- Field Yates, ESPN Insider
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Bill Belichick has grown close to Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano, who coached Belichick's son Steve (now a Patriots assistant coach) while he was a member of the Rutgers football program. Belichick took the Patriots down to Tampa Bay days in advance of their preseason game against the Bucs in 2012 to take part in joint practices, and, despite the fact that their teams will square off during Week 3 of the upcoming season, Schiano and six members of his staff will travel north next week to work with Belichick's staff and review coaching topics and techniques, according to Don Banks of Sports Illustrated.
Writes Banks, who digs deeper into what the visit will entail:
Though a Bucs official declined to comment on Schiano and part of his staff visiting New England, a league source characterized the session as one in which the Tampa contingent would learn from Belichick and his staff some scheduling details. The two parties will discuss how the Patriots set up their calendar, how to best approach and organize the preseason, deal with the bye-week schedule and organize various practice schedules. In other words, they're talking about the logistics of running a team, rather than any in-depth discussion of X's and O's.
A spokesman with the Patriots confirmed the meeting with Tampa Bay coaches next week at New England's Gillette Stadium complex, but said the sessions will not be unprecedented in the team's Belichick era. Though he declined to divulge details, the spokesman said the Patriots have had at least one other team's coaching staff in for an offseason visit over the years, and perhaps even visited the staffs of other teams on one or more occasions. In the past, these visits have been conducted somewhat informally and off the radar, never becoming public knowledge, the spokesman said.
The situation is certainly a unique one, and it speaks to the relationship that has formed between the two head coaches. Belichick recently drafted three players who played under Schiano at Rutgers, and the two have spoken publicly about their mutual respect.
The Patriots and Buccaneers are in the midst of their offseason programs, but no on-field work will take place for the Patriots next week, opening up a window for the two staffs to share and exchange ideas.
To read Banks' full piece, CLICK HERE.