Surviving the grueling interview process is just the beginning. Even Belichick doesn't hesitate to call the entry-level coaching assistant job "a grind."
It's a "20/20 deal. 20 hours a day for 20 grand a year. And it wasn't exactly 20 yet," says Patriots tight ends coach Brian Daboll, whose starting salary under Belichick was $15,000 a year.
While Belichick's bringing home a much larger paycheck — his annual salary is more than $7 million — he's logging just as many hours or more.
"He's football 22/7," former Patriots linebacker Rosevelt Colvin tells ESPN. "He gets maybe two hours of sleep, and the rest of his life is football."
Another assistant under Belichick, Rick Venturi, agrees, saying, "he never asked you to do anything he wasn't doing."
And the legendary coach knows what it's like to start at the bottom of the totem pole: After graduating from Wesleyan University, Belichick was hired by the Colts in 1975 for $25 a week.
"It was a low-paying job for me, but it was probably the best job I ever had because I learned so much," Belichick tells MassLive. "And I felt like, other people who would want to do that, not for the money but do it because they really wanted to learn the game and enjoy that kind of a grind to be honest with you — because it is a grind, but it's beneficial in the long run — that was kind of the person I was looking for."