Bill Belichick has been doing it for a long time, entering the 2021 NFL playoffs to cap his 22nd season as the Patriots coach. The all-time player has, as you might expect, spawned a large coaching tree along the way, with nine former assistants becoming NFL head coaches elsewhere. But with the surprise Dolphins sacking of Brian Flores after the 2021 season, followed by the Giants’ abrupt change of mind about Joe Judge, the playoffs will begin with no Belichick followers in top positions.
With that in mind, and Flores among the products in the Belichick coaching tree that are likely to land in new homes soon, here’s how we would rank each of the nine NFL head coaches to come out of under the Patriots:
9. Joe judge
NFL Head Coach Jobs: Giants (2020-2021)
Career review: 10-23
A longtime special teams coordinator under Belichick in New England, Judge brought bravado to his press conferences, and nothing else. The bar was set low after dismal two-year stints with Ben McAdoo and Pat Shurmur, but his teams – despite sometimes fiery defenses – never materialized in attack and threw in the towel late. At least he spoke of a good game.
8. Matt Patricia
NFL Head Coach Jobs: Lions (2018-2020)
Career review: 13-29-1
The bearded wonder helped Bill win three Super Bowls as the Patriots’ defensive coordinator, but he was largely obnoxious in Detroit, guiding a few rambling upheavals – including against the Belichick Pats in 2018 – but ultimately hastening the future relocation. big names like Matthew Stafford and Darius Slay failing to sniff out the playoffs.
7. Romeo Crennel
NFL Head Coach Jobs: Browns (2005-2008), Chiefs (2011-2012) *, Texans (2020) *
Career review: 32-63
The longtime defensive coordinator is respected and valued, hence his repeated role as interim for failed regimes. But in about six seasons of combined experience at the helm, he’s only managed one winning season and no playoff offers.
Note: * = Crennel has been an interim coach for 15 of his 32 games with the Chiefs and Texans.
6. Josh McDaniels
NFL Head Coach Jobs: Bronco (2009-2010)
Career review: 11-17
The longtime offensive coordinator is probably taking advantage because Denver fired him so quickly. Controversy followed, from a reported dispute with QB Jay Cutler, who left before coaching a game; to a video recording scandal that resulted in fines from the NFL. He has long proven himself capable of designing an attack, but leadership was apparently an issue.
5. Eric Mangini
NFL Head Coach Jobs: Jets (2006-2008), Bruns (2009-2010)
Career review: 33-47 (0-1 in playoffs)
Defensive assistant under Belichick with the Jets and Patriots, Mangini started hot, finishing 10-6 and guiding Chad Pennington to the honors of Returning Player of the Year in his debut, eventually falling to the Belichick Pats in the first round. of the playoffs. He never recovered, dropping from 19 to 29 for the remainder of his career, which included a seemingly insane locker room in Cleveland.
4. Al Groh
NFL Head Coach Jobs: Jets (2000)
Career review: 9-7
You cannot tarnish a legacy that barely exists! Groh, of course, is best known for his long run as Virginia coach and assistant Giants champion, but he only spent a year on the sidelines in New York before resigning to return to college. . He at least paved the way for Herm Edwards’ tenure – a five-year run that included three playoff spots and two playoff wins.
3. Nick Saban
NFL Head Coach Jobs: Dolphins (2005-2006)
Career review: 15-17
Defensive coordinator under Belichick with the Browns, Saban would obviously rank No. 1 if we included college accomplishments; it’s the NCAA Belichick that runs the powerhouse that is Alabama. In Miami he was just mediocre which is more than most of these guys can tell. However, his broken promise to stay with the Dolphins rather than go for the Crimson Tide will mar his future NFL career.
2. Brian Flores
NFL Head Coach Jobs: Dolphins (2019-2021)
Career review: 24-25
Poor communication appears to be the main reason for his departure, with disagreements reported over key points like QB – where he tried but failed to acquire Deshaun Watson and / or put together a combo of Tua Tagovailoa and Ryan Fitzpatrick at the playoffs. His teams were also very streaked. Still, given the sterile rebuild he inherited, he still kept Miami in contention with a solid “D”.
1. Bill O’Brien
NFL Head Coach Jobs: Texans (2014-2020)
Career review: 52-48 (2-4 playoffs)
O’Brien helped leave the Texans in their current state of ruin, seizing power from the staff and even an official GM while sending Pro Bowl stars like DeAndre Hopkins and Laremy Tunsil out of town. But he at least brought tenacity and respect to an organization long mired in mediocrity, guiding four playoffs and two wins in just over six seasons.
Note: Longtime defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, who served as the Lions head coach from 2009 to 2013, also worked under Bill Belichick, but as a staff recruiter. His biggest achievement was leading the Eagles defense in their 2017 Super Bowl run.