As football coach Bill Parcells is inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he looks back on his career with one primary regret: leaving the New England Patriots after disagreements with owner Robert Kraft.
In an interview with USA Today Sports, Parcells expressed his regret
for the way things ended after he turned the Patriots team from losers to winners.
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“I was absolutely too headstrong. And he might have been a little headstrong, too. I think both Kraft and myself, retrospectively, would have done things a little differently,” he said.
Parcells coached the Patriots from 1993 to 1996, leaving right after the Pats lost Super Bowl XXXI to the Green Bay Packers, not even flying home with the team. He went to the New York Jets, eventually becoming head coach there.
Kraft and Parcells argued about Kraft’s unwillingness to let Parcells have much say in building the team roster. During the discord, Parcells was quoted throughout the sports world saying, “If they want you to cook the dinner, at least they ought to let you shop for some of the groceries.”
In the USA Today article, Kraft took responsibility for the discord, explaining that he was a new and naïve owner and that the relationship Parcells had with the team didn’t make Kraft feel secure.
"When I bought the team in 1994 ... he was coaching year to year, making personnel decisions,” Kraft told USA Today. “He used to drive down to (his home in) Jupiter, Fla., at the end of the year and he’d say he’d decide whether he was coming back to coach. That didn’t inspire confidence in me.”
The two eventually made up about 10 years ago, USA Today reports, when Kraft walked up to Parcells at a Super Bowl. Parcells said he would have done it differently if he could do it all over again, Kraft said, and added that he said, “So would I.”
Parcells will be inducted into the Pro Hall of Fame on Aug. 3.
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