|Bill Belichick explains why it was never a good idea to ‘cross’ Willie McGinest||08.04.15 at 6:42 pm ET|
FOXBORO — When Bill Belichick puts you in the same class as Lawrence Taylor, safe to say you were a pretty amazing player. That, and the coach thought pretty highly of you.
Well, just as when LT once screamed on the field that he and the Giants were going to play like “a bunch of crazed dogs,” Belichick said the same of Willie McGinest Tuesday, on the eve of his enshrinement into the Patriots hall of fame.
“Really competitive guy, tough, team-oriented,” Belichick said of McGinest, whom he coached from his first year in 2000 through 2005. “Winning was really important to him; winning more than personal stats. He took losing hard, which I think that’s a good thing, more than personal accomplishments. Great example for younger players. He had kind of that nice balance of being able to talk to a guy, but also you just watch him do it and that was a good example.
“It wasn’t really all one or the other. He had a good rapport with his teammates. Nobody would mess with Willie. Nobody. He was the most, I’d say in the time that I’ve been here, there is maybe one player, I’d put him up there as the guy you just don’t want to cross him. If it got to that point, it’s better to back off than get into it with him. He was very well respected, as he should be. He was great athlete, great player, great teammate, versatile guy, [on] championship teams. He had a great career.
“He killed the Colts, absolutely. I’d say [Lawrence] Taylor was a little bit like that at New York. I kind of learned from coaching Lawrence that Lawrence is really smart and he played hard, he was really tough, but he had a little bit of extra gas in his tank for the critical plays in the game. So, we can all sit there and watch a game and here it is, we’re ahead, there’s not much time left, it’s third down, this is going to be one of the plays of the game, well that’s when you’d get one of his best plays. Lawrence always had a little bit left for, and he would be able to know, we need this play to win this game, or here are three or four plays in this game, and you were going to get his best on those plays for sure.
“There may have been a couple other ones that could’ve been better. And Willie was kind of like that, too. I remember talking to Willie about that, having that same conversation, and I think as a coach, as a player, as a fan, you sit there and watch the game, you can feel this is a big play coming up here. And those kinds of guys ‘ McGinest and Taylor ‘ they had that ability to reach down at that point in time and give their best and in a lot of cases make the difference. He had a lot of those plays, and not just rushing the passer either ‘ against the run, blowing up a short yardage play where somebody else ends up making it. So, I think there’s a little bit of that gamesmanship maybe is the right word ‘ but knowing this is it, and I’m going to reach down, I’ve got a little bit extra and here it is.”
McGinest was one of the defensive cornerstones of the back-to-back Super Bowl title teams of 2003-04 and of course, the 2001 team that shocked the world. What did Belichick’s words (and references to big plays like stopping Edgerrin James) mean to McGinest on Tuesday?
|How Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick turned Willie McGinest into a great player||05.26.15 at 5:53 pm ET|
To think Willie McGinest almost never came to the Patriots.
As he was elected to the team’s hall of fame Tuesday, one of the greatest defensive players in franchise history took a look back on that fateful day in the 1994 NFL draft when Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones almost moved up to the No. 4 spot and drafted the stud defensive end/linebacker out of Southern Cal.
As it turned out, the Cowboys couldn’t sweeten the pot enough for Patriots coach Bill Parcells and the organization to make it worth their while. The Patriots drafted McGinest and the rest is history.
“It’s a funny situation because Parcells never really called me or kept in touch. I had one visit and I thought I was going to Dallas just because of the all representatives I had in the room and what was about to take place,” McGinest recalled on conference call. “They were going to trade [Alvin Harper] and move up and I happened to be in New England. I really didn’t watch a lot of New England football. The only way I knew about it was because Drew got drafted No. 1 overall the year before. We’re in the same draft class. It all worked out pretty well.”
In Parcells, Pete Carroll and Bill Belichick, McGinest had the privilege of playing for three head coaches in New England who have won a remarkable seven Super Bowl titles while going to another four. He spoke at length about all three Tuesday, paying particular respect to Parcells and Belichick.
“Parcells is a different animal, of course,” McGinest said. “But his knowledge of the game at every position, what he expects out of every player, how he pushes you. I had coaches with his mentality and his demeanor growing up as a kid so it didn’t bother me at all. I was actually attracted to his style as well as Bill Belichick’s style. You can’t have thin skin but the one thing that he does is he prepares you, he teaches you and he expects a lot out of you. You have some success, but to get his approval you have to have consistent success. That’s why he’s won Super Bowls, he’s in the Hall of Fame and I think Bill Belichick carried some of those same traits as a head coach.”
As for Belichick? Read the rest of this entry »
|Bill Parcells on D&H: ‘I wasn’t quite open-minded enough’ during time with Patriots||11.19.14 at 10:56 am ET|
Former Patriots coach Bill Parcells joined Dale & Holley on Tuesday afternoon to discuss his new book detailing his career in the league. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
In the book, “Parcells: A Football Life,” the former coach delves into experiences he had throughout his time in the NFL. The hosts asked Parcells if it was a difficult task to reveal so much information.
Said Parcells: “Quite frankly, when you decide that you’re going to do something of this nature, you have to be willing to, I think at least, understand that they’re going to be some things that are not very favorable that are going to be said. Quite frankly, there’s some things that I’ve done in my lifetime that I wish I had the opportunity to do over again. And there are some things I didn’t do that I wish I had the opportunity to do. But that’s the way life is.”
Parcells detailed his relationship with Patriots owner Robert Kraft. At the end of Parcells’ tenure in New England, there was strain between the two, but they’ve tried to patch things up.
“It’s very difficult, particularly I think the thing that precipitated some of the things, was the first year-and-a-half or so that I was there, there was a tremendous number of different agendas with the people that were in the organization. Nobody really was on the same page. We had a general manager at the time that wasn’t qualified to be one. He had no background in football. And it was a very difficult situation. And then of course when a new owner comes in, I didn’t really know what to expect and I was a bit jaded from first-year experience. I would say I had my guard up a little bit too much and I wasn’t quite open-minded enough. But since that time, Bob and I, we had a few differences, but it’s worked out — everything’s fine. The Patriots are in great hands, and they’ve done great, great things. That’s a place that I do feel some sentiment about because it was my first pro job as an assistant coach back in 1980. They gave me the opportunity. So I’ll always be grateful for that.”
|Bill Parcells recounts split with Bill Belichick: ‘You want out? You’re going to pay’||10.15.14 at 10:29 pm ET|
“He made a deal and then tried to get out of it,” Parcells writes in his new autobiography, “Parcells,” due out later this month.
“A deal’s a deal. You want out? You’re going to pay. Simple.”
Belichick, who had been named Parcells’ hand-picked successor with the Jets, left the post soon after the announcement was made, famously resigning as the “HC of the NYJ” in 2000. Later that offseason, he became head coach of the Patriots.
For his part, Belichick says he believed he was making the right call at the time.
“I knew I did the right thing and I didn’t know where my career was going,” Belichick said in the book.
Parcells said there’s no ill will between the two over what happened.
“I didn’t begrudge Bill getting another job somewhere else,” Parcells wrote. “In fact, I’m probably the one that got it for him.”
Parcells said Charlie Weis lobbied for the head coaching job after Belichick left to coach the Patriots, but Parcells turned his back on Weis when he testified on on behalf of Belichick at a hearing to determine if Belichick would be able to interview for other jobs.
“I’ve told many coaches that friendship and loyalty is going to be more important than ambition,” Parcells wrote. “Some guys don’t realize that until after they’re done.
“I don’t bear animosity toward Charlie. I can say that with a straight face because I know what he is. His actions back then don’t bother me anymore.”
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|Why working with Bill Parcells gives Mike Zimmer valuable insight against Bill Belichick||09.11.14 at 2:12 pm ET|
As one of the most respected defensive minds in the NFL, Mike Zimmer knows a good offense when he sees one.
And in New England, the Vikings new head coach sees an offense that put up 20 points in a half against a good Miami Dolphins defense before running out of gas and forgetting to protect its quarterback in the second half last Sunday.
Oh yeah, he also sees Tom Brady.
“New England is a tough team to pressure,” Zimmer said. “Brady does a great job of getting the ball out, they do a good job in protection of knowing who to block, their backs do a great job in protection. They’ve got the screens that they use so often and the receivers [Julian Edelman] and Gronkowski, they know where to get to on the [reads] and hots. They do a great job.
“You know it’s never an easy thing, I know [Miami] played better in the second half, but the first half, New England did a good job. In the second half, [Miami] just made some plays. Against New England you have to make some plays from time to time in order to get them off the field. You have to be good on third downs.”
Zimmer worked with Dolphins defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle when they were in Cincinnati together, with Zimmer working as the D.C. and Coyle in charge of the defensive backs.
“I don’t know exactly what Miami was trying to do defensively, I know obviously Kevin Coyle is a very good friend of mine but we have not talked about the game,” Zimmer said. “We kind of know each other’s systems well. It’s hard for me to know exactly what Miami was doing.”
Zimmer is not new to the Patriots, or their way of thinking. Before taking over as Cincinnati’s offensive coordinator in 2008, Zimmer worked for someone pretty familiar with Bill Belichick. Zimmer was Bill Parcells‘ defensive coordinator in Dallas between 2003 and ’06. Zimmer installed a 3-4 look that Parcells preferred, despite Zimmer having never worked with it.
|Mike Petraglia, Chris Price on Bill Parcells, Ty Law, Patriots Hall of Fame||04.21.14 at 5:56 pm ET|
FOXBORO — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss why Bill Parcells belongs in the Patriots Hall of Fame as one of three finalists this year on the team’s ballot. Parcells was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton in 2013. Fans can vote for Parcells or other finalists Ty Law and Raymond Clayborn at the team’s website, Patriots.com.
|Raymond Clayborn on Hall call: ‘Why did it take so long?’||04.16.14 at 9:36 pm ET|
Raymond Clayborn isn’t much for small talk.
Asked on Wednesday for his reaction to the news that he had been nominated as a finalist for the Patriots Hall of Fame, the former New England cornerback didn’t mince words.
“Why did it take so long?” he replied.
Clayborn could very well have a point. The three-time Pro Bowler played with the Patriots from 1977 through 1989. The first-round pick out of Texas finished his career with a franchise-leading 36 interceptions (tied with Ty Law) for 555 yards for a 15.4 yard per interception average. Clayborn also returned 57 kickoffs for 1,538 yards and three touchdowns — as a rookie in 1977, Clayborn returned 28 kickoffs for 869 yards and led the NFL with a 31.0-yard return average and returned three kicks for touchdowns, both of which remain franchise records.
Clayborn, Law and Bill Parcells are this year’s three finalists for the Hall of Fame. (Fans can vote on the finalists for the next month at Patriots.com.)
“I’m really honored with the people that I’m a finalist with, the two other gentlemen — Bill Parcells and Ty Law,” Clayborn said. “Bill’s already in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and I believe Ty will definitely get there one day himself.”
Clayborn and Law are often linked as the two best corners in franchise history, and are tied atop the franchise list for most career interceptions. While he remains competitive, Clayborn acknowledges Law would likely sit in first place alone if he hadn’t missed the bulk of the 2004 season because of injury.
“Realistically looking at it, Ty got hurt and he did it. I think it was the (fifth) game of the season or something and the next year, he wasn’t with the team,” Clayborn said. “So quite frankly speaking, Ty would have broken the record if he hadn’t been injured and to hold the record with him is an honor. I really truly believe he’s one of the better cornerbacks to play during his time.”
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