Nearly 40 percent of the New York Jets' 2018 schedule will have a Belichickian flavor.
With New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels poised to become the Indianapolis Colts' coach, which ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported on Sunday, the number of Bill Belichick disciples in new head-coaching positions increases to three. The others are Mike Vrabel (Tennessee Titans) and current New England defensive coordinator Matt Patricia (Detroit Lions), who, like McDaniels, can't become official until the Patriots are finished with Super Bowl LII.
The Lions, Titans and Colts happen to be on the Jets' schedule next season, as are the Houston Texans, coached by another Belichick product, Bill O'Brien.
This means the Jets will face Belichick or one of his former pupils in six of 16 games. Will they ever escape the specter of the Hoodie?
While Belichick's coaching tree is growing branches, let's not rush to judgment and say it will be casting shade on the Jets.
History tells us Belichick's coaching offspring don't achieve as much success once they leave the New England cocoon. The Jets experienced that first-hand, as they fired former Patriots defensive coordinator Eric Mangini in 2008 after three seasons. His record with the Jets (23-25) wasn't terrible, but owner Woody Johnson didn't care for Mangini's people skills and clandestine methods.
Ah, but this group of Bill wannabes might be different, and the reason is simple: The newbies went to teams with good quarterbacks. McDaniels has Andrew Luck (assuming his surgically repaired shoulder is OK), Vrabel has Marcus Mariota, and Patricia has Matthew Stafford. O'Brien, on the job four years, finally landed a promising talent in Deshaun Watson.
An established quarterback can accelerate the rebuilding process, something the Jets wouldn't know anything about.
In terms of X's and O's, Jets coach Todd Bowles -- a veteran of three seasons in the AFC East -- will be well-versed in McDaniels' offense in Indy. Ditto, Patricia's defense in Motown. At the same time, McDaniels and Patricia should have a good handle on the Jets' scheme and personnel, probably giving them a slight edge from that standpoint.
Vrabel never has coached under Belichick -- but played for him from 2001 to '08 with the Patriots -- so there could be less New England influence than with McDaniels and Patricia.
Bottom line: A lot of Belichick Lite will be served up to the Jets in 2018.