FOXBORO, Mass. — It’s impossible to ignore how awkward Bill Belichick’s departure has been for a number of people around the Patriots.

New England decided on Jerod Mayo and Eliot Wolf as the duo who would take over his responsibilities, with several major changes to the coaching staff and roster taking place in their first few months on the job. It left Steve and Brian, the two sons of Bill who held jobs as assistants on the Patriots’ staff, in an unenviable spot.

Steve wanted to try something new, departing to take the defensive coordinator position at the University of Washington.

Brian is modus operandi, returning for an eighth season with New England.

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“He’s been fantastic,” Mayo said Wednesday, just prior to an OTA practice at Gillette Stadium. “He’s been fantastic, and there’s other guys in the organization that it’s been a little awkward for them and they’ve handled it the right way. Brian loves football and he loves New England. He’s got a new baby, loves it up here, wants to stay, and we’re happy he’s here.”

It wasn’t all that difficult a decision for Brian, who had a daughter with his wife, Callie, toward the end of last season. He wanted to plant roots in the area he’d spent the majority of his life.

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“I very much enjoy coaching here, living here, working with our players every day,” he said. “I have an opportunity to coach a position in the National Football League. How much more can you ask for? It’s been awesome.”

Belichick even views the separation from his father and brother as a good thing, as it allows them to connect on a level outside of X’s and O’s.

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“(I don’t want to) get into personal family dynamics, but in a way, I think it was good for us to have some separation from being in a football building every day and seeing each other, now we’re not just connected by football,” Brian said. “It’s not that it was that way before, but we talk about different things because we’re in different places. It was hard not to get caught up in that when you see each other at work every day.”

It also gives the Belichick sons, who both attended OTA’s on Wednesday, with Steve watching alongside former safety Patrick Chung and running backs coach Ivan Fears, a chance to consume their father’s television work.

“I’ll let you guys comment on that,” Brian said. “I found it entertaining.”

Featured image via Zack Cox/NESN