PHOENIX — If Bill Belichick and Pete Carroll suddenly forget how to coach football, they might want to consider TV.

The variety show they put on Friday that was called a joint news conference was priceless.

From the moment Carroll, the excitable head coach of the Seattle Seahawks, and Belichick, the often-sullen head coach of the New England Patriots, stepped onto the stage, they took the town hall meeting to a new level.

While taking the time to carefully answer many serious questions, they showed sides to their personalties that many of the media in attendance – and those watching on television – had never seen.

The fact this came just two days before the Super Bowl made it all the more extraordinary.

In the past, the opposing Super Bowl coaches held separate news conferences. And you can imagine they were usually dry, uninformative and not a whole lot of fun. It was obvious that the coaches would rather be preparing their team than answering the same questions they had heard the last four days.

But in 2013, when the Harbaugh brothers, John and Jim, faced off in the Baltimore vs. San Francisco Super Bowl, the NFL held a joint news conference. It went well, and the format apparently will continue.

Belichick and Carroll both came onto stage dressed in a suit and tie. No cut-off hoodie for Belichick on this day.

After the two posed beside the Lombardi Trophy – something Belichick never did before – and then sat in director’s chairs on opposite sides, Carroll said, “Take it, Bill.”

And they were off, with Belichick more often than not playing the straight man to Carroll.

First question: How has game preparation gone this week?

“We’ve had two great weeks,” said Carroll. “It’s been nothing but fun.”

Belichick’s turn: “I don’t think fun is a word I’d use. It’s been a huge challenge.”

The next question was for Carroll, asking what the plans were if cornerback Richard Sherman’s girlfriend goes into labor on Super Bowl Sunday. Carroll said that was up to Sherman, and that he would support his decision. Then he added, “Can’t wait to see little Petey.”

When one reporter said he had two questions, one that they probably didn’t want to answer and one that they would, Carroll was quick to say, “I’ll let Bill have the one that we don’t want to answer.”

When asked how he was a better coach now than he was with New England, Carroll said things just look a little different to him now.

“I got pounded a couple of times and got fired a couple of times in the league,” he said, referring to his firing as New York Jets head coach as well. “My therapist tells me I should always talk about it and I shouldn’t hide from it.”

When asked about Robert Kraft, the Patriots owner, Belichick said he owed everything to him. “He gave up a No. 1 draft choice, actually a little more, in order to bring me to the Patriots in 2000.”

Carroll, feigning incredulity, said, “You got a first-rounder for you? I was barely a free agent. Maybe that’s why Robert got me out of there after three years.”

Belichick didn’t miss a beat, bringing laughter when he said: “I was a free agent after Cleveland.”

That was Belichick’s first NFL head coaching job, which ended with him being fired.

Certainly there were times when the Patriots’ head coach slipped into Belispeak and avoided answering a question, but he also opened up.

Asked who taught him the most as a coach, he said his father, the late Steve Belichick. Earlier, when asked if his family would be present, Belichick noted, “My 94-year-old mother (Jeannette) won’t be here. She’s in Annapolis (Maryland). I know she’ll be yelling at the TV set all game. But I do miss that she won’t be here.”

They professed great respect for each other and their programs, with Carroll calling Belichick’s hiring “one of the great moves in the history of the NFL.”

Carroll spoke about keeping focus when asked what he wanted to establish early in the game.

Belichick’s answer was much more brief: “What I’d like to establish is the lead.”

He probably knows the Patriots have not scored in the first quarter of their previous five Super Bowl appearances with Tom Brady as quarterback.

When it was over, Belichick and Carroll shook hands and exited, a scene they will repeat Sunday.

But on that day, when the game is over, only one will be happy.