Shortly after Notre Dame's lopsided loss to Alabama in the BCS championship game, coach Brian Kelly began brainstorming methods for reviewing his program's strengths and weaknesses. Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports reports one of Kelly's wishes came true: He talked three-time Super Bowl winner Bill Belichick into consulting on Notre Dame football.
Kelly and Belichick first met last February at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in California. That's when Kelly popped the question:
"I asked him if he could spend some time watching games and we could discuss," Kelly told Yahoo! Sports.
Belichick was immediately intrigued at the prospect of studying Notre Dame's program.
"I just really enjoy talking football," Belichick said. "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."
In March, the Patriots coach went to work breaking down game film with Notre Dame's coaching staff, analyzing its schemes and dissecting the program's deficiencies. Kelly said the most valuable time Belichick spent was coaching his coaches how to coach.
When it came to Notre Dame's defensive approach, Belichick thought the program inhibited its players from reacting to changes they saw in opposing formations just before a snap. Kelly said his staff has embraced Belichick's advice and made some tactical changes.
"And that, to me, says everything you need to know about Bill Belichick," Kelly said. "It's not just about scheme, it's about understanding the concept of the game and making those adjustments as the game unfolds.
"With the players, we were a little bit, 'This is your job. Do your job.' Instead of, 'You can do your job.' "
Belichick said the time spent at Notre Dame helped feed his hunger for digesting college personnel and schemes.
"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," Belichick said.