Steve Belichick on Bill Belichick: He’s ‘obviously old’, but not stuck in his ways


“I appreciate that from him especially as a young person. Sometimes you get stuck in your ways more than him being so old.”

Bill and Steve Belichick. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
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Bill Belichick started his first NFL job in 1975.

He won his first Super Bowl as a defensive coordinator with the Giants 37 years ago. Patriots quarterback Mac Jones, who turned 25 on Tuesday, wasn’t even two years old when Belichick became New England’s head coach in January of 2000.

At age 71, Bill Belichick is what his son Steve Belichick calls “obviously old.”

“He’s obviously old, he’s definitely old,” Steve Belichick said. “But, no, I haven’t seen a ton of changes in terms of his approach and stuff like that. I think he does a good job of adapting.

“He’s not stuck in his ways,” Steve Belichick continued. “He listens to feedback and he implements it how he wants to. He’s always open to feedback and he’ll listen, and that’s from a lot of people in the building, players, coaches, support staff, everybody to try and learn and improve.”

Steve Belichick, who is the Patriots’ outside linebackers coach, said he appreciates his dad’s willingness to listen.

“I’ve never heard him say, like, I’ve got this, it is what it is, we’re not going to progress or change based on what we have,” Steve Belichick said. “There’s always a level of what can we do better, what do we need to do better? I appreciate that from him especially as a young person. Sometimes you get stuck in your ways more than him being so old.”

Bill Belichick does have a particular way of doing things. Some people call the culture he’s established in New England “The Patriot Way.”

“Bill says it every year during training camp,” former Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich said in a 2016 interview with Mark Kriegel, who was with NFL Media at the time. “He doesn’t care who you are, where you’re from, how much money you make, what your contract says. If you can help this organization win football games, then you’ll be here.”

Listening to ideas from various sources may be part of the process, but it’s Belichick who makes the final call on strategy, Steve Belichick said.

“As the head coach, its up to him whether he wants to implement the changes or do things differently than how it may be done before,” Steve Belichick said. “But, he listens to our feedback and he’s not a micromanager. He lets us do what we do. He hired us to do a job, he trusts us to do a job, but if it’s not good enough he’ll step in and tell us that it’s just flat-out not good enough.”