What makes a good coordinator according to Bill Belichick?

Ryan Hannable
January 01, 2019 - 3:14 pm

Over the next few weeks there will be a lot of coaching movement in the NFL. Some coordinators will become head coaches, which means some positional coaches will become coordinators.

Specific to the Patriots, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and de facto defensive coordinator Brian Flores have both been requested to interview for head-coaching jobs, so there is at least a chance one of at least one of them leaving the team. In that case, Bill Belichick would need to find a replacement.

Speaking on a conference call Monday, the long-time coach went in-depth on what makes a good coordinator, as well as noting some positional coaches don't have any desire to become coordinators and that isn't a bad thing.

"There’s so many components to being a coordinator," he said. "When I was a special teams coordinator, that was a little bit different because at least at that point in time you really didn’t have a staff. There was maybe one other person that you were working with. In my case, it was Romeo Crennel, but then as an offensive or defensive coordinator you’re running an entire staff and the play-calling is a huge responsibility and you have to work with the coaches in order to get everybody on the same page. Sometimes there are different opinions or options as far as how you want to do something and there’s one reason for doing one thing or there’s another reason for doing another thing. You have to make those decisions and you have to do it in a way, with a leadership style and a communication ability to, I don’t want to say satisfy everybody, but do it in a way so that you’re not creating confrontation and dissension and that you’re doing it in a cohesive way because it is a decision that has to be made and not everybody can be happy with every decision. Although, we all are a part of once the decision is made, we go forward with the decision whether we’re happy with it or not.

"But, I would just say from a leadership standpoint, decision-making, being responsible for the entire game on your side of the ball or whatever area it is as opposed to just a position group is quite different. There’s so many things that go into all of those and it’s dealing with coaches, it’s dealing with players, it’s play-calling, it’s game management and certainly understanding the bigger picture on the other side of the ball too; what they’re trying to do.

"Again, as a position coach you’re very in-tune with what’s directly across from you, but if you’re coaching the defensive line or the linebackers maybe you don’t look at the secondary as closely. If you’re coaching the secondary you don’t look at the defensive line and the offensive line as closely. But, when you’re the coordinator you have to find a way to look at everything, but at the same time rely on your assistants to look at those things in more detail than you can because you don’t have time to allocate that. The time for the details in every area you have to pick and choose the ones that you want to focus in. You’ll be responsible for all of it. There are a lot of things involved in that position."

As of now, Flores reportedly has been requested by the Browns, Packers, Dolphins and Broncos, while McDaniels has been requested by the Packers and Bengals.

Related: Bill Belichick praises NFL referees for how good they are