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How to build a staff, Bill Belichick style: Hire young coaches, develop them and promote them


Bill Belichick is typically a man of few words with the media, but yesterday at the NFL owner's meeting in Florida, Belichick opened up and provided some valuable insight on his long held belief on how he believes in developing his coaching staff.

The philosophy stretches all the way back to 1991 when Belichick was named head coach of the Cleveland Browns, and continues today.

“It’s what I told Modell when I went to Cleveland and it’s what I told Robert [Kraft] when I came to New England: We’ll develop from within, teach coaches our system and develop them from within so we didn’t have to change philosophies when coaches changed,” ESPN noted in a recent piece.

“I have my philosophy [on offense and defense], that’s what we were going to do, obviously with modifications. But we weren’t going to change offensive, defensive and special teams philosophies in personnel every time we made a coaching change. I’ve tried to live by that my entire head coaching career, and expect to continue to do that.”

Take a look at some of his more recent promotions in the past few weeks and you see that plan in action. Bill's son Steve served as a coaching assistant the past four seasons, and was recently promoted to safeties coach, and safeties coach Brian Flores was moved to handle the linebackers. Go back year after year and you'll notice the same hiring pattern.

Josh McDaniels, who Belichick hired in 2001 as a personnel assistant, is another great example. After one season with the organization, McDaniels worked his way to a defensive assistant role before being promoted to quarterbacks coach in 2004. In 2006 McDaniels earned a promotion to offensive coordinator, a role he held until leaving to become the head coach of the Broncos for two seasons from 2009-2010. When that, and a one-year stint as the offensive coordinator for the Rams, didn't pan out as planned, McDaniels joined Belichick again as offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach in 2012.

Come in to an entry level position, work your tail off, be willing to learn, and prove yourself, and the Patriots organization will promote you - that has become the life cycle of a Belichick assistant. While Belichick has brought in some bigger name guys in past years (like Dom Capers in 2008), they rarely stick around for more than a year or so, and his philosophy on developing coaches provides a lot of insight into why.

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