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After Saturday practice, Bill Belichick travels to Canton for HOF induction for Bill Parcells

08.03.13 at 8:01 pm ET
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Bill Parcells (left) and Bill Belichick have had a long and successful relationship in the NFL. (AP)

Bill Parcells (left) and Bill Belichick have had a long and successful relationship in the NFL. (AP)

FOXBORO — Following the eighth training camp practice Saturday morning, Patriots coach Bill Belichick traveled to Canton, OH to watch his former boss inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Belichick made the trip to see Bill Parcells inducted after spending the early part of their careers together with the New York Giants.

Belichick began his 12-year stint with the Giants alongside head coach Ray Perkins as a defensive assistant and special teams coach before coaching the linebackers in 1980. He was named defensive coordinator in 1985 under head coach Bill Parcells, who had replaced Perkins in 1983.

The Giants won Super Bowls following the 1986 and 1990 seasons. While Belichick is in Canton, he could take a side trip and visit his own defensive game plan from the Giants’ 20–19 upset of the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXV, which is in the Hall of Fame.

Belichick and Parcells were reunited in 1996 after he was fired by the Baltimore Ravens, who moved from Cleveland. Parcells hired Belichick as his assistant head coach and defensive backs coach with the Patriots for the 1996 season. The Patriots finished with an 11–5 record, won the AFC championship before losing to the Green Bay Packers at Super Bowl XXXI.

Soon after Super Bowl XXXI, Belichick (and most of the Patriots assistant coaches) went with Parcells to the New York Jets. Belichick served as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator for the Jets from 1997 to 1999. When Parcells stepped down as head coach in 1999, he had already arranged with team management to have Belichick succeed him. However, Belichick would be the Jets’ head coach for only one day. When Belichick was introduced as head coach to the media—the day after his hiring was publicized—he turned it into a surprise-resignation announcement. Just under a month later, Belichick was hired as the new coach of the Patriots.

As Belichick arrived in Canton, he posed for a photo with current Giants head coach Tom Coughlin, who has beaten him in two Super Bowls. Long-time Giants public relations maven Pat Hanlon captured a picture of Belichick and Coughlin together before Parcells’ official induction.

On Wednesday, Belichick paid tribute to his one-time mentor.

“He coached four different franchises and was with five different franchises,” Belichick said. “Pretty much every one he came into was not doing well when he got there. Either they were the bottom or close to it. He made them all pretty competitive in a very short amount of time, on several occasions, the first year. Two Super Bowls in New York, and that franchise really wasn’t…hadn’t done a lot in awhile. Great coach, great evaluator, does a great job with his team, whatever capacity it was – when he was the coordinator under Coach [Ray] Perkins, head coach or his other administrative duties at Miami most recently. A lot of respect for Bill, learned a lot from him, glad I had the opportunity to work with him and work for him. Certainly well deserved.

“The Patriots was definitely an example of a team that was pretty much rock bottom when he got here; rejuvenated the franchise. We competed against him in Cleveland but again he made the Patriots very competitive in a short amount of time. Putting them into a strong position, ’96 we won the AFC, we had a good, young football team that came up just a little bit short against Green Bay. I think he certainly deserves the lion’s share of putting that team together and the whole program together during that period of time. We can go on and on but I think all the accolades for Bill are well deserved and I personally value his friendship and have a lot of respect for him as a person and as a football coach slash football person. It’s not just coaching; it’s beyond that with him.”

Read More: 2013 training camp, Bill Belichick, Bill Parcells, New York Giants
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