With 15 assistants, the Patriots have one of the smallest coaching staffs in the league. And Bill Belichick says that’s the way he likes it.
Belichick said on Paul Rabil’s podcast that running a staff with only people he knows he can count on to do whatever he throws their way is the best way to stay on top of everything.
“My philosophy, really, is that less is more, so I’d rather have fewer people doing more work than more people doing a little more work,” Belichick said, via ESPN. “As long as everybody is busy, as long as everybody feels productive, they feel good about what they’re doing and they feel like they’re contributing; I think when people have lag time and kind of not enough to do, that leads to getting distracted and complaining or being less productive. So even though you have more people, sometimes less work gets done.”
Belichick also wants to make sure he doesn’t have his assistants giving players conflicting instructions.
“From a ‘getting everybody on the same page’ standpoint, which is critical, the fewer people you have to manage, the easier it is to get everybody on the same page,” Belichick said. “So if you’re talking to 10 people, it’s hard to get all 10 people doing the same thing or doing the right thing. Now you make that number 20, instead of 10, it’s even more difficult. If you have five people supervising another 15 people, now you have another layer there where you’re not dealing directly with everybody, and now you’re somewhat dependent on other people to relay the message the way you want it done and to monitor it that way. Certainly, there’s a degree of that, but as much of that I can eliminate, I think works better for me.”
Smaller coaching staffs have worked very well for Belichick, and yet most coaches have gone in the other direction, with coaching staffs consistently growing. All three other AFC East teams, for instance, have more than 20 assistant coaches. Belichick has a smaller staff and a more effective staff.