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Patriots safeties coach Steve Belichick wants to be just like his dad

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A man with the last name Belichick was surrounded by media, cameras and microphones Monday afternoon in the press room at Gillette Stadium.

But center of attention was not the man with 40-plus years of coaching experience who's brought four Lombardi Trophies to Robert Kraft's team.

Rather, this was Patriots first-year safeties coach Steve Belichick, the middle child and eldest son of future Hall of Fame coach Bill Belichick.

It was the younger Belichick's first meeting with the media during his four-plus years on his father's staff, coming after he was promoted from coaching assistant to full-time position coach this offseason.

He got to this point in seemingly the most Belichickian of ways.

"Just kept my mouth shut and learned. Everybody in this building is smarter than I am," Steve Belichick said of his last four years working in the shadows of a team that's been to the AFC title game in each of his seasons and won a Super Bowl in 2014.

Obviously I love my dad. He's my role model. He's my idol. I want to be just like him. I have since I knew what an idol was.

The preparation to follow in his father's footsteps has been a lifelong study. It began when he fell in love with the game when he was "4 years old after my first football play." It included playing in high school and then walking on as a long snapper at Rutgers after four years on that school's lacrosse team.

He's also quite grateful for the opportunity at hand working with a corps of safeties that includes former Rutgers teammates in Pro Bowler Devin McCourty and Duron Harmon, as well as experienced veteran Patrick Chung.

"It means everything to me," Belichick said of the promotion. "I've been around football my whole life, so just to have the support of the rest of the coaches and everybody else behind me to step up to a bigger role in this organization, I'm just excited about."

Not surprisingly, though, a lot of the questions thrown at the up-and-coming Belichick were about his established father. He did not shy away from the subject, acknowledging that even on the practice field his boss is still very much his dad.

"It's been cool. Obviously I love my dad," Belichick said of a father-son relationship that is both personal and professional. "He's my role model. He's my idol. I want to be just like him. I have since I knew what an idol was."

But just because his boss is also his dad, doesn't mean Belichick feels any more stability than anyone else in the bottom-line work environment in Foxborough. He certainly isn't thinking about future promotions or maybe being a head coach in his own right someday.

"I just hope to be here at that end of the day," he said in a very Belichick way.

There is no question that Steve Belichick gets a lot of attention for who his dad is and a surname that makes him a third-generation coach in the line that began with the famed Navy assistant/scout of the same name. He himself pointed out that there was no better example of that than the huge crowd surrounding him Monday afternoon despite the fact that the rest of the Patriots assistants were also available for interviews in the same room, including returning legend Dante Scarnecchia, former Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels and rising star defensive coordinator Matt Patricia.

Nope, when you're in New England and your last name is Belichick, you're going to draw a crowd. Steve Belichick is as ready for that as he is the busting he gets at times from players in the Patriots locker room based on his family ties.

"Absolutely. And I bust them for who they are," Belichick said. "We're a team. Good comradery. Those are my guys."

He's also very much ready to continue to do anything and everything to help his players improve in order to help the team win.

"I'm just gonna bring myself, bring my energy, bring my excitement, my hard work," he declared. "I'm just excited to get in there. It's so new. I just have to feel it all out."

Belichick name or not, he's well aware he doesn't have all the answers at this point in the infancy of his coaching career.

"We are all in that group together," Belichick said of coaching players with more experience than he has. "When we go into the safety room I'm helping them, they're helping me. This is my first time being in a position room. I need feedback too. I'm getting better. If I'm doing something wrong, I expect them to tell me. If they do something wrong, I'm going to tell them. We're all in it together. We're a team. We're a group."

They're a group. But he's a Belichick. And proud of it, right down to his promotion of his dad's favorite attire.

"If my neck is cold, I'll put the hood up and warm the head up. It's a good piece of clothing. I think everybody should have a hooded sweatshirt in their closet," Belichick joked.

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