Bill Belichick's mulleted son became the unexpected star of Tom Brady's homecoming

·3 min read
Screenshot shows Steve Belichick sticks his tongue out of his mouth during the Patriots-Buccaneers game.
Steve Belichick became a meme on Sunday. via NBC/NFL
  • Bill Belichick's son Steve Belichick is a defensive coach on the Patriots.

  • Cameras showed him during "Sunday Night Football" making odd faces and moving his tongue around.

  • Steve Belichick instantly became a meme.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

The "Sunday Night Football" matchup between the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers had it all: Tom Brady's homecoming, his reunion with Bill Belichick, rookie quarterback Mac Jones battling the GOAT, and the drama of a close game.

It also had Steve Belichick.

The son of Bill Belichick, Steve is the Patriots' linebackers coach. He is also considered the de facto defensive coordinator, according to the "Sunday Night Football" broadcast.

Throughout the night, cameras showed Steve Belichick, who sports a mullet, dialing up defenses against Brady. He owns the same fiery intensity as his father but not the stoicism - he was often seen glaring and wagging his tongue around.

-Danny Heifetz (@Danny_Heifetz) October 4, 2021

-Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) October 4, 2021

Naturally, the internet loved it.

-Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) October 4, 2021

-Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) October 4, 2021

-Rodger Sherman (@rodger) October 4, 2021

-Benjamin Solak (@BenjaminSolak) October 4, 2021

-Josiah Johnson (@KingJosiah54) October 4, 2021

-Jimmy Fox (@IamJimmyFox) October 4, 2021

-David Roth (@david_j_roth) October 4, 2021

-Don Van Natta Jr. (@DVNJr) October 4, 2021

-NFL Memes (@NFL_Memes) October 4, 2021

-Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) October 4, 2021

-Tim Wronka (@TimWronka) October 4, 2021

-Rodger Sherman (@rodger) October 4, 2021

Of course, Steve Belichick is more than a meme.

He told The Ringer's Kevin Clark in 2017 he was sensitive to the criticism that he got the job only because of his dad.

"I like to work for everything I get," he said. "I'll always be Bill Belichick's son to everyone in the media. To the people who really matter, my friends and family, I'm Steve, and those are the people I care about. I couldn't care less about everybody else."

Patriots players also complimented Steve Belichick, telling Clark that he could relate to them more than his father.

"He's smart, he knows football, he's a Belichick," former Patriots safety Brandon King told Clark. "At the same time, he's younger and we can relate to him."

On Monday, the elder Belichick complimented Steve for running a defense that made life difficult for Brady. Though Brady and the Bucs beat the Patriots, the 44-year-old quarterback completed just over 50% of his passes and didn't throw a touchdown.

"We tried to mix it up on him," Bill Belichick said on WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show." "I think Steve did a great job of that with the defensive play calling, and the players played hard, played well."

With the Patriots defense looking as stout as it did on Sunday, it doesn't appear Steve Belichick is going anywhere soon.

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