FULL COVERAGE AT 2013 HALL OF FAME CENTRALJohn Mara, President and CEO:
“I’m very happy for Bill. This is long overdue. He’s one of the best coaches in NFL history. He turned our franchise around. We went through a long period in the 1960’s and 70’s when we were a laughing stock. When Bill took over in 1983 he survived a very difficult first year, but then turned us into a perennial playoff contender and won two Super Bowls for us. He coached three other teams and everywhere he went, he had great success. I’m very happy that he will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.” Tom Coughlin, Head Coach:
“I don’t think there’s any question that Bill Parcells is a Hall of Fame coach. He has Hall of Fame accomplishments throughout his entire career. Parcells coached for a long time, he worked for a lot of different franchises. It was kind of surprising to me, after the first go-around, I thought, ‘Why isn’t he in?’
“When I think of Bill Parcells, what stands out to me is the great opportunity that he gave me in 1988 to come to the New York Giants organization as the wide receivers coach and really to learn football at this level and more importantly, from an organizational standpoint, winning. That came from Wellington Mara, George Young, to Bill Parcells, to the way in which he conducted his staff and his team.
“Bill Parcells is a great football coach. He has tremendous instincts. He has the ability to say the right thing at the right time, always did. He was a guy who set a very, very high standard and then held players to it. His expectations were very high. He did not mince words. He knew how to depend on outstanding leadership, but he also knew how to go to an individual who was not performing or perhaps had an issue with something outside of football and he would be very direct in terms of how he tried to straighten it out. I think what he has accomplished as a football coach in this league, winning two world championships with the New York Giants, taking the New England Patriots to the Super Bowl, taking four franchises to the playoffs, which is the most in history, those kinds of accomplishments speak highly of his ability to take on great challenges, go into a situation which was not productive, and turn it around and do so in a very quick and early fashion."
(In 1990, quarterback Phil Simms suffered a season-ending foot injury in the season’s 14th game. Backup Jeff Hostetler led the Giants to five consecutive victories, including a 20-19 triumph over Buffalo in Super Bowl XXV. Coughlin said Parcells’ leadership was a big factor in the Giants’ surge.) “I remember his strength. The way that he developed his team - we were a very strong defensive football team, we were a very good special teams team. We ran the ball and threw play-action passes. We did not turn the ball over. Bill’s game was about not making errors, not making mistakes. It’s a long game. He believed in it. His teams could force things to happen and turn things around.
“You talk about the ’90 team – we were 10-0 at one point. We lost three out of four games and started to get the criticism for being old. Obviously, the rest is history. One of the things that’s very important to remember is that Jeff Hostetler was ready. He was ready because of the way he practiced. He was hard on himself and he was hard on the scout teams. He expected people to carry out their assignments to the best of their ability so that he could get his work and they could, too. It was all the way in which Bill presented our team. We were a physically tough team. In those days, you were in pads twice a day. By the time that I came along, the players knew Bill and they knew what to expect and there was no question how we were going to operate. He took care of his players, but he never backed down from the principles that he believed in. The nine-on-seven’s pretty much every day, that kind of thing.
“Bill is a unique coach in a lot of ways. For example, he would study the other team’s roster and he knew the strengths and the weaknesses of every guy on the roster. He’s instinctive. He loved baseball, professional boxing, loves the horses, obviously. He had a great knack for just being worldly. He was a real worldly guy in terms of his personality and he had a sense of humor. He was strictly Jersey. He was perfect for the job because he could banter with the best, back and forth, back and forth. He could dish it out, he could take it. He was good at it. He was really good at it.
“I’ll tell you one thing that I think is really cool. Remember what John Madden said in his speech when he got inducted? He said when they shut the lights off and lock the door at the Hall of Fame at night, all the busts in the Hall talk to each other. I’m telling you, Parcells will hold his own in every one of those conversations. I guarantee that.”