Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 9/6/13
After Alabama hung 42 points on the Fighting Irish defense in the 2012 BCS National Championship game, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly vowed to evaluate his team and strengthen all its defensive weaknesses. To do that, he turned to one of the smartest minds in the game of football: Bill Belichick. The two met when they were part of a foursome at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament in February, and when Kelly made his request to spend some time going over his team’s fim with the Patriots coach, Belichick couldn’t turn the opportunity down. “I just really enjoy talking football,” Belichick told Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports.  “So much goes into the entire process that it’s impossible to run out of things to work on  – coaching, playing, practice, preparation, scouting, technology, how the whole structure fits together.” Belichick trekked to South Bend, Ind., in March and sat down with the Fighting Irish coaching staff to watch film and talk shop for a day and a half. It went particularly smoothly, in part, because Notre Dame and the Patriots both play a good amount of 3-4 defense. “Bill is very aware of our defense because there’s great similarities,” Kelly said. “It was a great way for him to communicate some things with us using the same nomenclature to, ‘Hey, have you thought about this?’” To some degree, Kelly said he didn’t know what to expect from the Pats coach — and that was part of the appeal. Belichick laid his evaluation out without mincing words. “He would watch a play and say, ‘Why didn’t your players adjust to that? Why didn’t you let your player make that adjustment? He was in a four technique, an inside shade of the tackle, and you knew it was a boot down and you knew they were going to break contain, why didn’t you let a four go to a five?’” Kelly said. To the Notre Dame coaching staff, the experience was invaluable, but Belichick said he walked away from South Bend enriched, too. “There are so many great college programs, and I feel fortunate anytime I can gain exposure to some very smart coaches, share ideas and, frankly, learn a tremendous amount myself,” he said. Photo of the night Sweet irony. Photo via Twitter/@rexberg Tweet of the night Sometimes I joke about going to Harvard Law School, too. Here's another shot of @BrandonSpikes55' epic sweatshirt, because, well, it's awesome ... http://t.co/BW8ZJwcTLE— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) September 06, 2013 Video of the night Now seems like as good a time as any for the Lingerie Football League to crack down on excessive celebrations. Filed under: NESN Staff, New England Patriots, Sylvania Spotlight, Top Stories

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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