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Friday, September 30, 2011
Belichick reminisces on Davis interview

By Mike Reiss

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Patriots coach Bill Belichick took a trip down Memory Lane on Friday, reflecting on his interview for the Raiders' head coaching job after the 1998 season. He described the experience as unlike any other because of owner Al Davis.

Belichick relayed the story of how he told Davis it seemed like a waste of time, mainly because Belichick figured he'd hire an offensive coach.

On Friday, Belichick was just getting started there.

"It’s a parade of offensive coaches out there. He’s really a defensive coordinator and has been," Belichick said of Davis. "You know, it was good because we talked a lot about football and he’s very, very knowledgeable about the game, personnel, schemes, adjustments and so forth. He was asking a lot of questions about what we did defensively. You kind of don’t want to give too much information there because you know, he’s running the defense. He wasn’t really too interested in talking about offensive football – a little bit.

"He’s a great mind. It was unlike any other interview I’ve ever had with an owner because he was so in-depth, his interview was so in-depth really about football, about Xs and Os and strategy and use of personnel and acquisition of – all the things really that a coach would talk about, that’s really what he talked about. That made it pretty unique. ...

"It was a great experience for me to have those couple days of conversations with him and also some other members of his organization relative, again, to the overall way of doing things."

Belichick was then asked about the mark Davis left on him as defensive mind from his teams in the 1960s and 1970s.

"You look at the same thing today, there’s not a lot of difference. Like I said, he’s really run the defense and to a large extent the kicking game out there for the ‘60s, ‘70s, 80’s, 90’s – 40 years, maybe more than that, I don’t know," Belichick responded. "They have their style of play, they have their way of doing things. As much as you can say this is a copycat league and things like that, you can’t really say that about them because they’ve done the same thing now for decades defensively and to a certain extent, offensively."

Davis ended up hiring Jon Gruden after the Belichick interview in 1998.