Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Doc gushes over the Patriot Way
By Greg Payne
WALTHAM, Mass. -- Despite Tuesday being the Celtics' first organized gathering since Saturday's win over the Sixers, head coach Doc Rivers couldn't help reflecting on his time spent at the New England Patriots game Monday night.
Rivers received the full-access treatment Monday, getting to hang out with Pats coach Bill Belichick on the field prior to kickoff and even sitting in on the team's offensive meeting before the game.
"I love watching that team play. I was telling our guys that today," Rivers said. "It's just really awesome watching them, how they execute, how professional they are. Every time I go to a Patriots game I get so much out of it. I got to sit in their offensive game plan meeting before they went out on the field and it's just really cool.
"It's a neat atmosphere," he added. "You can't be around it enough. You really can't."
Rivers said the Patriots' execution has always stuck out to him and that attention to detail is something he tries to take away from watching games.
"Well to me, the execution, and how serious [they are], and how they prepare for it," Rivers said of what he can learn from watching.
"Obviously 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 or four in a week, it's a little harder to do. But, just everybody knows their job, and they do their job. It's just really a neat atmosphere... The Patriots, to me, do it on a different level. It's fun to be around."
Rivers didn't disclose details of his conversation with Belichick prior to the game, but acknowledged the budding relationship they share.
"It's very good, very good. We talk," Rivers said. "I go to things, he comes to our stuff at times and watches. He comes in the locker room. So, it's a very, very, very good relationship."
Rivers praised quarterback Tom Brady, as well as the relationship he has with Belichick.
"First of all, I think Tom Brady is the best quarterback in -- I don't want to say history, but he's got to be right there," Rivers said. "I mean, it's surgical, watching him play. And 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. I guess Bill Walsh and Joe Montana would be the only other one that comes to mind for me. But that's pretty neat. And they're so different as people."
Read on for more notes from Tuesday's session, including Rajon Rondo's attempts to track down Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
* Rivers said it was a busy practice for Boston, noting that they went over numerous things on both sides of the ball.
"First of all, getting our wind back, running up and down the floor," Rivers said of what the team worked on. "But, a lot of different sets with Rondo giving it, coming back to it, offensively. And then defensively, we're just still trying to get better and better at our pick-and-roll coverage."
* A winning streak was still on the minds of Rivers and his players Tuesday, as they called it the next necessary step in improvement.
"We haven't had a stretch this year where we've put anything together, and we need to do that at some point," said Rivers.
Echoed guard Jason Terry: "Right now we're just concerned about us and stringing together some games. We've won one, lost one, won one. We've got to put together three, four, five games in a row, so that's where our focus is right now."
* While Rivers might boast a steady relationship with Belichick, their two respective quarterbacks, Rajon Rondo and Brady, have yet to cross paths, according to Rondo.
"No, I don't know Tom at all. I tried to get his autograph and just couldn't reach him," Rondo said, likely half-joking as usual.
* Actor and Boston native Mark Wahlberg, who took in the Celtics' win over Philadelphia on Saturday, was also present at the Pats game Monday and spent time with Rivers and Belichick.
Asked what Wahlberg brought to the meeting, Rivers joked: "I was hoping he brought Ted, but he didn't." Rivers, of course, was referring to the stuffed teddy bear at the heart of Wahlberg's summer comedy, "Ted."