One aspect that seemed to interest Duke men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski in his interview with New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick on Thursday was the inner workings of the relationship between Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady.
Krzyzewski, who had Belichick on as a guest on the "Basketball and Beyond with Coach K" show on Sirius XM College Sports Nation, asked about how the Belichick-Brady dynamic has evolved.
"Tom and I have a great relationship and it really started in 2001, when he became the starting quarterback. Our quarterback coach [Dick Rehbein] passed away prior to the start of the season, so we ended up splitting up the quarterback coaching with myself and Charlie Weis, our offensive coordinator at that time. So over the last 14 years, Tom and I, along with the other quarterbacks, meet twice a week. Once to go over our opponent and talk about the initial input of the game plan, then at the end of the week we go back over everything and talk about how we want to start the game, and what things we want to get to first in the game based on practice, and matchups and so forth. We [also] usually talk during the game, with Coach [Josh] McDaniels, and either things are going the way we thought they would and we want to stay with it, or they're not and we need to make some kind of adjustment.
"In our sport, it's really important, I feel, for the head coach to have a good in-game and working relationship with the quarterback and the defensive signal-caller and the special teams, whoever it goes through there, whether it's the specialists or maybe one or two key core players in the kicking game that are in on every phase of the game. I've tried to do that, being involved in all three phases of the game.
"But certainly the relationship with Tom is an important one and a big one. Tom definitely has a lot of input. He has ideas based on his experience and having played against various teams or particular players in the past, so what he feels comfortable with, maybe what he doesn't, the matchups he likes or concepts that look good -- we talk about those and iron them out. He has a significant amount of input in what we do and also as the game is going whether we need to make some type of adjustments of modifications to what the original plan was."
Krzyzewski then followed up on Brady's leadership, asking whether he's always been that way.
"Tom's always had a lot of good leadership skills," Belichick answered. "Even his rookie year, when he never played, he took all the younger players on offense, the rookies and some of the other practice-squad type players, and worked with them after practice to run our plays and go through our communication, our audibles and things like that. He's always had good presence at the position, not in a kind of bossy way. ... Certainly as his experience has grown and levels of understanding and his relationship with all the different players on the team, he's able to step in there and talk about what we need to do.
"If things are going well and he feels like he screwed up, then he's the first one to step up and say 'Fellas, keep doing what you're doing, I'll be all right.' If it's something else, he'll step in and say 'We have to do this, we have to do that. This is what we need to do.'
"One thing about Tom, he has a great vision for the game. When you ask him at the end of the play what happened, he'll tell nine or 10 things that happened -- with the rush, the way the defense played, the way the route was run, what he saw. You go back and look at the film and that's the way it happened. So he's able to process a lot of information in just a couple of seconds there."