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Thread: ESPN: Geatest Coaches in NFL History: The Parcells/Belichick coaching tree

  1. #1

    ESPN: Geatest Coaches in NFL History: The Parcells/Belichick coaching tree

    Rich Cimini ‏@RichCimini
    No. 11 on ESPN's all-time list of greatest NFL coaches ... Bill Parcells. Hall of Famer.

    Legendary tandem, disciples have combined to capture eight Super Bowl titles


    ESPN celebrates the 100th anniversary of Vince Lombardi's birth with the "Greatest Coaches in NFL History" series, saluting the finest innovators, motivators, tacticians, teachers and champions ever to stalk the sidelines. Follow along as we reveal our list of the top 20 coaches of all time and document the lineage of the league's most influential coaching trees.

    The Bill Parcells/Bill Belichick coaching tree is documented in the chart below, followed by features on Parcells and Belichick and short biographies of their many disciples.








    Bill Parcells

    BORN: 8/22/1941
    REC: 172-130-1
    PLAYOFF REC: 11-8
    TITLES: 2

    Bill Belichick
    Ray Handley
    Tom Coughlin
    Sean Payton
    Romeo Crennel

    As a football coach, Bill Parcells was many things. He was a motivator. A psychologist. A daily sound bite. A bully. Your worst enemy or your best friend, depending on the day.

    More than anything, he was a winner -- a champion -- because of his innate ability to see beyond the X's and O's. He recognized it was a people business, and he found ways to get inside the heads of the people who populated his locker room, turning losers into believers and winners into champions.

    Parcells provided instant hope in places where losing had become the norm. After winning two Super Bowls with the New York Giants, he showed up in New England, a football wasteland. Within two years, the Patriots were in the playoffs. Two years later, they were in the Super Bowl.

    Counting down to the 100th anniversary of Vince Lombardi's birth on June 11, we'll reveal the top 20 coaches of all time, as selected by a blue-ribbon panel of ESPN analysts and writers. ESPN television will profile the countdown in a four-episode series beginning June 4.

    We'll also trace the league's evolution with eight extensive features on its most significant coaching trees.

    In all, we'll profile 175 coaches in more than 50,000 words, a colossal project befitting the greatest coaches in NFL history.

    He nearly pulled off the same miracle at his next stop, the New York Jets, inheriting a 1-15 mess and leading them to the AFC Championship Game two years later.

    In all three places, Parcells made mansions out of termite-infested shacks.

    "I'm biased, but there are only a few coaches that stand out in the history of the game," said Hall of Fame running back Curtis Martin, who played for Parcells with both the Patriots and Jets. "You think of the Lombardis and coaches like that. Bill should be mentioned in the same breath."

    Parcells will join Martin in Canton in August, the culmination of a 50-year journey that began in rural Nebraska, where he got his start as a linebackers coach at tiny Hastings College. It was the first of seven college coaching jobs, leading to the Giants, Patriots, Jets and Dallas Cowboys.

    He's the only coach in NFL history to lead four different teams to the playoffs.

    He was blessed with great players, of course, including Hall of Famers Martin, Lawrence Taylor and Harry Carson. But Parcells had the rare ability to sense greatness in his players.

    Martin, a third-round pick, was an afterthought coming out of Pitt, but he flourished under Parcells' demanding style. He grew up in a Pittsburgh ghetto without his father and formed an immediate bond with Parcells, whom he worships to this day.

    Taylor was a ridiculously talented but out-of-control linebacker who irked Parcells because he played outside the structure of his 3-4 defense. But it didn't take long for Parcells to figure out that he needed to change his defense to fit Taylor, not the other way around. He created the rush-linebacker position, and LT was born.

    For an old-school coach, Parcells adapted to the times. He won with run-oriented teams, and he won with teams that spread the field and passed 40 times a game. He won with pocket quarterbacks, and he won with mobile quarterbacks. Once, he did it in the same year, 1990, when Jeff Hostetler replaced an injured Phil Simms and the Giants still won the Super Bowl.

    That team wasn't Parcells' most talented group, but it might have been his best team -- tough, resourceful and resilient. Just like its coach. That championship vaulted him into the icon category, but it was his work in seemingly hopeless situations that set him apart in the coaching ranks.

    Parcells once was asked why he'd want to take over sorry franchises. His answer was vintage Parcells.

    "Two guys are sent to Australia to sell shoes to the Aborigines," he said. "One calls his boss and says, 'There's no opportunity here; the natives don't wear shoes.' The other guy calls and says, 'Boss, great news: These people don't have any shoes.'"

    Parcells made a career of being the "other guy," providing sturdy soles for tortured souls. A great example: On the first day of his first training camp with the Jets in 1997, Parcells stopped practice, gathered his coaches and chewed them out in full view of the spectators. The fans loved the theatrics, chanting Parcells' nickname, Tuna -- "Too-na! Too-na!" Players watched in disbelief.

    Yep, there was a new sheriff in town. Not two months later, those same players -- largely the same group that went 1-15 the previous year -- opened the season with a 41-3 road win over the Seattle Seahawks. He had delivered the Jets from awful.

    Seven years after his last season in coaching, Parcells' impact on the game still is felt. His coaching tree includes three former Super Bowl champions -- Bill Belichick, Tom Coughlin and Sean Payton, three of the top coaches in the league.

    Parcells' words -- his philosophies on football and life -- still resonate. His many famous quotes epitomize the sport. His most repeated line -- "You are what your record says you are" -- is mandatory preaching fodder for coaches everywhere.

    Parcells is a complicated man, notoriously moody and known for inelegant farewells. But he also can be wonderfully poignant. He showed that side of his personality 15 years ago in a rare speech to high school coaches on Long Island.

    With no mass media in attendance, only a young Jets beat writer from a New York daily, Parcells told a rapt audience about a man who "had as much influence on me as any single guy I've encountered in this profession" -- a man he met only once. His name was Gordon Wood, a legendary high school coach in Texas.

    In the 1970s, Parcells was an assistant at Texas Tech, and Wood was a fixture at Tech's spring drills, commuting five hours every day to watch practice.

    "Here's a guy who had 300 wins, and he's driving back and forth because he's trying to learn something," Parcells told the coaches. "I thought to myself, 'If you ever want to get anywhere in this business, you better start acting like this guy, because he's something special.'"

    That young Tech assistant, perceptive enough to recognize greatness, turned out to be pretty special, too.
    -- Rich Cimini

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/page/...-coaching-tree
    Last edited by C Mart; 06-01-2013 at 09:47 AM.

  2. #2
    ESPN celebrates the 100th anniversary of Vince Lombardi's birth with the "Greatest Coaches in NFL History" series, saluting the finest innovators, motivators, tacticians, teachers and champions ever to stalk the sidelines. Follow along as we reveal our list of the top 20 coaches of all time and document the lineage of the league's most influential coaching trees.

    GREATEST COACHES IN NFL HISTORY

    This series is a collaborative effort between ESPN TV, ESPN.com, ESPN Digital Video, ESPN The Magazine,the Elias Sports Bureau, ESPN Radio
    and ESPN Stats & Information.

    Counting down to the 100th anniversary of Vince Lombardi's birth on June 11, we'll reveal the top 20 coaches of all time, as selected by a blue-ribbon panel of ESPN analysts and writers.

    Bill Parcells is one of the most influential and successful coaches in NFL history and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's 2013 class. He gained a reputation for turning struggling franchises into winners and was the first coach to take four franchises to the postseason.

    In 19 seasons as a head coach, he won two Super Bowls (1986, '90) with the New York Giants and led the New England Patriots to a third (1996). He took the New York Jets within one game of his fourth Super Bowl in the 1998 season.

    His teams finished .500 or better 14 times, made 10 trips to the playoffs and won five division titles. With an overall regular-season record of 172-130-1, he ranked 10th in career wins when he retired for good from the Dallas Cowboys in 2006. (He also had "retired" after leaving the Giants in 1990 and the Jets in 1999.) After he left Dallas, he helped build a playoff team as an executive with the Miami Dolphins.

    Each team he took over had won five or fewer games the previous season. And all four times, Parcells had the team in the playoffs by his second season. His most extreme turnaround was with the Jets, who were 1-15 in 1996 before hiring Parcells. They went 9-7 in his first season and 12-4 in his second, when they won the division title and reached the AFC Championship Game. It was the best two-year turnaround for a 1-15 team in NFL history.

    Before reaching the NFL in 1979 as the Giants' defensive coordinator (under Ray Perkins on a staff that included Bill Belichick as special-teams coordinator), Parcells spent 15 seasons in multiple college coaching positions. His only season as a college head coach was 1978 with Air Force.

    Super Bowl champions Belichick, Tom Coughlin and Sean Payton are among the numerous NFL head coaches who worked under Parcells.
    -- Kevin Stone

    PARCELLS THROUGH THE EYES OF A PLAYER: LAWRENCE TAYLOR

    The key to Bill, I think, was his philosophy of football: what you have to do in order to win. That was second to none. Everybody has 53 players, and he had 53 different ways to motivate guys. The things he would use on Phil Simms to get his ass in gear, well, he's not going to try that with me because I won't stand for it.

    The one thing I loved about him was he treated you like a man. There was no talking behind your back. If he had something to say to you, he's going to say it to your face, man to man.


    AP Photo/Ray StubblebineBill Parcells was a success at every stop but won his only Super Bowls with Lawrence Taylor as a Giant.

    You talk about motivation. Sixteen games is a long season, a lot of football. Throw in the preseason and playoffs and there always comes a time when you get tired or run down or mentally not into the game. Bill always found a way to keep you motivated.

    As good a player as I was, there were times when I wasn't into it. The way he got you hyped up was amazing. When he said something, I believed what he said. I would have a bad game the week before and people were asking, "What's the matter with Taylor?" Reporters were asking, "What's the matter with Taylor?" So all week long he'd call me "What's-the-matter-with?" He had them put that on the back of my practice jersey.

    He's was such a master of B.S. You'd get so fired up, you'd go out and destroy people. I was All-Pro for 10 years, but when Bill left, I mentally left. I was retired three years before I actually retired. I only came outside once a week to practice. It was like losing a mentor, a friend.

    One time, before we played the Redskins, he put plane tickets in my locker. [New Orleans Saints linebacker] Pat Swilling had a great game against Washington the week before, and he said, "Go down to New Orleans and trade helmets with Pat Swilling." That just got me riled up and made me want to kick the s--- out of them. After the game, he came up to me and said, "You know, you played well." There was nothing better than when he'd put his arm around you and say you played a hell of a game.

    -- Former Giants linebacker and Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor, as told to Greg Garber

    ESPN "Greatest Coaches in NFL History" voting panel: Chris Berman, Jeffri Chadiha, John Clayton, Colin Cowherd, Mike Ditka, Gregg Easterbrook, Herm Edwards, David Fleming, Ashley Fox, Greg Garber, Mike Golic, Suzy Kolber, Eric Mangini, Chris Mortensen, Sal Paolantonio, Bill Polian, Rick Reilly, Mike Sando, Adam Schefter, Ed Werder, Seth Wickersham, Trey Wingo.

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/page/...-bill-parcells

  3. #3
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    Parcells was a football genius. Say what you want about his drafts and GM work, but he is the best HC I have ever watched in my 30 years on this earth.

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  4. #4
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    good reads!

    he knew the game inside & out

    he knew people like nobody else

  5. #5
    not much of a coaching tree if you ask me. parcells is/was all about himself and his main disciple the bellichicken is no better. hardly any of their assistance made the big time. only peyton got a sniff. contrast that with the walsh coaching tree where you got holmgren and reid and a host of coaches who made it big.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by sameoldjets View Post
    not much of a coaching tree if you ask me. parcells is/was all about himself and his main disciple the bellichicken is no better. hardly any of their assistance made the big time. only peyton got a sniff. contrast that with the walsh coaching tree where you got holmgren and reid and a host of coaches who made it big.
    6 SB wins as HCs between Coughlin, Belichick and Peyton.....not bad if you ask me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sameoldjets View Post
    not much of a coaching tree if you ask me. parcells is/was all about himself and his main disciple the bellichicken is no better. hardly any of their assistance made the big time. only peyton got a sniff. contrast that with the walsh coaching tree where you got holmgren and reid and a host of coaches who made it big.
    +1 half of that list is total epic failure

    Quote Originally Posted by PaPZ187 View Post
    3 SB wins as HCs between Coughlin, Belichick and Peyton.....not bad if you ask me.

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    Fixed

  8. #8
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    Great reads, thanks cmart

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hitman Harris View Post
    +1 half of that list is total epic failure



    Fixed
    Lol true. .... still 3 more than most

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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by sameoldjets View Post
    not much of a coaching tree if you ask me. parcells is/was all about himself and his main disciple the bellichicken is no better. hardly any of their assistance made the big time. only peyton got a sniff. contrast that with the walsh coaching tree where you got holmgren and reid and a host of coaches who made it big.
    That's why Parcells is #11 and they haven't gotten to Walsh yet. The Parcells tree is in the 99th percentile.

  11. #11
    Belichick doesn't even deserve to be on the list. He has won nothing, n-o-t-h-i-n-g without cheating. Not that anyone in the media would agree, but I think Rex is possibly a better coach, not that he belongs on the list either (yet). It's hard to tell since Belichick's record is tainted and all of his pre-Spygate success doesn't count, but Rex came out on top in the most important game the two have faced off in and that's worth something.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by JB1089 View Post
    That's why Parcells is #11 and they haven't gotten to Walsh yet. The Parcells tree is in the 99th percentile.
    I've never been a fan of the idea of coaching trees. Why wouldn't Parcells and Belichick be a branch off of the Ray Perkins coaching tree?

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