Patriots: Bill Belichick’s Rutgers connection helps Pats land new coach

FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 03: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 03: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

The New England Patriots have been one of the most exemplary franchises in the history of the NFL, while Rutgers football often finds itself at the bottom of the standings.

Despite that, Bill Belichick has leaned on the Scarlet Knights for coaching and personnel expertise.

Belichick has helped build a tremendous, championship secondary on the backs of players like Duron Harmon and both McCourty brothers.

While snatching defensive backs out of Piscataway has helped the Patriots, Belichick is going to fill out the ranks of his coaching staff with a former Rutgers standout.

The Patriots identified Ross Douglas, a former Knights linebacker who got a strong recommendation from coach Greg Schiano, as someone that could bolster an already deep staff, and New England will give him his first taste of the big leagues.

Per Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel, Douglas will join the Patriots as a quality control coach after several years at the collegiate level. The Patriots have always had a pipeline of defensive assistants, so adding another young stud who could develop down the line could be a very worthwhile goal to pursue.

Ross Douglas will join Bill Belichick and the Patriots.

Douglas played a hybrid linebacker role under Chris Ash, recording 38 tackles in his final season there. Schiano brought him on as a graduate assistant on the defensive side of the ball, and his performance in that role was impressive enough to impress the mighty Belichick.

Douglas was a starter for years with the Scarlet Knights, moving over to Richmond. While he didn’t get an opportunity to prove his worth with the Spiders, he has at least shown enough with Rutgers to convince the Patriots that he is worth taking on board.

One of the best ways to get a head coaching job in the league is to start off on the ground floor in New England and eventually work your way up through the ranks. Both Matt Patricia and Brian Flores started out as assistants with the Patriots before rising through the ranks and becoming head coaches.

Perhaps Douglas will join them down the line. He has a ton of growing pains that he will have to endure, but Belichick’s coaching eye has proven sharp. If he has impressed Bill enough to earn a job at this early stage of his career, he should progress through the ranks fairly quickly. A stacked defensive coalition just got even more loaded.