Before joining his father’s staff at Iowa in 2012, Brian Ferentz spent the 2011 season coaching the tight ends for Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots after two seasons in various assistant roles on offense.

Land of 10 recently caught up with Bill O’Brien, who said he tried to hire Brian back when he took the Penn State job, and again with the Texans because he admired his knowledge and work ethic so much, but Kirk Ferentz wasn’t going to allow that happen. The reason went much deeper than simply being his son, as this off season, Kirk promoted Brian from offensive line coach to offensive coordinator for the Hawkeyes.

In that article, Ferentz shares an important lesson he learned during his time in New England from Scott Pioli, who worked as the Vice President of Player Personnel while Ferentz was part of the Patriots staff: Never go into a meeting empty handed.

Here’s Ferentz’s full quote from the Land of 10 piece.

“You absolutely try to take pieces from every one and you try to learn and be a sponge,” Brian Ferentz said in January. “I remember one of my first lessons in New England walking into Scott Pioli’s office empty-handed, and in a very not-so-subtle way, I was reminded that you should have a notebook at all times. And he was right. And since then, I’ve had a notebook at all times. Because you’re always learning. You’re always taking things in.”

That’s a great lesson for all coaches, but young guys especially. Come into a meeting empty handed and, whether it’s right or wrong, you’re giving off the impression that there is nothing that can be said in that meeting that you don’t already know, or feel the need to write down.

Always have a notebook on you, and never roll into a meeting empty handed.

Head here to read the full article, with more on Brian Ferentz from Bill O’Brien.