Parcells on Belichick, lockout and QB replacements


Parcells on Belichick, lockout and QB replacements

By TomE. Curran
Bill Belichick's "Escape From New York" in early 2000 was nearly as messy as Bill Parcells' Foxboro flight three years earlier. The Jets, believing Belichick had agreed to become their head coach when Parcells retired, went bananas when Belichick refused the job, citing ownership instability. Parcells, who had stepped up into the front office, wasn't happy and Belichick - who was uninterested in having a Tuna peering over his shoulder with the Jets - didn't really care. But the dust has long since settled. In November of 2009, Belichick spoke to me of the huge respect he has for Parcells. Monday, during a conference call about his nomination for possible induction to the Patriots Hall of Fame, Parcells said of Belichick's place among coaching greats, "Well, theres no disputing that. Put him right up there at the top of the conversation with what hes done. Put his name up there with anyone thats ever done it." Parcells,inFlorida retirement (this time it'sfor good he said Monday), says that Belichick has a condo two floors above his in Jupiter, Florida."We see each other fromtime-to-time," Parcells explained. "We've had many conversations over the years. We worked together a long time, in the same office together for 12 years. You just can't dismiss things like that . . . He was a vital part of our organization. Hopefully I've been ahelp to him at some point. Hes a great coach. We get along just fine." Parcells was also asked his thoughts on putting a succession plan in place forquarterbacks, which is something New England has to think about with Tom Brady turning 34 soon. "You're on constant vigil to maintain continuity in that position," Parcells explained. "It's the premier position in the leage and it's vital . . . Any time you get into the 30s or mid 30s, youhave to start thinking about the next one.One Sunday, it can be over pretty quickly or skills can deteriorate quickly." Parcells added that he believes it's in the back of the Patriots' mind. Asked about the lockout, Parcells seemed ready to indicate he's got the owners' backs in this, saying, "I do understand ownership's position. Having been in a management position, understanding the economics," Parcells paused, then added, "And I can appreciate the players' (position) too. At the end of the day, we have a wonderful venue. America is very interested in it. It's been good to all of us. Hopefully it comes to a quick and good resolution." Parcells also said that, "I hear a lot of the same rhetoric I heard in (labor strife)1982 and '87. It's just different people saying it."
Parcells also credited longtime Patriots fixture Bucko Kilroy and former Patriots coach Mike Holovak as being two of the four greatest influences on his philosophy for coaching, evaluation, acquiring players and running a team. The other two were Ron Wolf and Al Davis. Parcells takes pride in the players the team brought in from 1993 through 1996 that were such indispensable parts of the Patriots' success in the early 2000s. Parcells also noted that Houston Antwine, the third nominee to the Patriots Hall this year, is a very underappreciated player. Parcells added that Antwine was "terrific."You can vote at for the 2011 Patriots Hall of Fame inductee by clicking right here.
Tom E. Curran can be reached at Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Belichick on Long's sack: One of the best defensive plays of the year

Belichick on Long's sack: One of the best defensive plays of the year

It came against a rookie quarterback. It came against an offense that averages a league-worst 15.0 points per game. It came against an offense that has fewer yards than any other. 

Still there are signs that Bill Belichick is pretty pleased with where his defense is after beating the Rams 26-10 on Sunday. One came on Wednesday when published its "Belichick Breakdown" for a closer look at a handful of plays from the team's most recent win.

Belichick called his team's third-and-eight stop with about 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter "probably one of the best good, team defensive plays we've had all year."

The Patriots show a five-man front, but linebacker Kyle Van Noy feigns a rush only to drop into coverage.

"Van Noy in here does a good job on the rush," Belichick said, "and also on the coverage on the back. Just good team defense. Good pass coverage down the field. The quarterback really doesn't end up having a lot of time, but there's no one to throw it to right away."

Belichick noted that all four rushers -- Chris Long, Trey Flowers, Dont'a Hightower and Rob Ninkovich -- all are able to pressure Jared Goff on the play. Combined with strong coverage in the secondary, the Rams nver really had a chance.

Belichick said it looked like a "tidal wave" of defenders bearing down on the quarterback.

"Long wins here . . . on the inside spin," Belichick said, "and Trey Flowers and Hightower both win on the little twist game inside. Then that's Rob with good speed-to-power on [Rams tackle Rob] Havenstein on the outside. Four good rushers. Plus a fifth guy...Van Noy getting that two-for-one on the guard and the back.

"Good team defense. That's great to see. A lot of hard work an execution on the practice field to make that happen."

Harbaugh on Belichick: 'I feel like we have a good relationship'

Harbaugh on Belichick: 'I feel like we have a good relationship'

FOXBORO -- They sounded like a couple of old pals. 

First it was Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who spoke of Ravens coach John Harbaugh during a conference call like one of his favorite fellow lacrosse dads.

"John and I saw a game a couple of years ago, a [Johns] Hopkins vs. Maryland game," Belichick said, adding that Harbaugh's love for the sport is just starting to blossom. "Yeah, I think John is seeing the light."

Belichick added that the two might be closer if they weren't competing so often, both in-season on the field and for free agents in the offseason. 

"As you know, we get into a situation like we’re in now where they have a good team, we have a good team, we’re playing a big game on Monday night," Belichick said. "Both teams are going to do everything they can to compete as hard as they can on Monday night. That’s what it is and that’s what we all signed up for. We all know that’s a part of it.

"When we’re not going head-to-head, which isn’t very often because we compete against each other in the offseason, we compete against each other to build our team and so forth, it just puts things in a little bit of a different situation."

During his press conference with reporters on Wednesday, Harbaugh echoed Belichick's sentiments. Belichick was famously one of Harbaugh's biggest supporters earlier in his career, calling the Ravens on Harbaugh's behalf when the franchise was looking for a new head coach. And if only they weren't so frequently competing against each other, they might be even closer, Harbaugh indicated. 

"I feel like we have a good relationship," Harbaugh said. "Like you said, we're probably not socializing that much, but I don't know how many coaches really do. We're all so busy. I'll see him or any coach at the Combine or at the owner's meetings, and we have a chance to talk. It's always good. I have a ton of respect for him. I really like him as a person. I think he's a great coach -- greatest coach of this generation. He's earned that title.

"And I study him. I've always studied him. I've always studied coach Belichick from when I first met him when I was an assistant at the University of Cincinnati, and he came in and just was great to be around.  [We have a] similar background with the special teams and that sort of thing. All of that kind of goes out the window when you compete against one another. It's like anything else, you want to win. I'm sure he feels the same way."

The recent history between their respective franchises is rife with emotion: There was Baltimore's irate reaction to Belichick's unusual formations in the AFC Divisional Round two seasons ago; there was the Ravens' supposed involvement in sparking Deflategate; and there was Harbaugh's subsequent denial. But Belichick and Harbaugh made it sound on Wednesday as if all's good between them.