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La Russa: Bill Belichick hasn't hinted at retirement

It's no secret that New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has a fondness for Tony La Russa.

The feeling is mutual. The former St. Louis Cardinals manager has spent hours huddled with Belichick, talking shop, which might lead you to believe La Russa's got inside information on his friend's future in New England. Negative. Belichick hasn't event hinted at retirement.

"Never," La Russa told ESPNBoston.com. "That's one of the great things about Bill. He's into the moment. I spent that day with him [in June at Patriots minicamp], and I spent a little time in spring training with him, and it's all about the offseason, the roster, preparing the drills for the camp; he's all in to the 2012-13 season. There isn't anything that even begins to hint that he's thinking beyond."

Don't hold your breath on Belichick walking away from the game. The Patriots are a ball of frustration after two Super Bowl losses to the New York Giants. If Tom Coughlin isn't hanging it up -- he's 65 -- why would Belichick at 60? Items to consider: (1) Tom Brady remains dominant; (2) Belichick is determined to rebuild New England's defense; and (3) Football is an obsession.

We're miles away from the end.

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