Bucs' Schiano lauds younger Belichick

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The bond between Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano has been a popular topic of conversation while the Patriots and Buccaneers have shared the field for joint practices this week.

The origin of their relationship, at least in part, can be traced back to Steve Belichick, Bill's oldest son and a coaching assistant on his staff, playing for Schiano as a reserve long snapper during the 2011 college season at Rutgers.

The younger Belichick was a member of the school's lacrosse team for four seasons, but got back to his gridiron roots during his final year in college as a member of the 9-4 Scarlet Knights.

Though Belichick was not a star contributor on the field, Schiano lauded his contributions by noting he developed a trust and friendship with several players on the team, including current Patriots defensive end Justin Francis.

"He was good cause he was mature," Schiano said Thursday. "He wasn't a kid, so he was actually part of the leadership of our team, which I enjoyed. And he helped me. On game day, he helped me, certain things, signaling and different things for me because I was calling the defenses back then.

"It was really a good experience," he continued. "I hope he had a good experience and he's part of these guys [the Patriots staff]. That's a tight group of guys."

Unsurprisingly, it wasn't hard for Schiano to envision Belichick becoming a coach following his college playing career.

"Yeah, I'd say it's in the blood," he said with a smile.