Saints coach grateful for his time spent with Parcells
By Randy Gallowayrgalloway@star-telegram.com
galloway FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- This week, Super Bowl week in South Florida, Bill Parcells got a proper thank you from a former Dallas Cowboys coach.
Last week, Pro Bowl week in South Florida, Bill Parcells got dissed by the current head coach of the Cowboys.
One thing about Big Bill: He probably couldn't care less either way, but, of course, he is currently in the neighborhood, right down the road as the football honcho of the Miami Dolphins.
When it comes to the largest prize in sports -- the Super Bowl -- Parcells is no different from Wade Phillips. Both will be mere spectators Sunday as the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts come out firing that night.
But Saints head coach Sean Payton, who was Parcells' offensive coordinator at Valley Ranch for three years (2003-05), and saw his career revitalized as a result, was quick to man-up this week.
"[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."
As Payton added, with Parcells, "It's about football and passion."
There is no doubt, the Cowboys are much better off today as an organization, and certainly as a team, because of the massive rebuilding job done at Valley Ranch by Parcells.
But Payton and many other assistant coaches under Big Bill during that four-year run also deserve the credit. Certainly, Tony Romo is a Cowboy because Payton played a major role in getting him signed as a rookie free agent because of the same Eastern Illinois University ties.
Wade Phillips reaped the benefits of all this groundwork.
Meanwhile, Sean Payton is attempting to win a Lombardi Trophy on Sunday, which means a total career one-eighty since his bright NFL coaching star was suddenly tarnished in 2002 as the young offensive coordinator of the New York Giants.
The head coach at the time, Jim Fassel, took away Payton's play-calling duties once the offense slumped. Uh-oh. Was Sean suddenly damaged goods?
No, not after Parcells came out of retirement to coach the Cowboys and decided Payton would be his offensive coordinator.
Coaching under Big Bill is somewhat akin to tarring roofs in Texas in July. He's not an easy man. But those who survive it get noticed throughout the NFL.
The desperate franchise in New Orleans did notice in 2006. The Saints hired Payton as head coach, and, of course, the Saints' football problems at the time, while immense, were secondary. It was also a desperate city, less than a year after Hurricane Katrina.
Four years later, football history has been recorded.