How do you earn trust on Bill Belichick's New England Patriots coaching staff? It helps being related to him.
Two of Belichick's sons currently serve as Patriots assistants: Steve is the team's outside linebackers coach, while Brian is in his first year as safeties coach.
They aren't the longest-tenured coaches in New England -- Steve has officially been on staff for nine years and Brian for five -- but as their father pointed out Friday, they may have more experience with the team than anyone in Foxboro outside Bill himself.
"Steve and Brian have grown a lot. They've come a long way, especially when I've had a chance to see them their whole lives," Belichick told reporters in a video conference.
"They've been around a lot of football, they've seen a lot of football, they've seen things done from a different perspective than other people. In the end, I don't know anybody that knows our football program better than Stephen, who's been in it a little bit longer, but Brian as well. They've just lived their whole life with this program."
That's a candid response from Belichick, who typically isn't an open book when it comes to his family. But Steve and Brian are past the stage of tagging along with their dad to games and practices and now are "valuable" members of the Patriots' coaching staff.
"All the things that we do, all the different reasons and how it all ties together and so forth, they have a very good understanding of all the things that are involved and how it all is interwoven," Belichick said. "And that's valuable to me, because they have a perspective of that."
Lest he be accused of nepotism, Belichick added the Patriots "have a lot of good coaches on our staff" who are "very proficient." But the legendary head coach clearly sees a benefit to having his sons on the sideline.
"It's a little different to see it from the perspective that Brian has seen it from, or Steve," Belichick said. "They all help, they’re all valuable and I’m glad we have them."