Bill Parcells is entering the NFL Hall of Fame on August 3rd. He coached some of the NFL’s most storied franchises including leading the New York Giants to a pair of Super Bowl victories. Out of his entire illustrious career he has one regret.
“I regret leaving New England. Had we done things differently … ” Parcells recently told USA TODAY Sports. “I had a good young team there. I hated to leave that team, because I knew what we could do.
“I was absolutely too headstrong. And he might have been a little headstrong, too. I think both Kraft and myself, retrospectively, would have done things a little differently.”
If Parcells had never left the Patriots, Bill Belichick might not have been named head coach in 2000, replacing Pete Carroll who filled the gap after Parcells left.
The Patriots won 3 Super Bowls in the early 2000s, and maybe had Parcells stayed he’d have won those Super Bowls. That would’ve made him the first coach to win a Super Bowl with two different NFL Franchises.
Maybe the Patriots wouldn’t have won? But NFL History would’ve been changed.
Parcells and Patriots owner Robert Kraft have talked and made amends.
“At a Super Bowl, Bill was standing there as I approached, and he just said to me, ‘If I had to do it all over again. I would have done things differently.’ And I said, ‘So would I,’” Kraft told USA TODAY Sports.
“It would have been pretty special,” Kraft said. “We were just coming at it from different times. And so much in life is timing. But in the end, we have a great relationship today. I have great respect for him. He did a great deal for our franchise. And I will forever be grateful for that.”
Kraft talked about what he thought went wrong.
“Look, I was a new owner,” Kraft said. “I had a lot of debt. I had stardust in my eyes. I had a Hall of Fame coach. I was green and new. And I don’t think Bill had ever dealt with someone like myself. He had a contract that said he’d coach year to year. And that didn’t make me feel secure.
“When I bought the team in 1994 … he was coaching year to year, making personnel decisions. He used to drive down to (his home in) Jupiter, Fla., at the end of the year and he’d say he’d decide whether he was coming back to coach. That didn’t inspire confidence in me.”
But Kraft still wonders what could’ve been.
“I think we would have been a great team together at a different time,” Kraft said, “me understanding what I understand now, this being my 20th season as an owner, and him being seasoned. I wish it could have worked out differently.”