Friday May 11, 2012

FOXBOROUGH (AP) -- The New England Patriots have hired Bill Belichick's son as a coaching assistant, making him the third generation of the family to try his hand as a football coach.

The team said Thursday that Steve Belichick will join his father's staff. Bill Belichick's father, also named Steve, was a fullback who played for the Detroit Lions and coached in college, spending 33 years on the staff at Navy.

The hire was among several New England coaching moves Thursday that included Matt Patricia being moved into the defensive coordinator slot. That position was vacant last season, when the Patriots won the AFC title and lost to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl. Patricia coached the safeties last year, and was formerly the linebackers coach for five years.

Also Thursday, the team confirmed that it had signed running back Joseph Addai and seven rookie free agents.

Addai is a former first-round draft pick who played six seasons for the Indianapolis Colts. He has gained 4,453 yards on 1,095 carries with 39 rushing touchdowns in his career.

Also signed on Thursday were running back Brandon Bolden, defensive linemen Marcus Forston and Justin Francis, tight end Brad Herman, receiver Matt Roark and offensive linemen Jeremiah Warren and Markus Zusevics. They will join the seven players drafted by the Patriots at a rookie mini-camp that begins today.