Bill Belichick plans to take a more active role in running the New England Patriots’ defense, he told NFL Network Saturday.
Part of his choice is out of necessity. Last season’s de facto defensive coordinator, Brian Flores, is now head coach for the Miami Dolphins.
“I think I’ll be more involved this year defensively than I was in recent years,” Belichick said. “This year will be a little bit more, but I’m enjoying it.
“Eventually, I’ll have less of a role. But for right now, just to try to get things underway this year, I’ll try to be as much involved as I can.”
It’s not like Belichick doesn’t know a thing or two about running a defense. Before assuming head coaching duties with the Patriots in 2000, he served stints as defensive coordinator with both the New York Giants (1985-90) and New York Jets (1997-99).
And he’s got plenty of talent to work with and a blueprint for success already in house – this is the same unit that limited the high-powered Rams offense to only a field goal in the Super Bowl victory earlier this year.
Inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo is also expected to help Belichick on the defensive side.
As NFL Network pointed out, the Pats have gone without a defensive coordinator several times during Belichick’s reign, in 2000, 2010-11 and again last season, although Flores handled play-calling duties.
Earlier this week, Belichick shrugged off any concerns about his coaching staff’s relative inexperience.
“It’s the National Football League. There’s changes on every team every year,” Belichick said (via the Boston Globe). “We’ve had staff changes, I would say, every year. I couldn’t think of a year when we didn’t have one.”