Bill Belichick, Tom Coughlin and the Bill Parcells coaching tree from Super Bowl XXV
|01.26.12 at 12:30 pm ET|
FOXBORO — As he does often when asked to reflect on his days with the Giants, Bill Belichick reminded everyone that a lot can change in 21 years in the NFL.
“That was a different time, the game was different then what it is now,” Belichick said Thursday.
But the men from the staff of Bill Parcells on the Super Bowl XXV champion Giants continue to make their mark in the league and once again that will be on full display on football’s biggest stage.
The defensive coordinator, of course, was Belichick. He has since won three Super Bowl titles as head coach of the Patriots, winning five AFC championships in the process. Tom Coughlin was wide receivers coach on that team before leaving immediately after Scott Norwood‘s kick sailed wide right to take the reigns of the Boston College football program.
Coughlin turned BC into a perennial bowl-caliber team while producing NFL-ready talent, a trait that continues today. Coughlin moved on to take the Jaguars to a pair of AFC championships before taking on the Giants head job, replacing Jim Fassel after the 2004 season.
“That staff worked pretty well together,” Belichick said. “My relationship with Tom in those those years with me coaching the secondary and him coaching the receivers, we really worked together. We helped each other out.”
In all there were four assistants on that Giants staff under Parcells that would become an NFL head coach. In addition to Belichick and Coughlin, there was defensive line coach Romeo Crennel and linebackers coach Al Groh. Giants offensive coordinator Ron Erhardt was the head coach of the Patriots from late 1979 through 1981.
“Being able to have that give and take with conversations like, ‘Tom this is a tough pattern, or we’re really having tough time defending this route. Or we can tell your corner is lined up like this it’s going to be zone. We can tell when he jams, it can be tough on a route.’”
What was interesting Thursday was how appreciative Belichick sounded of Coughlin for speaking up and how grateful Belichick was to Parcells for creating an environment that fostered that kind of communication among coaches.
“That reinforces some things. On your side of the ball you think you’re coaching the best you can, and that’s what you’re doing. But when the guy working against you is telling you that this is really hard or that this is harder than that is. Then it gives you another perspective from an offensive standpoint and not just a defensive perspective.
“There was a lot of that. It wasn’t just about what you were doing. It was a team effort. It was a special team, not just with the coaches but with the players. “
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