It may look like a downgrade, but that is clearly not the case here. With Bill Belichick out as the head coach of the New England Patriots, many of his former staffers need to find work. Some may stick with new head coach Jerod Mayo, while others may bet on themselves and go to another opportunity. That is exactly the case for one of Belichick's sons. Steve Belichick goes to Washington.
This after the Patriots did give Steve and his brother the option to stay in New England after their father's departure.
Belchick spent his entire coaching career working for his father in New England. The former long-snapper of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights could have linked up with his former coach Greg Schiano now back at Piscattaway, but he is going across pretty much the entire country to go work for another former assistant of his father's in Jedd Fisch. Fisch recently took over for Kalen DeBoer in Seattle.
Prior to arriving in the Pacific Northwest, Fisch was an on-the-rise head coach with the Arizona Wildcats. With DeBoer leaving for Tuscaloosa in the wake of Nick Saban retiring, new Washington athletic director Troy Dannen had to act fast. He nabbed Fisch out of Tuscon about a year before his alma mater of Florida could theoretically come calling. Belichick will now coordinate Fisch's defense.
Belichick is well-equipped for this role, despite never having the defensive coordinator title. The Patriots didn't do that under his father's watch, but the former New England outside linebackers coach had been calling plays in defense for the last five years, taking over for Brian Flores in that department after he left to be the head coach of the Miami Dolphins. Oh, how things have changed...
I have no doubts about Belichick's coaching acumen, but rather his willingness to recruit at U-Dub.
Steve Belichick goes to Washington to coordinate Jedd Fisch's defense
On the surface, people are probably totally complexed by this move by Belichick. However, there may not be a better way for Belichick to carve out his own career path away from his father. The college game is not for the faint of heart, but at a spry soon-to-be-37, I'd say Belichick is primed to recruit some high schoolers and grind the tape. Plus, he is going to one of the better jobs in the new Big Ten.
Washington is not some woebegone West Coast program. It is a traditional power, one that just played in the national championship of the final four-team College Football Playoff. DeBoer would have stayed had Saban not retired, just like Fisch wasn't leaving U of A unless something like the U-Dub job opened up. He was Dannen's top choice for the job, and one of my favorite offseason hires.
Overall, I think Belichick has a chance at a great college coaching career. His namesake grandfather certainly did at the United States Naval Academy. With Belichick family allies and former colleagues scattered all throughout the college game, whether that be Fisch in Washington, Schiano at Rutgers or potentially Boston College if Bill O'Brien ends up there, I would say this is the perfect job for Steve.
The more I think about it, the more and more I like the fit of Belichick calling the Huskies' defense.