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Belichick, Barnes swap numbers at Pebble Beach

No whistle, no playbook, no chalkboard. This time around, Bill Belichick was the student, and he passed with flying colors.

In the wake of losing Super Bowl XLVI, Belichick decompressed at last weekend's AT&T Pro-Am, where his partner, PGA Tour player Ricky Barnes, praised the Patriots coach as a willing learner.

"On most of the shots, he would (say), 'Ricky, what do you think I should do here?' " Barnes told the Boston Herald this week. "And I would say, 'Grab this club, hit it here.'

"I think he probably put some trust in me that I was giving him the right advice and I told him I read the scouting report and it said, 'Very coachable.' As you can see, scorecard and playing-wise, he got better each and every day."

Barnes said Belichick was the type of golfer who, once he asked for advice, followed it closely without having to ask again. The two became fast friends and exchanged digits before parting ways.

"I'm definitely willing and both of us enjoyed ourselves," Barnes said. "I think we both liked it and hoped that we play together next year. As competitive as we both are, we feel like we need some revenge and need to improve on the third-place finish."

Belichick has lost the Super Bowl, but gained a friend. An acceptable transaction to everyone but the greater New England area, a populace still steaming, still questioning and still haunted by fever dreams of Justin Tuck, a bag of hammers and the dark shadows of Lucas Oil Stadium.

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