Washington To Hire Patriots’ Steve Belichick As Defensive Coordinator

Jerod Mayo was interested in retaining Steve Belichick on his first Patriots staff, but that will not happen. The interview Belichick took for a college position will lead to a Foxborough exit.

The second-generation NFL coach is leaving the Patriots to become the defensive coordinator at the University of Washington, per 247Sports.com’s Matt Zenitz. Field Yates of ESPN.com indicates Belichick has since accepted the Huskies’ offer. This will mark a significant change for Steve Belichick, but given the developments with his father and the Patriots, it was not too difficult to predict he would also be leaving.

Steve Belichick, 36, worked as a defensive assistant under Bill Belichick for 12 seasons. While his tie to the all-time coaching great undoubtedly aided this rise, Bill entrusted Steve as his primary defensive play-caller over the past four seasons. The Patriots did not employ a traditional defensive coordinator following Matt Patricia‘s 2018 exit, but Mayo and Brian Flores were viewed as the top assistants on that side of the ball. Steve Belichick, however, played a major role during the 2020s.

Moving from the defensive assistant level to the safeties coach position in 2016, Steve coached the Pats’ outside linebackers from 2020-23. Matt Judon and Josh Uche delivered productive seasons during that span, though the Pats were not able to increase Steve Belichick’s ring count from three to four in the ’20s. Mayo offered Steve and Brian Belichick, who joined the staff in 2017 and has been the team’s safeties coach for the past four years, jobs on his 2024 staff. It is not yet known how Brian will proceed, but Steve will land his first coordinator job.

Bill Belichick never coached in the college ranks, but his father spent decades on the Navy staff. The Huskies hired Jedd Fisch as HC to replace new Alabama HC Kalen DeBoer; Fisch was the Patriots’ quarterbacks coach in 2020. The Huskies are also hiring Patriots running backs coach Vinnie Sunseri to help out in the secondary, Yates adds. Sunseri, 32, has been with the Pats since 2020; he spent the past three seasons as their RBs coach but initially joined Bill Belichick’s staff as a defensive assistant.

This all comes as the NFL coaching carousel came to a stop with Bill Belichick without a job. The six-time Super Bowl-winning HC was planning to be selective, though teams were also leery of Belichick and the power he would want; only two — the Falcons and Commanders — talked to him about their HC vacancies. and it should not be expected he will join a team as an assistant. While Belichick has been an NFL staffer in every season since 1975, he has not worked as a coordinator since 1999. Bill, 71, is not planning to retire; a 2025 re-emergence — in what could be his last shot to land a third NFL HC gig — will be on the radar.

Additionally, the Patriots are hiring Packers defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery to work in the same capacity, according to ESPN.com’s Rob Demovsky. A Packers assistant since 2015, Montgomery worked under Dom Capers, Mike Pettine and Joe Barry. The Packers brought Montgomery up from the college ranks; he worked as a college D-line assistant from 2006-14. Montgomery, 44, will replace DeMarcus Covington, whom the Patriots moved into the DC role.

Circling back to the college ranks, two-time Patriots OC Bill O’Brien will make a rather pivotal change. After leaving the Pats to become Ohio State’s offensive coordinator, O’Brien is moving close to a deal to become Boston College’s next head coach, Rich Thompson of the Boston Herald reports. Prior to the Patriots hiring a new OC (Alex Van Pelt), O’Brien bolted for the Ohio State gig. The Packers’ decision to hire ex-Boston College HC Jeff Hafley as DC looks set to produce a ripple effect.

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