Bill Belichick, Tony La Russa, Tom Crean share lessons from one another

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick welcomed longtime MLB manager Tony La Russa and former Indiana Hoosiers men's basketball coach Tom Crean to joint practice with the Houston Texans on Wednesday, with all three coaches sharing what they've learned from one another.

La Russa on Belichick: "All I know is that when we're together, I'm asking the questions, he's talking and I'm taking notes. He's not taking my notes. I believe his ability and his staff's ability, and his team's ability to start at zero every year -- refuse to think about last year -- is an important part of why they are so consistent. It's true in our sport, too, like what Bobby Cox did in Atlanta. It's easy to celebrate the next year. The ability to turn the clock to zero is really impressive and very hard."

Belichick on LaRussa: "Tony's been a great friend. Buzz Bissinger, who wrote his book, and I went to high school together so we have some mutual friends. My relationship with Tony has been great. I've learned a lot from somebody as accomplished as he is in another sport. I'll never forget the time he let me get in the dugout with him for an exhibition game. Baseball -- it seems like just throw it and hit it but there's a lot more to it than that. I saw just how much there is on every single pitch and the focus, concentration, all of that. … Different sports but Tony is very progressive. He had a great career as a manager, won a couple thousand games. I can't imagine what that's like but it must be pretty good. We've talked a lot about coaching teams, coaching players, dealing with different situations. He's been in a lot of big games, a lot of championships, World Series, things like that, different organizations. He's helped me a lot and given me a lot of insight."

Crean on Belichick: "Everything matters every day. As simple as that sounds, it's very complex and hard because there are so many things that can distract that, can interrupt that, can get in the way of it. When I think of fundamentals, and preaching the fundamentals and details on a day-to-day basis -- and then watching it come out in his team -- that's one place you're going to look. He leaves nothing to chance. It would be hard to imagine something missing his radar or the people that are around him. ... He's been very, very good to me, very helpful. I think that's one of the reasons he's such a great leader, great developer of teams, programs, players. He's always inquisitive -- he's helpful. You can get an idea of how great he is with his team because of the way he helps his friends."

Belichick on Crean: "I've had an opportunity to spend a lot of time with Tom, watched him at Indiana. He allowed me to kind of watch practice and spend time with his organization, with his team. Again, different sport but I learned a lot from his organization. We speak pretty frequently. Different motivations, teachings, [but] coaching is coaching, even though the sport is different. Players are players, and there are different things you can do to help them. He is a very progressive guy."