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Doc Rivers, Bill Belichick forged mutual admiration society in New England 06.23.13 at 9:28 pm ET
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With the news Doc Rivers is finally set to depart Boston for the Clippers, we were reminded of the spirit of camaraderie between New England’s professional head coaches for the better part of the last decade, including the ongoing friendship between Rivers and Patriots coach Bill Belichick.

The two often spoke about each other in glowing terms, but they also compared notes when it came to the team-building process, managing talent, proper execution of a game plan and even losing a key free piece in free agency. Last December, Rivers visited with Patriots’ coaches before a Monday night game against the Texans, and both coaches talked about the experience.

“It’€™s great to have Doc here — 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,” Belichick said after the meeting. “I really admire the way his teams play, the way his players play. He gives great leadership to a lot of those guys. You can learn a lot from watching them.”

Belichick expanded on his relationship with Rivers.

“We talk, we exchange ideas — I’€™m certainly pulling for them, they’€™re pulling for us, so there’€™s a rooting interest,” Belichick said. “But beyond that, on a professional level, there’€™s certainly a lot that I’€™ve learned from watching Doc and the Celtics, the way they do a lot of things organizationally, his coaching style, some of the things he’€™s talked to me about, the way he’€™s handled players and situations, things like that. He’€™s talked to our team, he’€™s said a lot of things that really made sense, really hit home. It’€™s a good relationship — we’€™ve learned from each other.”

Asked about his experiences with Belichick, Rivers marveled at the relationship between the coach and quarterback Tom Brady.

‘€œBrady has got to be right there [as one of the best in history]. It’€™s surgical watching him play. Then to have that, plus the relationship with [Belichick], I don’€™t know if there’€™s been a better great quarterback relationship with their coach ever,” Rivers said. “Bill Walsh and Joe Montana would be the only other one that comes to mind for me. That’€™s pretty neat. And they’€™re so different as people. That’€™s pretty cool.

“I love watching that team play,” Rivers added. “I was telling our guys that today. It’€™s just really awesome watching them execute, how professional they are. Every time I go to a Patriots game, I get so much out of it,” Rivers said. “I got to sit in their offensive gameplan meetings before they went out on the field. It’€™s just really cool. It’€™s a neat atmosphere. You can’€™t be around it enough, you really can’€™t.’€

Rivers was amazed at the Patriots’€™ execution of their game plan.

‘€œTo me, their execution and how serious and how they prepare for it,’€ Rivers said. ‘€œObviously, it’€™s different, they have one game to prepare for a week. It does make a big difference when we have five in a week, four in a week, it’€™s a little harder to do. Everybody knows their job and they do their job.

‘€œIt’€™s a neat atmosphere,’€ Rivers added. ‘€œFootball [teams] in general [game-plan weekly] but the Patriots do it on another level. Just the execution. Listening to what they said they wanted to do on offense before the game and then watching them actually do was pretty impressive.’€

Read More: Bill Belichick, Doc Rivers, Tom Brady,
Bill Belichick returns the favor to Doc Rivers: ‘I have a lot of respect for Doc’ 12.12.12 at 5:16 pm ET
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FOXBORO — On Tuesday, Doc Rivers expressed his gratitude to Bill Belichick for letting him sit in on an offensive game plan meeting prior to Monday night’s game.

On Wednesday, Belichick essentially said the pleasure was all his.

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

Has Belichick ever sat in on pregame Celtics meetings like Rivers did on Monday?

“We talk. We exchange ideas,” Belichick said. “I’€™m certainly pulling for them and I know they’€™re pulling for us. We definitely have a rooting interest in it 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 a lot of things organizationally and his coaching style and some of the things he’€™s talked to me about the way he’€™s handled players and handled different situations and things like that. He’€™s talked to our team and said a lot of things that really made sense and really hit home. I’€™ve had an opportunity to talk to his guys a couple times. We have a good relationship. We’€™ve probably both learned from each other.”

In keeping with the light-hearted NBA theme toward the end of Belichick’s presser Wednesday, he was asked if it would be a good idea to just wave at the coach at the end of the game like they do in the NBA instead of a handshake? Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Bill Belichick, Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett
Bill Belichick tops Forbes list of highest-paid coaches for second straight year 05.16.12 at 5:19 pm ET
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Forbes has published its annual list of coaches’€™ salaries, and Patriots coach Bill Belichick is at the top of the list once again. Forbes says he makes $7.5 annually, which is tops among all North American football, baseball, basketball and hockey coaches.

Belichick’€™s salary has been a closely guarded secret over the years. The last time we heard talk about it was back in 2007, when it was reported the coach and franchise agreed to an extension that would keep him with the franchise through at least the 2013 season, according to ESPN. And earlier that year, Belichick made a brief mention about his contract situation.

‘€œI don’€™t talk about contracts, but I would say I like working here, I like the organization ‘€” ownership, coaches, scouts, players, and the guys I work with,’€ he said in July 2007. ‘€œI appreciate the opportunity to work here, and it’€™s a good situation. I don’€™t see that changing anytime soon.’€

Belichick has been a fairly regular presence on the Forbes list. In 2010, Belichick was second to then-Lakers coach Phil Jackson. But after Jackson retired followed that season, Belichick moved into the top spot at $7.5 million, which makes 2012 his second straight year at No. 1 overall.

Belichick isn’€™t the only New England coach in the Top 10. Celtics coach Doc Rivers was tied for second with Redskins’€™ coach Mike Shanahan, Rams coach Jeff Fisher and Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, all at $7 million, annually. (For the complete list, CLICK HERE.)

Read More: Bill Belichick, Doc Rivers, Jeff Fisher, Mike Shanahan
Forbes: Bill Belichick now the highest-paid pro coach 05.18.11 at 3:34 pm ET
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With the retirement of Lakers’ coach Phil Jackson, Patriots coach Bill Belichick is now the highest-paid coach in the four major professional sports, according to Forbes.

The magazine estimates Belichick takes home an annual salary of $7.5 million ‘€” he just edges out Seattle’s Pete Carroll and Washington’s Mike Shanahan, both of whom make an estimated $7 million annually, according to Forbes. (Doc Rivers also just joined the $7 million club ‘€” he inked a new deal with the Celtics earlier this week.)

With the retirement of Jackson (who made a reported $10.3 million last year), Forbes writes: “Little surprise, then, that Belichick now takes home more money than any coach in the four major North American sports leagues–some $7.5 million a year, we estimate. The Patriots have never publicly confirmed Belichick’s contract details, but industry pundits have little doubt that the long-term extension he signed in 2007 is north of the roughly $7 million annually that Mike Holmgren was getting from the Seattle Seahawks.”

The rest of the Top 10 is dominated by NFL coaches: Chicago’s Lovie Smith makes $6 million, Arizona’s Ken Whisenhunt makes $5.75 million, New York’s Tom Coughlin makes $5.25 million and Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin checks in with at $5 million annually.

The last time we heard Belichick talk about his deal was back in 2007, when it was reported the coach and franchise agreed to an extension that would keep him with the franchise through at least the 2013 season, according to ESPN.

‘€œI don’€™t talk about contracts, but I would say I like working here, I like the organization ‘€” ownership, coaches, scouts, players, and the guys I work with,’€ he said in July 2007. ‘€œI appreciate the opportunity to work here, and it’€™s a good situation. I don’€™t see that changing anytime soon.’€

Read More: Bill Belichick, Doc Rivers, Ken Whisenhunt, Lovie Smith
Belichick second on Forbes’ list of highest-paid coaches 05.22.10 at 9:10 pm ET
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A couple of days after it said the Patriots were the No. 10 most valuable sports team brand in the world, Forbes magazine published its list of the 10 highest-paid coaches in professional sports, and it has Bill Belichick at No. 2 with an annual salary of $7.5 million.

The magazine says: ‘€œAfter a so-so run in Cleveland in the early 1990s, Belichick has reeled off a 112-48 record with New England since 2000, including nine division titles and four Super Bowl appearances.’€

Belichick’€™s contract and salary have been a well-guarded secret over the years. The last time we heard talk about it was back in 2007, when it was reported the coach and franchise agreed to an extension that would keep him with the franchise through at least the 2013 season, according to ESPN. And earlier that year, Belichick made a brief mention about his contract situation.

‘€œI don’€™t talk about contracts, but I would say I like working here, I like the organization ‘€” ownership, coaches, scouts, players, and the guys I work with,’€ he said in July 2007. ‘€œI appreciate the opportunity to work here, and it’€™s a good situation. I don’€™t see that changing anytime soon.’€

Belichick is the highest-paid NFL coach on Forbes’€™ list ‘€” the only coach who makes more annually is Lakers coach Phil Jackson, whose yearly salary is listed as $10.3 million. (Reportedly, Jackson has been asked to take a pay cut after this season.) Other NFL coaches who made the list include Washington’€™s Mike Shanahan and Seattle’€™s Pete Carroll (tied for third overall at $7 million a year) and Tennessee’€™s Jeff Fisher (ninth at $5.75 million annually). In addition, Celtics coach Doc Rivers is 10th overall at $5.5 million a year.

The story does take note of the fact that when it comes to coaching in the NFL, there has been a lot of turnover ‘€” and lots of big new contracts ‘€” as of late. Forbes says that’€™s an indication of ‘€œconfidence in an improving sports economy.’€

‘€œTo the extent that coaching offers serve as a barometer of confidence in an improving sports economy, some recent NFL moves are certainly encouraging,’€ writes Tom Van Riper. ‘€œFollowing a period in which several highly paid veterans (Shanahan, Tony Dungy, Bill Cowher, Mike Holmgren) walked away or were let go, replaced by younger, cheaper coaches, spending is picking up in some quarters. After a year off following his dismissal by the Broncos, Shanahan was handed a five-year, $35 million deal by Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, complete with control over the football operation, with marching orders to turn around the franchise.’€

Read More: Bill Belichick, Bill Cowher, Doc Rivers, Jeff Fisher
Some Sunday afternoon odds and ends 03.14.10 at 1:25 pm ET
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Here are a few Patriots-related notes for a rainy Sunday afternoon:

‘€¢It’s been covered a little previously, but the NFL Player Development Department has now officially awarded the Patriots with this year’€™s Outstanding Overall Player Development Award. At the annual meetings last week, awards were given to the NFL Player Development departments in the areas of financial education, continuing education, career development and life skills, with the Outstanding Overall Player Development Award honoring the club that excels in programming in all four areas of player development.

In addition to their financial education, the NFL Player Development Department identified a few of the Patriots’€™ recent initiatives as strengths of the program, including a safe boating program that was designed to raise awareness of risks after the boating tragedy that claimed the lives of two NFL players in the Gulf of Mexico last year. The team was also credited with their creative implementation of life skills training sessions. Celtics coach Doc Rivers was a guest speaker at one of the sessions this year.

‘€¢The next time we stop by Ty Warren’s locker, we’re going to make it a point to ask him about his fishing expertise. It was called to our attention here that the defensive lineman set a Massachusetts mark this season when he landed a 61-pound, 3-ounce mahi-mahi dolphin fish at Vetch Canyon in August. (For more on his mark, check this out.)

‘€¢We know that Bill Belichick and Tony LaRussa are pals, and by the sounds of this account from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the two spent part of the day Saturday hanging out before the Cardinals-Astros game in Jupiter, Fla.

Read More: Bill Belichick, Doc Rivers, odds and ends, tony larussa
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