Good column by Randy Galloway of the of the Forth Worth Star-Telegram today in connecting the dots between Bill Parcells, Sean Payton, Drew Brees, and even Wade Phillips.
Payton this week talked to Parcells on a couple of occasions and then showed him respect in the media by talking of his learning process under Parcells when he served as the Big Tuna's offensive coordinator from 2003-2005.
"[Parcells] knows how to win, and I learned an awful lot in a short period of time, three years," Payton said. "...When you think about that opportunity for a young guy to work with a Hall of Fame coach, it's invaluable."
You should recall that Parcells rescued Payton's career in 2003. Payton had lost his play-calling duties with the Giants in 2002 and was hired by Parcells in Dallas the following season. Payton helped Parcells turn the thing around, so to speak, in Dallas, something that Galloway points out Wade Phillips doesn't really appreciate.
Sure enough, last week during Pro Bowl week Phillips said he had a better record in three seasons as the Cowboys coach as Parcells had in four years as the Cowboys coach. (BLOG ASIDE: Next year or the one after when Phillips gets fired, don't expect Parcells to hire him.)
The statistic is true but it forgets the fact Parcells left Phillips a roster stocked with Pro Bowl talent. When Parcells arrived in Dallas, the Cowboys had suffered through consecutive 5-11 seasons.
That raises this possibility: The Dolphins might continue to improve for years after Parcells leaves the organization because that's exactly how it happened in Dallas. His talent continued to improve and mature and, voila, turn in better results.
Anyway, the column recounts how Payton turned down the Oakland Raiders when they wanted to hire him as head coach in 2005. Parcells helped convince Payton to stay and also helped convince Jerry Jones to give Payton a raise.
And this I did not know: According to Galloway, Parcells was mildly interested in Drew Brees when he became available as an unrestricted free agent in 2006, but ultimately decided against chasing the quarterback. The reason? Parcells didn't like the risk of signing a quarterback with an injured shoulder.
The same reason the Dolphins, under Nick Saban, didn't sign Brees.