Bill Parcells Regrets Leaving Patriots In 1997

Bill Parcells is considerably one of the greatest and most influential head coaches in NFL history. “The Big Tuna” was well received by fans and players throughout his coaching career, but he’s recently spoken out about his mistakes before he retired in 2007.

The 71-year-old last coached in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys from 2003 to 2006, but he believes he should have continued on with the New England Patriots earlier in his career.

“I regret leaving New England. Had we done things differently … ” Parcells told USA TODAY Sports recently. “I had a good young team there. I hated to leave that team, because I knew what we could do.”

He led the Patriots to Super Bowl XXXI during the 1996-97 season before losing 35-21 to the Green Bay Packers. He left the team the following year as he went on to coach the New York Jets.

His career as a coach never produced too many successful seasons from there. Bill Parcells was elected to the NFL Hall of Fame in 2013, but he’s still looking back at his decision to leave the Patriots.

“I was absolutely too headstrong. And he might have been a little headstrong, too,” he added. “I think both Kraft (Patriots Owner) and myself, retrospectively, would have done things a little differently.”

Pete Carroll became the new head coach in New England after Parcells moved on to the Jets. Before you knew it, Carroll was out after three seasons and a guy by the name of Bill Belichick took over from there.

Belichick would go on to lead the Patriots to three Super Bowl rings while Parcells moved from the Jets to the Cowboys for his final four seasons as a coach. He lost in the NFC Wild Card game twice with the Cowboys while missing the playoffs in the two seasons in-between.

Do you think Bill Parcells would’ve been more successful if he continued on with the New England Patriots instead of leaving?