Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz ‘very appreciative’ of family ties with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick

Iowa Hawkeyes head football coach Kirk Ferentz tries not to spend a lot of time asking himself, “What if?” There is one piece of his past that he can’t help but ask that question about, though.

Ferentz joined SiriusXM radio host Rich Eisen on his program, “The Rich Eisen Show.” Ferentz was asked about recently getting to see his son, James Ferentz, at New England Patriots camp. James Ferentz has been a backup center for the New England Patriots since the start of the 2017 season.

Naturally, that led into Kirk Ferentz’s own history with New England head football coach Bill Belichick. Kirk Ferentz served as the Cleveland Browns’ offensive line coach during the 1993-95 seasons under then-head Cleveland Browns coach Bill Belichick.

“I don’t wonder an awful lot, but I always do wonder, I wonder every now and then what my life would have been if coach (Bill) Belichick hadn’t called me back in 1993. I think the truth of the matter is they had like eight or nine line coaches apply for the job. It just didn’t work out, so they truly got to the bottom of the barrel. I ended up in Cleveland. I’m just so appreciative of those three years to have a chance to work coach Belichick,” Kirk Ferentz said.

Of course, from there, Ferentz served as the Baltimore Ravens‘ offensive line coach in 1996 before being elevated to the Ravens’ associate head coach and offensive coordinator for the 1997 and 1998 seasons. Then, the rest is history. He’s been the head coach at Iowa ever since.

The family ties between Kirk Ferentz and Bill Belichick didn’t stop there, though. Kirk’s oldest son and Iowa’s current offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Brian Ferentz, got his professional start in New England.

Brian Ferentz started out as an offensive quality control coach with the Patriots in 2008 before eventually being named New England’s tight ends coach in 2011.

“My oldest boy has worked with him for five years for him and now to have another son be up there, I just feel very, very appreciative. He’s obviously an outstanding coach, but he’s just a tremendous person on top of it. I’m really appreciative of that part of it,” Ferentz said.

Now, James Ferentz is a longtime member of the Patriots and Kirk discussed what it has meant to watch his career unfold and how James has wound up sticking in New England.

“It certainly wasn’t any ever a thought would happen. Obviously, you hope good things happen all the time. It’s just great. I hate to talk about my kids, but his career is actually pretty amazing. He played here in ’12, that was his last year and couldn’t get any traction in the NFL. Never really put shoulder pads on once for a full calendar year. Bill O’Brien gave him a chance to try to make the team in Houston.

“Bill’s first year down there, so James made the practice squad and then ended up gaining traction in Denver. Unfortunately, Gary Kubiak couldn’t continue coaching. The new coach came in, took one look at James, James isn’t the biggest guy in the world and that was the end of his career in Denver. But, anyway, he’s fortunately been able to gain a little traction in New England, so it was a thrill just to be at practice period and then all of a sudden see James on the field is pretty cool,” Kirk Ferentz said.

Eisen also asked if Ferentz and Belichick ever talk shop when the two get together.

“Yeah, a little bit of schemes. Probably more just people and trends in the game, those types of things. Just maybe a little bigger picture that way, but, you know, pretty much anything he says, I know this: it’s worth listening to. I can tell you that from my three years in Cleveland,” Ferentz said.


2022 Big Ten Media Day: Iowa Hawkeyes' Kirk Ferentz previews the college football season


2022 Big Ten Media Days: Iowa's Kirk Ferentz joins the TV desk, previews the Hawkeyes' hopes

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Story originally appeared on Hawkeyes Wire