BOSTON (CBS) — Bill Belichick’s coaching staff with the Patriots has long been among the smallest in the National Football League. The Patriots head coach has at times forgone having an offensive or defensive coordinator. He typically has relatively few assistants on his staff, and even fewer assistants for the assistants.
Belichick explained why he prefers a smaller staff in a fascinating new interview. It’s simple: less is more.
Speaking as part of the new podcast Suiting Up With Paul Rabil (h/t to Mike Reiss of ESPN), Belichick explained that he prefers a small, busy coaching staff to a larger group with less work to do. He believes that the coaching staff is ultimately more productive (and more successful) with a smaller team and larger average workload.
“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,” said Belichick. “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, then that leads to getting distracted and complaining or … being less productive. Even though you have more people, sometimes less work gets done.”
He added that smaller coaching staffs also allow his game plans to be implemented easier without compromising his vision, keeping everyone on the team pulling in the same direction.
“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,” said Belichick. “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.”
Maintaining the smallest coaching staff in the league has not just helped Belichick manage his weekly preparations better. It’s made his assistant coaches feel better about the work they’re doing, which has translated to plenty of on-field success. It’s certainly hard to argue with the results.