Belichick to Krzyzewski: Working with young people keeps me young

Belichick to Krzyzewski: Working with young people keeps me young

Two of the most successful coaches in the history of their respective sports got on the horn recently to discuss their jobs, the players they coach and more. Seems like it might be a worthwhile listen.

Bill Belichick joined Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski on Wednesday's episode of Sirius XM College Sports Nation's "Basketball and Beyond with Coach K," and in a preview of the back-and-forth Belichick describes part of what makes Tom Brady so valuable to the Patriots.

It's that Brady knows what he's looking at, and he's able to get his offense into a play that will give the Patriots a "fair fight" even when they're caught off guard.

“More than anything, just like you’re trying to get a good shot, we’re trying to run a good play," Belichick tells Krzyzewski. "The last thing we want to do is run a play that, when it’s over, we look back and say, ‘We really didn’t have a chance on that one.’

"We want to at least be able to get to something where we feel like it’s a fair fight and it’s competitive. The biggest thing Tom does for us is to try to keep us out of those bad plays where we have 5 to 10 percent chance of really being successful, whether it’s a coverage or a blitz or an alignment that they give us, and he sees that what we’ve got called just isn’t what we want to be in

"That wasn’t why we called the play, was to run it against that particular look. Then sometimes he’ll be able to get out of those and get us something that, like I said, gives us more of a fair fight. That’s a big job of the quarterback in our league is to not just manage the game in terms of getting the ball out of bounds and the clock and stuff like that, but also managing the game in terms of giving the offense the chance to run plays that are competitive because defenses can get in certain alignments and really make it tough on you. Tom does a great job of that.”

Belichick and Krzyzewski also delve into what keeps Belichick fresh after more than 40 years as an NFL coach.

"I just try to maintain a balance with it. Football is very important to me, and I put a lot into it, but there are times during our year when you can step back and refresh a little bit," he began. "Going out to Pebble Beach for a couple days was good for me, not that I played great golf or anything, but being in that environment. In the summer, before we go to training camp, I spend some time just relaxing with the family and kind of getting refreshed and taking the pressure off for a little while. That definitely helps.

"I really enjoy the different phases of the season," Belichick continued. "Right now we're in a team-building phase with free agency and then next month the draft and then all the players will be in and we'll start. As you know, you can't pick up where you left off last year, you've got to start all over again, so the kind of starting all over again process has really already begun for us.

"But I enjoy that, because it's a different type of coaching than it is coaching in playoff games, where you have an experienced team and players that have been doing things for six months and your execution level is much higher than what it is when you start all over again in spring practices or the beginning of training camp. I enjoy all the different aspects of it. They're all challenging."

That includes keeping up with young players and their social media habits, he joked.

"I enjoy working with young people," he explained. "That certainly keeps me young, even though the gap's widening. And I do my best to absolutely take on the whole social-media thing, you know, head on, on a collision course. But other than that, being with young people certainly keeps you young, and that's been important for me. I'm sure you feel the same way."

Pro day circuit shows Belichick in his element

Pro day circuit shows Belichick in his element

Bill Belichick is a teacher. His father was a teacher. His mother was a teacher. He is very much their son in that regard. 

The glimpses into Belichick's essence aren't as rare as you might think, but they still generate an inordinate amount of interest because he's arguably the best to ever execute the kind of teaching he's made his life's work.

Every time he takes several minutes to answer a conference call or press conference question thoughtfully, the hundreds of words found in the text of the transcribed answer typically create a stir on Twitter. NFL Films productions that show Belichick operating behind the scenes are devoured. Exclusive interviews, where he shares his insight on individual games and matchups, NFL Films productions that show Belichick operating behind the scenes are devoured. Exclusive interviews, where he shares his insight on individual games and matchups, make every installment of the ‘Do Your Job’ series a must-watch.

Clips of Belichick on the practice field aren't necessarily hard to find, there just aren't many of them considering how many practices he's run over the course of his decades-long career. But thanks to more lax media policies at the college programs he visits for pro days, video of his on-the-field work pops up on a regular basis this time of year. They are mini-clinics dotting the internet. 

This is Belichick in his element. Even in the middle of a random university campus. Even with scouts, coaches and front-office people from around the league watching his every move. Whether he's coaching players one-on-one or three or four at a time, Belichick is imparting his wisdom on eager close-to-blank slates. All the while he's trying to evaluate how they're absorbing what he's giving them. Do they pay attention? How do they process information? Are they error-repeaters? 

It's a fascinating give-and-take between the 60-something coach trying to build a roster and the 20-something players trying to make one, some of whom hadn't yet hit kindergarten when Belichick won his first ring in New England. And he seems to enjoy it. 

Here's a quick look at some of what Belichick has been up to the last few days at Georgia, South Carolina and NC State.  



Patriots re-sign LB Marquis Flowers

Patriots re-sign LB Marquis Flowers

Linebacker Marquis Flowers is headed back to the Patriots on a one-year deal worth up to $2.55 million, according to his agent, Sean Stellato. 

Flowers, 26, a sixth-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals in 2014, was acquired by the Patriots near the end of training camp last year for a seventh-round pick. 

More to come...