As the Patriots prepare to face the Redskins this weekend, Bill Belichick reflected on his relationship with 'Skins coach Mike Shanahan. Belichick had Shanahan in Foxboro as a guest during the team's training camp in 2009 before Shanahan signed on with the Redksins in the following offseason.
But they go back further than that.
"I think Mike likes me because they used to beat up on us all the time," said Belichick. "You know, Denver, they got us a few times. And Mike was in San Francisco when I was with the Giants, so we've always competed against each other. I've gotten to know Mike a little bit off the field, in league meetings and stuff like that. He's a great competitor. I have great respect for what he's done, his championships and all the outstanding teams he's had and coached.
"We talked about some of the drills that we were doing, and he kind of asked about, why are you doing this, and whats your thinking here? He also gave us some insight as to how he had done it.
"It's great to be able to talk to somebody that has that perspective," added Belichick. "The Jimmy Johnson's or the Mike Shanahan's, or people like that that have been through NFL seasons, that have a lot of experiences and can relate to all the different points in time, whether it be the draft, training camp, regular season, X's and O's personnel. It's great to be able to exchange ideas with somebody like that."
As for being concerned with how much information he shared with Shanahan in 2009, knowing that he might one day return to coaching, Belichick said that there's always some hesitation, but he also knew he wasn't sharing strategy with a rookie coach, either.
"I think there's always a point, where you're competing with somebody or you're going to compete with somebody, how far can you really go there? But in Mike's case, this is a very smart and experienced coach," said Belichick. "And I don't think there's too much that we did that he hasn't seen."