Parcells on turning clubs around: Situation must be just right

Talk of Fame Network

There is nobody better at fixing a team ... or an organization ... overnight than Hall-of-Fame coach Bill Parcells. He did it in New York with the Giants and Jets. He did it in New England. And he did it in Dallas. And he did it so easily ... and so quickly ... we asked him for if he could successfully overhaul almost any franchise; if his magic was that good that it didn't matter which club he touched.

"No," he said on the latest Talk of Fame Network radio broadcast. "I don't think it can be done with any franchise. You have to have the total support from the people you're working for. Most of the time the problems that exist in certain places --at least (the places) that have been losing -- have been their inability to obtain quality personnel, particularly at the quarterback position ... and then everyone in the organization not being philosophically compatible on what exactly you're looking for at each position. I think it's important that the coach and the scouting department and the general manager all get along.

'"Of course, now a factor we didn't have years ago is the ancillary issue about, 'OK, now you have good players; which ones of them are you going to try to retain and pay and which ones are you go to elect to let go and hit free agency?' "

Nevertheless, Parcells had a consistent run of success before and after free agency, rising from an assistant to guide the New York Giants to two Super Bowl victories before taking New England to its second Super Bowl appearance in the 1996 season. That couldn't have been easy, and Parcells conceded it is not.

"One of the things I witnessed during my time with the people who succeeded and the people who didn't succeed is having a counterpart to your expertise," he said. "A lot of coaches now have a degree of expertise in one area. They're either offensive coordinators or quarterback whisperers or that kind of thing. Or even a defensive coach.

"You really need someone to assist you on the other side of the ball until you get acclimated to being a head coach. And then you can take over and run the whole team. (But) a lot of times you don't get enough time, or the assistant coaches who become head coaches can't acquire the right guys on the other side of the ball."