Belichick maintains link with Perkins

Bill Belichick is the longest tenured head coach in the NFL, but he hasn't forgotten a big part of his football roots. As a young coach in the NFL, Belichick was hired by then-New York Giants coach Ray Perkins in 1979.

Belichick's link with Perkins was highlighted by an appearance Tuesday night in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Perkins is the head coach at Jones County Junior College. Belichick, who has been on his annual scouting trip, carved out time to help Perkins at a fund-raising event.

The Hattiesburg American writes on Belichick's appearance, going back to Belichick's time with Perkins on his New York Giants staff.

"I owe an awful lot to coach Perkins for the opportunity he gave me," Belichick said, according to the Hattiesburg American. "That led to some other opportunities, but it really all started with Ray. I appreciate everything he did for me and my family. ...

"I learned an awful lot from him about discipline, consistency, teamwork. A lot of his strengths that I learned from made me a better coach and a better person."