Now on Patriots’ staff, Bret Bielema finds he prefers pro football

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Former Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema is now an assistant on the Patriots’ staff, his first job in the NFL after a quarter century coaching in college. He doesn’t think he’ll go back.

Bielema says he’s so thoroughly enjoying the all-football focus of working for Bill Belichick that he isn’t eager to return to a college campus.

“The thing I love about football in the NFL is you go to work at 6 a.m. and you leave at 9 [p.m.] and it’s nothing but football,” Bielema told CBS Sports. “It’s just purely football.”

Bielema was head coach at Arkansas for five years and at Wisconsin for seven years. Prior to that he was defensive coordinator at Wisconsin, co-defensive coordinator at Kansas State and linebackers coach at Iowa. The NFL, he has learned, is something else.

“It’s a whole different way to coach [in the NFL],” Bielema said. “I understand once they go to that level, coaches don’t ever go back. One of the most ‘a-ha’ moments was one of the first drills I did during OTAs. I had 11 [defensive] guys go through the drills. ‘Holy cow, these guys are good.’ These are the elite of your elite.”

The Patriots still haven’t announced what Bielema’s title will be, but whatever his job is, he sounds like he wants to keep it for a long time.

64 responses to “Now on Patriots’ staff, Bret Bielema finds he prefers pro football

  1. Wisconsin fan here. Bert is another college coach who left his team in the lurch for another job, and didn’t look back. He is all about Bert, and is a pig. Hope he gets chewed up and spite out of the pro ranks, but frankly they deserve each other.

  2. I’m thinking the available all day buffet has something to do with his appreciation for the pro game .

  3. in today big time College programs Ohio State , Bama , Georgia, Clemson ,Penn State etc. the rest of the schools in there conferences are playing to get in the Peach Bowl . HC will come and go because the 5 star kids wont have anything to do with these other schools.

  4. Does anyone really blame the guy for taking an SEC head coaching job?

    Wisconsin was great but you can’t win a National Championship there.

  5. Translation–he’s sick and tired of these entitled millennial cry babies so he’d rather lead men who need this gig to pay the bills. Don’t get me wrong-today’s NFL is full of these same millennials but at least this old school coach can get these guys in line or they will be on the street.
    Rooting for him. #oldschoolrules

  6. aa1829 says:
    Wisconsin fan here. Bert is another college coach who left his team in the lurch for another job, and didn’t look back. He is all about Bert, and is a pig.

    ——–
    Funny, I recall the move to Arkansas fueled at least in part over an ongoing issue of very low pay for all of his assistants. Arkansas (unlike Wisconsin) was willing to pay the going wage for a major D1 staff and was upgrading their facilities. None of that is about Bert.

  7. Bret, I’ll bet you change your tune once Tom gives you a tongue lashing!.. (unlike college).!!

  8. I always thought his rep was one of a big, goofy, drunk troll-like dude with a social climbing wife. Kinda surprised me that he didn’t fit right in at WI and ARK.

  9. He left 80 or 90 kids without a coach days before the biggest game of most of their lives. For money, not because his coachs deserved more money, or because it was cold, he walked into both of those situations with his eyes wide open. It was all about Bert. He screwed us, then he went south to screw them. Rising to the level of his incompetence. Its just that that happened when he got his first job. Go Pack!

  10. A lot of sour Wisconsin fans i see…no one wants to go to your terrible frigid state. He did a great job and put you on the map
    ———————
    You’re confusing coaches. Barry Alvarez turned that program around and Bielema inherited his awesome work. Easy job. When Bielema had a chance to turn Arkansas around he completely flopped.

  11. kcchefs58 says:
    July 14, 2018 at 1:00 pm
    The next “deflator.”

    ———————-
    Yeah, they will find some obscure text where he used the word once while he was still at wisconsin and start waving around saying its proof against Brady. And its entirely possible because lord knows he would have had to adjust his tire pressure when he was in Wisconsin.

  12. The Truth says:
    July 14, 2018 at 2:39 pm
    Another “ high character “ guy in bandwagon nation . Lol

    ——————
    Its not the Patriot’s fault that so many people from outside New England choose to jump ship from their local teams. Unless you want to say its because of all of their deliberate winning.

  13. firerogergoodell says:
    July 14, 2018 at 2:22 pm
    Does anyone really blame the guy for taking an SEC head coaching job?

    Wisconsin was great but you can’t win a National Championship there.

    ***

    Well, you also can’t win a national championship if you are Bret Bielema.

  14. Can still remember when he had Minnesota down by 30 plus points and late in the 4th quarter after a TD, he went for 2 points, just to put salt in the wound. Dam near a brawl when the game ended, the coaches would not shake hands. Man I thought this guy is a tool!!!

  15. I know the Badger fans are salty, but honestly … who wants to live in Wisconsin? Admit it: you all wish you lived in SEC country.

    ……………………………………..
    Why would anyone want to live in the poorest and most uneducated area in the country?

  16. “Holy cow, these guys are good!”
    He’s been in coaching for all his adult life and he’s just realizing that pros are better than college players?

  17. Bielema was a mediocre coach until one day the coach at NC State told Russell Wilson that he was not allowed to baseball. Wilson then decided to transfer and Wisconisn was the lottery winner. He carried a mediocre Wisconsin team to a great season and should have won the Heisman.

    Bielema then parlayed that into a high paying gig at Arkansas.

    Yeah, Arkansas pays coaches more but that’s because Wisconsin is an actual school and spends money elsewhere. Arkansas is where you go to get a degree in Noodling or a masters in Grill Maintenance.

  18. Only comments from an assistant on the 21St century New England Patriots, the Greatest NFL Dynasty of All-time, could generate dozens of comments on this site, and most of the comments are from non-Pats fans.

    As a Pats fan I think I speak/write for most Pats fans when I write that being the only truly relevant NFL team in the NFL, win or lose the Super Bowl, rocks.

  19. BB seems something in Bert, and because of that he will flourish in that system.. if he focuses on his job. Heir to Dante Scarnecchia???

  20. @HeLLpaso

    Don’t try to state facts to patsies bandwagon nation their knowledge base only extends back a few years

  21. The Truth says:
    July 14, 2018 at 2:39 pm
    Another “ high character “ guy in bandwagon nation . Lol

    Another crybaby on a Patriots related article.
    #crybabynation

  22. Not very surprising, I don’t think, to see another SEC guy in Foxborough. Whatever Bielema’s defensive credentials may be, or however he may offer input into the Pats’ gameplans, his experience in recruiting in the SEC and coaching in the SEC is really what Belichick values. Belichick has long preferred SEC defensive players, obviously, and Bielema has recruited or studied most of the standouts of the last few years. You don’t hire a guy for just one or two draft classes, though.

    Consider this: Alabama is the closest thing in college football to a pro team-not just in terms of skill, but more in terms of how the team is run and plays. Bielema coached against Saban for the last five years. He has some degree of knowledge of how to prepare against players using Saban’s techniques. It’s not a huge gamebreaking tactical advantage, but I’d wager that Belichick is using Bielema to consult on how college defense is evolving, and specifically how the SEC and Alabama are training their players.

  23. “Does anyone really blame the guy for taking an SEC head coaching job?

    Wisconsin was great but you can’t win a National Championship there.’

    You’re not winning one at Arkansas either. It’s Alabama and occasionally someone else.

  24. Most people would prefer to work for any other team before the Patriots. They just don’t have any fun over there. It’s been documented by many former players and team personnel. All it is is work..work..work. it’s just not enjoyable. People like to have fun at work. The Patriots are run like a dictatorship

  25. “Ferdinand says:
    He sure does keep failing up somehow . . ..”

    ————–
    Ferdinand hit it right on the head – posting exactly what I was thinking. Somehow, I didn’t even know that Bielema had joined the Pats.

    Didn’t think much of Bielema as Badgers’ HC … couldn’t figure out why Barry Alvarez chose him as his “hand picked successor” in the first place but that’s old news and the Badgers have moved on nicely.

    I harbor no bitterness for the guy (he’s an after-thought now) except for ONE thing – the fact that he abandoned his team… his recruiting class before the biggest game of the kids’ life and he abandons them. THAT is not what a real coach does. Every Patriot player HAS to know that Bielema will NEVER have their back. I can’t imagine how he can look anyone squarely in the eyes.

  26. The Truth says:
    July 14, 2018 at 8:29 pm
    @HeLLpaso

    Don’t try to state facts to patsies bandwagon nation their knowledge base only extends back a few years

    ——————
    Bandwagon nation would be all the Patriots fans in your town, not the core in NE. You should really be blaming your team for how many there are, not the Patriots.

  27. imaduffer says:
    July 14, 2018 at 4:03 pm
    I know the Badger fans are salty, but honestly … who wants to live in Wisconsin? Admit it: you all wish you lived in SEC country.

    ……………………………………..
    Why would anyone want to live in the poorest and most uneducated area in the country?

    =======================

    In fairness, SEC country also has the most tornadoes and hurricanes, To say nothing of larger mosquitoes.

  28. I thought he was going to resurface with his buddy Long (former Ark AD) now Kansas AD. Bret can’t do much worse there.

  29. SEC being the poorest and the least educated part of America explains why it’s Trump land. 😂😂😂

  30. “Bert and the Pats are perennial losers”

    Lolz I don’t follow college ball and know nothing about this coach as a result.

    But if being the only team ever to reach 8 Super Bowls in 17 years, win 5 of them, win 8 of 12 afc championsnships, and reach the playoffs in 15 of 17 years somehow makes the Pats “perrenial losers” then riddle me this: What does that make the Barneys who have zero SB appearances and wins in that time and rarely even make the playoffs?

    I’d say like something they scraped off the bottom of the Pats cleats if they’d run through a field full of 2 day old cow dung

    Vikings fans, always good for a lolercoaster ride

  31. Eric Hurt says:
    July 15, 2018 at 1:22 pm
    SEC being the poorest and the least educated part of America explains why it’s Trump land. 😂😂😂

    ———-

    You should change your name to “Butt Hurt”

  32. If you needed further evidence that the Patriots dynasty is rapidly coming to a close – look no further than the addition of Bret Bielema to the coaching staff.

  33. @johngaltwho

    FWIW, what we need to see that the Patriots dynasty is coming an end is for the Patriots to stop competing in AFC championship games, and Super Bowls, on an almost annual basis.

    Their assistant coaches and roster changes every season, what has not changed in almost two decades now is the unrivaled post salary cap consistent success of the Greatest NFL Dynasty of All-time, your New England Patriots.

  34. I think since Bert’s ballooned since he bailed Wisconsin for Arkansas, they may want to make his title, training camp buffet table manager.

  35. 25 years of college coaching but Bill Belichick will teach Bielema how to actually coach. It will be interesting to see what role Bill gives him and if he can make a contribution to the team. He needs to understand that New England players and fans are conditioned to excellence and anything less will not be tolerated by Patriot nation.

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