Thibodeau respects Pats' Belichick

MILWAUKEE -- Tom Thibodeau is so laser focused on his job on a day to day basis that the he had to chuckle when asked who he was taking in Sunday night's Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants.

"Come on now," he said before Saturday's shootaround, with a hint of sarcasm. "Who's in it?"

Thibodeau knows more about the world around him than he lets on, but the fact that it's even a legitimate question as to whether or not he actually knew who was in the Super Bowl speaks volumes about his coaching mentality. Let nothing get in the way of preparing your team for victory.

It's a philosophy that plenty of coaches have employed throughout the years, but one of the most successful coaches who subscribes to that theory is none other than Patriots' head coach Bill Belichick -- a man whom Thibodeau, not surprisingly, respects.

"He's a big basketball fan," Thibodeau, who actually spent three seasons working for the Boston Celtics as an assistant coach on Doc Rivers' staff, said of Belichick. "He was at a number of games in Boston. I had the opportunity to meet him. I haven't had the opportunity to spend any time with him, but I'd like to. He's a great coach. Year after year, he finds a way to win. Whenever they lose players, he always finds guys who can step in and fill the roles for the team to succeed. And he's done a great job of building a culture there. Each year they have a chance to win it."

Thibodeau, who, like Belichick, has earned a reputation over the years as being a workaholic, admitted that he tries to use some of the same coaching principles that Belichick has made famous over the years.

"I try to take things from all coaches," Thibodeau said. "Because I was in that city, I had an opportunity to study him a little bit. And I've read some of his books. And I also think the coaches he had been around, like [Bill] Parcells is a great coach. Any time you have an opportunity to study and learn from other people, I think you try to do so."