ESPN released their 30 for 30: The Two Bills feature and it’s interesting television that follows the relationship of New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and Hall of Fame head coach Bill Parcells and how it evolved over the years. You can watch it here if you have a subscription to ESPN through your cable/television provider.
There aren’t many surprises or breakthroughs, but if you love inside views of Belichick, then this is a must-watch show as you get insight from various former players and coaches and personnel executives that know him well.
Here are some of the best quotes.
Lawrence Taylor on Bill Belichick being promoted to Giants defensive coordinator
“[Parcells] named Bill Belichick as the defensive coordinator,“ Taylor said. “I didn’t like that. I thought that was the wrong decision. And I went to Bill Parcells and said, ‘Listen man, hey, you got to be kidding me.’ and Bill said, ‘Oh yeah, he’s a defense guru.’
“And I’m like, ‘Man this guy has never played football in his life. He’s probably used to ping pong or something.’
“Parcells assured myself and other players that most of the defense we’d been running in 81 82 were designed by Bill Belichick so that kind of took the edge off a little bit. It took a couple of years, but Bill Belichick really earned our respect.”
“I cannot remember ever going into a game where we were not mentally prepared. He did prove to me that he knew what he was doing to a point where I became a Bill Belichick fan also. I trusted him just as much as I trusted Bill Parcells.
“We used to call him ‘Doom’ because every time he walked around it was the end of the world, ‘aw, you didn’t make this play,’ ‘aw, you didn’t go over there.’ Everything was the end of the world.”
Belichick almost joined the Dolphins
Once the Browns fired Belichick, the former head coach had to decide on his next step. Jimmy Johnson was the head coach of the Miami Dolphins and was looking for a defensive coordinator- Johnson and Belichick are fishing buddies- and Belichick was considering the job.
Fortunately for the Patriots, Belichick’s relationship with Parcells outweighed the opportunity to work with Johnson and he came to New England, planting the seeds for his eventual head coaching position. But just imagine if Belichick was with the Dolphins.
Belichick was the head coach of the Jets. TWICE.
Parcells left the Patriots to become the head coach of the New York Jets, but was not able to serve in that position for a year because he vacated his role with the Patriots. So the Jets (and the league office...more on that next) found a way to work around that issue.
The Jets hired Bill Belichick as the head coach with Parcells as a “consultant” until the end of a one-year period when Parcells would be allowed to take over as head coach of the Jets and Belichick would be relegated to assistant head coach.
Belichick was head coach for just six days until the Jets and Patriots reached a deal that would allow Parcells to be head coach immediately.
A couple years later, the Patriots requested an interview with Belichick for their head coaching vacancy, but due to Belichick’s contract structure the Jets had a way to retain him as head coach. The contract stated that Belichick would be head coach when Parcells retired, so Parcells retired the moment they received the Patriots interview request and Belichick became the head coach.
As we all know, Belichick immediately handed in his resignation, but that meant he was the head coach of the Jets on two different occasions.
“There he was,” former Patriots exec Scott Pioli said, “the two-time head coach of the New York Jets that never coached a game.”
Kraft totally wanted to make digs at the NFL league office
Throughout the film, Kraft made multiple digs at how corrupt he believed the NFL lead office to be, clearly not holding back his distaste in the wake of how that same body handled DeflateGate.
When Parcells was trying to abandon the Patriots for the Jets, Kraft talks about how he learned from his discussions with some people in the league office that the NFL thought it would be in the best interest of the league for Parcells to go to New York as the head coach of the Jets.
“The league office was not as pure as I might have thought,” Kraft said.