Canton Bound Coach Returns to Foxboro
Ron Borges yesterday had a look at former Patriots coach Bill Parcells and his most recent success with the Dallas Cowboys including this classic Parcells anecdote.
"How much do you weigh?" Parcells asked.
"About 340," the to-this-day still anonymous offensive lineman responded.
"Let's go to the scale and see," Parcells snapped.
When that player got on the scale the arrow didn't stop until it hit 367.
"You sure gained a lot of weight on the walk over here," Parcells said. "If you fell over, you could rock yourself to sleep."
Then he walked away, the look of disgust a familiar one to anyone who played for him with the Giants, Patriots, or Jets. By the opening of the Cowboys' first minicamp May 19, that same player weighed 345 pounds. He was finally about 340. Right where the coach wanted him to be.
Tom Curran takes a very early look at the AFC playoff picture.
Thanks to some Sunday stinkbombs around the AFC, the Patriots' "magic number" in the AFC East is now six. So any combination of New England wins and Miami losses adding up to six clinches the AFC East. To eliminate Buffalo, the magic number is five. To bury the Jets, it's four.
Apprised of this news, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said through gritted teeth, "Don't even talk about that."
Ron Borges also takes a look at how the idle Patriots picked up ground in the bye week.
Some days, if things are going well, you don't have to do a thing to get ahead but keep breathing. That's what happened to the Patriots Sunday. They didn't do a thing, but life got better anyway. When you're hot -- and the Patriots are most definitely hot at the moment -- everything works out. When you're hot, anything you do is a plus, even if you don't do anything at all.
This could all change, of course, as Belichick made plain when the magic number was mentioned to him yesterday. His face took on the disgusted look of someone who had bitten into an apple and found only half a worm.
Magic number? The magic number for him is always one. The next one.
"Don't even talk about that," Belichick said. "You know, it's all about Dallas. That's all it's about. We go out there and can't score against Cleveland, then score 30 points against Denver. We go out there and have three penalties against Cleveland and I forgot how many it was against Denver. I lost track. Eighteen or whatever? It was 14? Those were the ones that were accepted.
Glen Farley takes a look back at the Parcells effect on New England football.
Recall the state of the game in this area when Patriots chairman of the board James Busch Orthwein introduced Parcells as the 12th head coach in franchise history back on Jan. 21, 1993.
Dick MacPherson, who as an NFL head coach would have made a terrific grandfather, had just (mis)guided the Patriots to a 2-14 season. In doing so, MacPherson had proven that sometimes the old axiom does ring true: Nice guys do finish last.
The Patriots may not have been the X-rated joke MacPherson inherited from Rod Rust in 1991, but they were still an NFL laugh track at the end of 1992. Hugh Millen was the starting quarterback. Jon Vaughn was the top ground gainer. Irving Fryar was the leading receiver. Charlie Baumann was the scoring leader.
Michael Smith looks at the influence of Coach Parcells on some current Patriots.
"He drafted me, and he was the first person I talked to after I got drafted," Johnson said. "From Day 1, he was kind of the guy that started to be my mentor, who I took my cues from. Just his overall philosophy and how he approaches the game. Very disciplined coach, very structure-oriented, attention-to-detail oriented. Those are characteristics that I'd like to think will stay with me and that I've done throughout my whole career."
"He'll try to drill you and see how far he can go with you," Law said. "If you back down and drop your head and not perform, he's probably going to look to go elsewhere. He wants you to talk back to him, he wants you to go out there and play harder. He doesn't want you to give up, he wants you to get stronger as he's poking you. And that's what I did.