Parcells' Analysis: Bucs - Eagles Wild Card Game

January 12 - While Bill Parcells did not discuss rumors and reports that he may be the next Buccaneers head coach if Tampa Bay has an early exit from the playoffs on his weekly radio show on Sporting News Radio, he did offer his analysis on the Bucs vs. Eagles wild card playoff game in Philadelphia on Saturday.

On Friday, retired NFL coach and two-time Super Bowl champion Bill Parcells told Sporting News Radio that a report that he would replace Tony Dungy as the Buccaneers head coach if Tampa Bay lost its wild card game to Philadelphia was not true.

Parcells has a weekly radio show on Sporting News Radio and while he did not discuss the Tampa Bay head coaching situation, he did talk about the Bucs - Eagles playoff game. Here's Parcells' analysis:

Does last week's 17-13 win by Philadelphia over Tampa Bay means anything regarding this game?
I actually think last weekend represents a psychological advantage for Philadelphia. I really do. For them to win that game, (the Eagles) know they can beat (the Bucs). Tampa, even though they didn't play all of their guys, they're not sure. They didn't beat them last year. They didn't beat them this year. So, they can't be 100 percent confident that they can beat them. I think this game looks like Tampa's going to have to run it. I think with Philadelphia's combination of secondary ability and pressure if it turns into just a passing game it hurts the Tampa Bay Bucs. On the other side of the coin, Tampa Bay's corners have 16 interceptions between them. Philadelphia's wide receivers haven't been their strength, either. Tampa Bay's defense may do a decent job. I look for a low-scoring, cold weather, turnover-affected ... you know, maybe a special teams play, a fumble here or there - something like that to turn this game one way or the other.

Is the key for the Bucs' offense to establish an inside running game due to the injury to Philadelphia run-stuffer Hollis Thomas?
"The key is that (the Bucs) have to run (Mike Alstott) inside and downhill. You know that Philadelphia middle linebacker, Jeremiah Trotter, that's a pretty good football player. So to say that you are going to just honk it up in there all day long against him ... I don't think that will be the easiest thing to accomplish. But I think that could be where this game tilts back and forth."

What's the key to containing Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb?
"Tampa Bay is not going to change. Their defense basically forces you to be very patient. They aren't going to let you have the big play generally speaking. I mean they've given up a couple this year, but they're not a team that's going to go crazy. They're going to make you earn your touchdowns and try to hold you to field goals. (The Eagles) will just have to be patient and if Philadelphia can execute well enough in the passing game they'll have a chance. I don't think Philadelphia will run it well against them."

What about the Bucs' 0-20 record in cold weather games below 40 degrees?
"I don't think the record has anything to do with it. I think if it is the first time or second time that a player has been exposed to the cold weather in the year and it just happens to be the day that they are playing, I think that causes some problems. Players don't get used to it, they don't acclimate to it fast enough. But if you've been out in the cold weather quite a bit, then you are used to the ball being a little slicker, making sure you hold the ball a bit tighter. They're starting a little bit later there in Philadelphia. It's going to be like a night game. I don't live far from there so I think the temperature is going to be in the 30s."

Note: The questions asked by the host were modified for clarity purposes. Parcells' answers were not modified.


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