|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.”
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|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.”
For Ty Law, it’s the chance to bring a legendary career full circle.
The cornerback, who is one of three finalists for the Patriots Hall of Fame, admitted Wednesday that when it came to how things ended with the franchise, it was a less than ideal scenario.
After playing 10 years with New England, he left as a free agent following the 2004 season. He ended his career with brief stints with the Jets, Chiefs and Broncos (and retired following the 2009 season), but it was a bittersweet final act for one of the best defensive backs of his era.
“I’d be the first one to admit now, I’m older, wiser, more mature, that if I could have done something all over again, I would have tried my damnedest to stay in New England and finish my career,” he said on a conference call with New England media.
“Not that I have any regrets about the teams that took me in as far as the New York Jets, Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs — I’m thankful for the opportunity. I think I said this early in my career; I would have loved to start and finish my career with the Patriots. Unfortunately that didn’t happen, but if I had to do it all over again, I would have made more effort to stay a Patriot.”
Now, Law has the opportunity for a final farewell. It was revealed Wednesday that he’s one of three finalists for the Hall of Fame, a class that includes cornerback Raymond Clayborn and former coach Bill Parcells. (Fans can vote on the finalists for the next month at Patriots.com.)
Law was a three-time Super Bowl Champion (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX), a four-time Pro Bowl player (1998, 2001, 2002, 2003) and a two-time All-Pro (1998, 2003) during his tenure with the Patriots. Law tied Clayborn’s career franchise-record with 36 interceptions and finished with the most interception-return yards in team history with 583
Law, who said he was “speechless” when he was informed that he was a finalist, said, ‘it would mean a lot’ if he gets the nod.
“It will put the icing on the cake, as far as my playing career with the Patriots, and give some validation to me that I’m appreciated by the fans, they still care for me and they show me that with my business on and off the field and it just puts a stamp of approval [from] Patriot Nation,” he said. “I’m really humbled by that to even be considered with the great Bill Parcells and Raymond Clayborn, who was such a great player and spent so much time in New England. I’m honored just to be considered and on the list with those two guys.”
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