Belichick returns Doc's praise

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Celtics head coach Doc Rivers was spotted on the field at Gillette Stadium prior to the Patriots' 42-14 Monday night victory over the Houston Texans in Week 14, and he spent time catching up with good friend Bill Belichick.

Rivers later told local media that he had the opportunity to attend an offensive staff meeting with Belichick prior to the game on Monday, and raved about the Patriots' discipline and Belichick's methods and philosophy.

"I love watching that team play. I was telling our guys that today," Rivers said. "It's just really awesome watching them, how they execute, how professional they are. Every time I go to a Patriots game I get so much out of it.

On Wednesday, Belichick returned the favor, sharing his respect and appreciation for Rivers.

"It was great to have Doc here," Belichick said. "I have a lot of respect for Doc and the program that the Celtics run. I think he does a tremendous job coaching his team. I admire the way his teams play, the way his players play. I think he has great leadership from a lot of guys and has had it through the years from a lot of those guys. Certainly Kevin [Garnett], Paul [Pierce], guys like that."

Belichick said that not only is he a fan of the Celtics as a team, but that he and Rivers have learned from each other through their friendship.

"We talk, exchange ideas," Belichick said. "And I'm certainly pulling for them. I know they're pulling for us. I have a rooting interest in them, but beyond that, on a professional level, I think there's certainly a lot that I've learned from watching Doc and the Celtics and the way they do things organizationally: his coaching style, the things he's talked to me about, the way he's handled players and situations, things like that."

As a result of the mutual admiration, each coach has asked the other to address his team.

"He's talked to our team and said a lot of things that really made sense and hit home," Belichick noted. "I've had an opportunity to talk his team a couple of times. We've got a good relationship. We learn a lot from each other."