McCourty and helped veteran Adrian Phillips perfectly fit the puzzle.

Other holdover assistants include cornerbacks coach Mike Pellegrino, who’s led the position group since 2019. Mayo also confirmed Troy Brown will be back on the staff, but with Tyler Hughes announced as the wide receivers coach and Tiquan Underwood serving as Hughes’ assistant, Brown’s role is yet to be announced.

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In addition to the holdovers, the Patriots have 17 new assistants including offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt and special teams coordinator Jeremy Springer.

Featured image via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images