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Volume 26 No. 174
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New HBO Film Explores Bill Belichick-Nick Saban Friendship

An upcoming collaboration between NFL Films and HBO Sports "promises to be one of the most fascinating peeks behind the Patriots' curtain yet," according to Chad Finn of the BOSTON GLOBE. HBO will premiere "Belichick and Saban: The Art of Coaching" on Dec. 10. The 90-minute film "profiles the relationship" between Patriots coach Bill Belichick and longtime friend and Alabama coach Nick Saban, who was on his staff with the Browns in the early '90s. Belichick and Saban met in '82 when the latter was an assistant at Navy, where Belichick's father, Steve, was a scout. They "discuss their fathers' influence in the doc, and other topics include the Browns years and how they connect with the current generation of players." The film is directed by NFL Films VP & Senior Coordinating Producer Ken Rodgers, who has "overseen several of NFL Films' Patriot-related programs" (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/4). YAHOO SPORTS' Sam Cooper noted the documentary "includes interviews with an array of football figures" Belichick and Saban have "crossed paths with over the years," including former Ravens Exec VP & GM Ozzie Newsome, Georgia coach Kirby Smart and Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 9/3).

READ & REACT: In Massachusetts, Nick O'Malley noted HBO "promotes the documentary as pairing the greatest coach in NFL history with the greatest coach in college football history" (Springfield REPUBLICAN, 9/3). AL.com's Mark Inabinett noted NFL Films "took its cameras to the coaches' annual retreat to lay the groundwork for the documentary" (AL.com, 9/3). SI.com's Charlotte Carroll wrote under the header, "'Belichick And Saban: The Art Of Coaching' Looks Like A Must-Watch Documentary" (SI.com, 9/3).

TWO PEAS IN A POD: Belichick yesterday said, "Nick and I have a long relationship and a great friendship. We were approached on it and agreed to do it. I am sure NFL Films will do a good job with it. It's hard to make me look good on TV, but sometimes they've managed to do it. They seem to think there's a lot of interest in it, and I am happy to partner with Nick on anything. There's nobody I have more respect and appreciation for in football and as a friend than Nick Saban. I am honored to be part of anything with him" (WEEI.RADIO.com, 9/3).