Buccaneers executive vice presidents Joel and Bryan Glazer acknowledged late-Tuesday afternoon they had contacted Bill Parcells about the team's head coaching vacancy. While the Parcells appears to be the Glazer's main man, Parcells indicated Thursday that he was still deliberating on his future in terms of coaching in the NFL again.
Parcells, 60, talked about his future during his weekly Sporting News Radio Show, The Bill Parcells Football Show, on Thursday evening. Parcells insisted he would not make a return to coaching if he's not totally committed.
"A lot of those rumors are ahead of the actually story itself," said Parcells. "I did receive a couple of inquiries recently from teams wanting to know whether or not I'd be interested in coaching again. Right now, I'm trying to weigh all of the issues involved with making a commitment that I know is necessary to go back to coach in the NFL. As of this moment, I've not decided that that's what I'm going to do because it does involve a very, very strong commitment. It does involve a lot of work and you are responsible to the organization you work for and you have to do it 100 percent. Until I feel I can do that, I'm just going to deliberate and decide one way or another. If I decide not to coach again, I feel certain I will be retired from football for good."
While Parcells is trying to take his time in making a decision on his coaching future, he said people could expect a decision sometime soon.
"I did have a couple of strong interests expressed to me last year," said Parcells. "I just wasn't ready at the time. I love the game and it's a great game. If you want competition, the NFL is where it is. But as I said, it involves an awful lot. Before I'm ready to take that step, I have to think about it very, very strongly. I'm in the process of doing that and I'll decide this very, very shortly.'
Parcells has been linked to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for months, and speculation that he would become the Buccaneers' next head coach hit an all-time high after Tony Dungy and the Buccaneers were crushed by the Eagles in the first round of the playoffs, 31-9. Parcells contended there is a lot of misinformation floating around concerning his coaching future, and said he was linked to Tampa Bay prematurely.
"Nothing upsets me because I realize the media and journalists have a job to do and they have to try and be on top of things as they perceive them to be," said Parcells. "The genesis of these stories is where the problem lies. They talked to one NFL executive or an unnamed assistant coach and they end up concluding things. Sometimes one process that is taken leads to a whole-convoluted story. This happens quite a bit. That happened in this situation where they had me placed in Tampa Bay, and that's just not true."
The fact that New York Jets assistant general manager Mike Tannenbaum interviewed for Tampa Bay's general manager job on Wednesday morning might bode well for the Buccaneers. After all, Tannenbaum, who worked under Parcells with the Jets in 1997, would not likely express interest in the GM job unless Parcells was going to be joining him in Tampa Bay. Tannenbaum is expected to make a decision on his future with the Jets and the Bucs within a day or two, and that decision will certainly carry a lot of weight on Parcells' final decision.
Parcells has also been rumored to be organizing a coaching staff for his expected return. That staff could reportedly include Parcells' offensive coordinator with the Jets, Dan Henning, Lions' assistant Maurice Carthon, Jets' offensive line coach assistant Jumbo Elliot, former Steelers and Jets receiver Dwight Stone, Corin Brown, who was a defensive back under Parcells and is now a defensive coordinator under Al Groh at the University of Virginia, Bears' wide receivers coach Todd Haley, and Bears' special teams coach Mike Sweatman.
One possible delay for Parcells' decision might be the fact that league rules do not allow him to contact any coaches under contract with other teams unless he is granted permission. Parcells may be waiting to contact one or more coaches that are currently participating in the playoffs with their respective teams.
"I think people might look at people that might be available to me," said Parcells. "But anybody that actually knows the rules-I've seen my name linked with people that are under contract in the NFL and the rule is if a coach is under contract and that contract doesn't expire this year, then you can't even talk to them until a team grants you permission. So, some of the people who have been mentioned are under contract and there's no way I'd be able to speak with them. There's a couple of people I'd like to have on my staff if I went back to coaching. I know where they are and I've spoken with them about that possibility, but there's no definitive conclusion to this at this moment."
While Parcells has been concerned about his health and has reportedly inquired about GM Rich McKay's future within the Bucs' organization and a new training facility, he insisted there is only one thing that will ultimately make or break his coaching return.
"I have to be able to make the commitment myself," said Parcells. "That's all it is, nothing else. It's not about where it is, what it is, how much, who's there…it's not about any of that."
Bill Parcells' comments were provided by Sporting News Radio.
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