Fresh off an overtime victory over the Denver Broncos, Bill Belichick joined Mike Krzyzewski on Basketball and Beyond with Coach K this week to talk about how important veteran leaders are to the team’s success.

Belichick talked about why the team-appointed captains of Tom Brady, Logan Mankins, Rob Ninkovich, Devin McCourty and Matt Slater are just as important to the team as the coaching staff.

“I’d say [the success] starts with the captains and as you know, there’s captains and there’s also that senior leadership which is almost as important as your captains,” Belichick told Coach K. “We have a lot of guys that are great leaders on the team, but certainly I think the team rallies around the people that they selected to be their leaders and their captains.”

The Patriots (8-3) currently sit atop AFC East. But for Belichick, he says the season is really just beginning.

There’s a lot of football left to be played and we’ve got to continue to improve down the stretch here in every area of the game, including coaching, including our utilization of our personnel, maximizing our game plans and our opportunities. You only have so many possessions, you only have so many good plays … this is kind of really where football season starts for us, right around Thanksgiving. We need to play our best football, the critical thing for us is to continue to improve on a daily basis and a weekly basis.

While it may seem simple, Belichick told Krzyzewski the biggest key is the way each player and coach approaches practice each day.

“In football you only play one game a week and you can’t just improve just in the game, there’s not enough games,” Belichick told Coach K. “We’ve got to improve every day in practice in our executions, communication, in our situational play.”

[Sunday night] was a good example with weather and the conditions that were a lot different than we worked in training camp. I think the key for us moving forward is improving every day. Coming in each and every day with good attitudes, being alert, being ready to go, being ready to work hard and being ready to come off the field at the end of the day a little better as an individual player and a little better collectively as a team than we walked in here in the morning. If we continue to do that then that bodes well for us.

Coach K takes to the airwaves Thursdays at 6 pm ET throughout the college basketball season on SiriusXM College Sports Nation. Basketball and Beyond with Coach K, co-hosted by Dave Sims, is in its ninth season, and is available live on Ch. 91, on the SiriusXM app and on SiriusXM On Demand.

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