New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick opened his Thursday video press conference with a special message for one of his friends -- University of Alabama head coach Nick Saban.
Saban and Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne have tested positive for COVID-19, the school announced Wednesday.
Belichick sent his well wishes to Saban on Thursday, and also noted that the two coaches have shared information on how best to handle the COVID-19 situation for their teams.
"I know everyone’s aware of our connections with Coach [Nick] Saban and Alabama," Belichick said. "So, just want to wish him a speedy and complete recovery from this COVID virus. I spoke with Coach Saban recently.
"We both talked about how much we’ve learned about this situation and some of the challenges that have come with it. I know he’s been extremely vigilant and has put a great deal of thought and effort into the care of his team and players and he shared that with me. We both talked about things that we’ve done and have been helpful and so forth. As I said, just want to wish him the best from all of us here in the organization."
Saban and Belichick have known each other for decades and worked together on the coaching staff of the Cleveland Browns in the 1990s.
The relationship between the two coaches was detailed in depth during an HBO documentary released in 2019 titled "Belichick and Saban: The Art of Coaching".
The Patriots are set to resume game action Sunday afternoon against the Denver Broncos -- a matchup that has already been rescheduled twice due to New England players testing positive for COVID-19. No. 2 ranked Alabama is scheduled to play No. 3 ranked Georgia on Saturday.