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Bill Belichick on Tom Coughlin: ‘He deserves a lot of credit for all he’s accomplished in his career’ 01.05.16 at 11:29 am ET
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Tom Coughlin meets Bill Belichick after the Patriots 27-26 win at MetLife Stadium on Nov. 15.  (Al Bello/Getty Images)

Tom Coughlin meets Bill Belichick after the Patriots 27-26 win at MetLife Stadium on Nov. 15. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

The likely end of Tom Coughlin‘s career as an NFL head coach came to pass on Monday when he met with Giants co-owner John Mara and Steve Tisch and informed them that he would be stepping down immediately as head coach.

There is not another head coach in the NFL that knows Coughlin any better than Bill Belichick.

The two were on Bill Parcells‘ staff with the Giants from 1988-90. Coughlin was a wide receivers coach while Belichick was the defensive coordinator. They helped the Giants win Super Bowl XXV over the Bills. Coughlin, who turns 70 this August, then took over as head coach at Boston College before leaving after 1993 to become the first head coach in the history of the Jacksonville Jaguars. He led them to the AFC title game in 1996, where they lost to Parcells, Belichick and the Patriots at Foxboro Stadium.

“Tom’s had a great career as a head coach and an assistant coach,” Belichick said in conference call Tuesday. “BC, Jacksonville, New York. He’s been a friend of mine for a long time. I have a lot of respect for Tom, his family, the way he approaches his job and the way he coaches. We have a great relationship at the Giants when we were on the same staff and had good relationships through our respective careers.”

Most famously, Coughlin spent his last 12 years as head coach of the Giants, gaining a bit of revenge over Belichick twice on the game’s biggest stage. Coughlin will be most remembered as the head coach that ended the Patriots’ perfect season bid in Feb. 2008 when he beat Belichick’s Patriots, 17-14, in Super Bowl XLII. Coughlin did it again four years later, 21-17, in Super Bowl XLVI.

Their final meeting came this season when Stephen Gostkowski‘s kick at the end gave the Patriots a 27-26 win at MetLife Stadium over the Giants.

“Lots for him to be proud of,” Belichick said. “Unfortunately, a couple of his biggest wins came at our expense. He deserves a lot of credit for all he’s accomplished in his career.”

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Read More: Bill Belichick, Bill Parcells, Boston College, Jacksonville Jaguars
The Bill Belichick-Romeo Crennel factor and how it plays this weekend 12.11.15 at 1:19 pm ET
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Romeo Crennel is calling the defense for the Texans now. (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Romeo Crennel is calling the defense for the Texans now. (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — There will be no one on the field Sunday night that knows Texans defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel better than Bill Belichick.

That, of course, works the other way, too.

Before Crennel left after the 2004 season to assume head coaching duties with the Browns, Belichick and Crennel worked together for the better part of three decades, starting in 1981 when Crennel worked with Belichick on the New York Giants‘ special teams staff.

“Romeo is a great person, great guy to work with. He and I worked on special teams in New York and then defensively, he was the defensive line coach in 1990, moved up from special teams when Mike Sweatman kind of moved into that role. He did a lot of great things and he was great to work with and we always had a great working relationship. He and Al Groh and I, we were together a lot.”

And winning a lot. Crennel (5) has nearly as many Super Bowl rings as Belichick’s six, including three as Belichick’s defensive coordinator for the Super Bowl wins in 2001, ’03 and ’04.

“He does a great job and I love working with him,” Belichick said. “He’€™s coached linebackers. He’€™s coached special teams. He’€™s coached defensive line. He’€™s been a coordinator. He’€™s been a head coach. He’€™s had a lot of experience. Played for Jerry Glanville at Western Kentucky so little different type of background there but relevant, coached with Coach [Bill] Parcells at Texas Tech and obviously all the NFL stops, so he’€™s got a great background, great work ethic, lot of experience, has got a lot of poise and it’€™s hard to get him really. He stays very poised and composed and at the same time he has a lot of energy. He can really motivate players and teams well. He has a great relationship with the players. [It’€™s] a long, long list of strong points and not too many on the other side of the column.”

Fast forward to Sunday night and Belichick isn’t concerned about Crennel’s resume. He’s more focused on containing Crennel’s defense and figuring a way to keep Tom Brady safe and upright, a key to coming out of Houston with a win.

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Read More: Bill Belichick, Bill Parcells, houston texans, j.j. watt
How Bill Parcells links Bill Belichick and Dan Campbell 10.28.15 at 8:17 pm ET
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FOXBORO — The Bill Parcells coaching tree will extend some unlikely branches Thursday when the Patriots host the Dolphins at Gillette Stadium.

Dan Campbell, 39, is in his third game as interim head coach of the Dolphins. Bill Belichick, 63, is in his 41st season of NFL coaching, including his 16th as head coach of the four-time Super Bowl champion Patriots.

Their connection to the 74-year-old Parcells brings them together on Thursday night with some common bonds.

Campbell played three seasons as a tight end in Dallas for Parcells from 2003-05. He began his coaching career in 2010 in Miami, Parcells’ last of three seasons as Executive Vice President of Football Operations with the Dolphins. Belichick spent three different stints with Parcells (1983-90), Patriots (1996) and with the Jets (1997-99). Belichick was asked Wednesday what he learned after 12 seasons working with Parcells.

“Quite a bit. Bill and I were together for a long time. I think Bill has got a lot of strengths. One of them would be the big picture.”

What is that big picture?

“What are the three, four, five most important things we have to do this year, this week to be a good team? I mean, there are a thousand things, but he would identify what the big things were and concentrate on those,” Belichick said. “You can’€™t lose sight of those.

With Campbell’s early two-game success using a fiery and inspirational approach, has Belichick seen any Parcells in the new Miami coach?

“I don’€™t know. They’€™ve obviously played very well, so how closely that’€™s connected or not connected, I don’€™t know,” Belichick said. “That’€™s probably something Dan could speak on.”

And Campbell did speak on exactly that topic on Tuesday during a conference call.

“€œOh yeah, we talked, he’€™s one of the first people I talked to when everything that transpired here and he’€™s been a huge asset for me,” Campbell said of Parcells. “Obviously, I have a ton of respect for Bill and any advice that he gives and he’€™s somebody that I will continue to talk to from time-to-time. It’€™s probably been almost two weeks now, it’€™s pretty much the same as to a lot of the coaches I’€™ve talked to, it was ‘€˜Be you and change things up,’€™ that was the common theme.”

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Read More: Bill Belichick, Bill Parcells, Dallas Cowboys, Dan Campbell
How Troy Brown gave Bill Belichick some valuable perspective on cutdown process 08.31.15 at 12:44 pm ET
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Troy Brown has always had the ear of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.   (Doug Benc/Getty Images)

Troy Brown has always had the ear of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. (Doug Benc/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — Turns out, Bill Belichick does listen to the media, at least when one of those media members is a respected former player.

Troy Brown certainly fits in that category. On Monday, Belichick shared an experience he had recently when he heard Troy Brown speak about the NFL cutdown process from a player’s perspective.

“I think Troy Brown made a comment a couple of weeks ago when he said, ‘I knew that when I came into the league, I knew that it was a long shot for me to make a team. I was probably going to get cut and all that. I felt like my job every day was to make it as hard as possible for Coach Parcells to make that decision. I wanted to make his job tough for him to cut me,'” Belichick said.

Belichick said he and his staff are in a tough spot for a very good reason. Many of his players in different groups have battled hard to make the decision on whether to cut or keep a player very challenging. In two particular groups, wide receiver and running back, especially the third-down back spot, it’s going to be razor-thin.

“It’s definitely made it hard. We’ve have a lot of guys do that,” Belichick said.

“I’d say there have been a number of guys that have done that this year in preseason. They’ve kind of taken that phrase that Troy used and really have done that. They’ve forced us to make some hard decisions because of how competitively they’ve played and vice versa. Guys at a spot where there’s a lot of competition, instead of one or two guys rising and one or two guys fading out, in some cases several members of that group have all competitively risen the level of their game to make some very tough decisions.”

The wide receiver spot includes new names like Chris Harper and Jonathan Krause, both of whom have shown glimpses of being impact players to give depth behind the likes of Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Reggie Wayne and Brandon LaFell. As for the running back group, it’s very, very competitive, with players like James White, Dion Lewis, Travaris Cadet and Tony Creecy all vying for valuable game reps as a third-down back to replace Shane Vereen.

“I would put the running back position in that,” Belichick said. “We’ve pretty much had the same group. We added Tony [Creecy]. We’ve pretty much had that same group when we lost [Tyler] Gaffney but we pretty much have the same group of guys since the beginning of the spring, with no rookies in that group other than Tony coming in a couple of weeks ago. Those guys have all competed well. They’ve all improved. They’ve all pushed each other. They’ve all worked really and they’ve all been productive. It’s a good example of that. They’re making it hard on us.”

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Read More: Bill Belichick, Bill Parcells, Dion Lewis, James White
Bill Belichick explains why it was never a good idea to ‘cross’ Willie McGinest 08.04.15 at 6:42 pm ET
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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?

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Read More: Bill Belichick, Bill Parcells, Lawrence Taylor, New England Patriots
How Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick turned Willie McGinest into a great player 05.26.15 at 5:53 pm ET
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Willie McGinest (right) congratulates Bill Belichick after Super Bowl XLIX. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Willie McGinest (right) congratulates Bill Belichick after Super Bowl XLIX. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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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Read More: Bill Belichick, Bill Parcells, New England Patriots, Patriots Hall of Fame
Bill Parcells on D&H: ‘I wasn’t quite open-minded enough’ during time with Patriots 11.19.14 at 10:56 am ET
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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.”

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Read More: Bill Belichick, Bill Parcells, Curtis Martin, Robert Kraft
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