Good coaches appreciate good coaching in any form, and Alex Cora apparently drew inspiration from a recent New England Patriots game.
The Boston Red Sox manager said Tuesday he texted Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels after New England's Week 13 win over the Buffalo Bills, in which the Patriots attempted just three passes all game with strong winds in the forecast.
New England's strategy was unorthodox, to say the least, but Cora saw the game plan as a great way to approach a unique situation.
"One of the things that I have learned just watching (the Patriots) -- I actually texted Josh after the first game against the Bills -- it was the way they surrendered to winning," Cora said on WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show." "'This is what we are going to do, this is how we are going to practice and on Sunday this is our gameplay and we're going to do it this way.'
"I know that some people don't agree with it, but they do a great job of preparing those players. The mindset that they have regardless of the conditions or regardless of the opponent, I love the way they do it."
McDaniels, Bill Belichick and the Patriots are a "game plan" team that adjusts its strategy based on the opponent. They're less concerned about statistics or maintaining a certain identity as they are about exploiting an opponent's weakness -- or in this specific case, the elements.
Cora has had plenty of success with the Red Sox, winning a World Series in his first year with the club in 2018 and leading his 2021 team to the American League Championship Series. He views Belichick's Patriots as the ultimate model of success, though.
"I want our group to be recognized as one of the best in the big leagues or the best, and we have the Patriots, how they go about their business and we're trying to emulate them," Cora said.
"We try and be as consistent as possible. Surrender to winning. Do everything possible to win and hopefully, that works and we can bring another World Series trophy to Boston."
Cora's staff adopted that "surrender to winning" philosophy during the 2021 postseason by taking advantage of opponents' stubborn commitment to shifts, and it paid massive dividends during a run to the ALCS.
Cora and the Red Sox have their work cut out for them in 2022 to match last season's success, but it helps to have one of the most well-run teams in professional sports as a resource.