FOXBORO -- There were times when Steve Belichick looked and sounded like his father, Bill, when he sat down in front of a crowd of reporters for the first time since being named Patriots safeties coach.
He wore a Rutgers lacrosse pullover as his dad might. (A former Rutgers lacrosse player himself, he actually borrowed it from Bill for the occasion. "Got a Big 10 lacrosse tournament this weekend," he said. "Rutgers is going to make some noise.") And there were moments when he kept certain things close to the vest, as is family tradition. ("Leave that to us," he said when asked about how he was promoted from coaching assistant this offseason.)
But at the same time, he came off as very much his own person during the back-and-forth with reporters. He was open about his motivations, his experiences, and his influences now as a 29-year-old NFL assistant with a famous last name. He admitted his coaching style had to be unique to him, and he even cracked a few jokes -- all with a dozen or so microphones and cameras pointed in his direction.
"Anywhere I went, I would have my own style," Belichick explained. "It doesn’t matter where I would go. That’s true for any coach. Every coach has their own style. Whatever team, anything I do, even if I was going to do something I’ve never done before, I would have to have my own style because that’s me. That’s who I am."
Belichick spent four years as a coaching assistant and will continue to work under his father, as well as defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, in his new role. He understands what the Belichick name means in New England, and he knows what his father has accomplished.
The experience of working under his first-ever role model was something he described as invaluable.
"It’s been cool," he said. "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. It’s rewarding for me to, I guess, see him more and learn from him more, because I’ve been away from him in high school and college on a day-to-day basis."
Here are a few of the highlights from the media's first chat with Steve Belichick, which took place at Gillette Stadium on Monday . . .
On working with veteran safeties Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung: "Yeah, it’s awesome. I went to school with Devin. They’re two great players that have been in this league for a long time that have obviously been there and have played consecutive seasons. I’m going to learn a lot from them. We’re all in the room together. We’re safeties. We’re a group. We do everything together."
On how he approached his first few years working for the team: "I just had my head down. I was just trying to work and get better. You never know when stuff like this is coming. There’s tons of changes in the NFL, but you just got to be ready for whatever they ask you to do and work your hardest and do the best you can. That’s what I’m trying to do."
On if his father coached him on how to deal with the media: "No. He didn’t. We don’t talk about the media too much."
On his long-term goals, and if he wants to be a head coach: "I just hope to be here at the end of the day."
His thoughts on one of his dad's favorite choices for game-day attire, the hoodie: "If my neck’s cold, I’ll put the hood up and warm my head up. It’s a good piece of clothing. I think everyone should have a hooded sweatshirt in their closet."