"I just want to stay retired," Parcells told Sports Ilustrated's Peter King on Jan. 18. "I hope that convinces everybody that I'm not coming back. Because I'm not. This is it. I'm staying retired. The demands of the job and what it what take for me to succeed were just too much."
Well, it's been 10 days and according to ABC Sports Radio host Keith Olbermann, Parcells might have had a change of heart.
Parcells and his agent, Jimmy Sexton, beg to differ.
Olbermann reported Parcells had three reasons for not taking the Tampa Bay Buccaneers up on their offer to become Tony Dungy's successor and the Pewter Pirates new head coach. Two of those issues have improved to the point where the two-time Super Bowl winning head coach is seriously considering offering his services to the Buccaneers, again.
"We will not comment on our coaching situation until we're ready to announce our new head coach," said one Tampa Bay Buccaneers official. "It's always been our policy to decline comment on rumors and speculation."
Olbermann indicated one of the reasons Parcells did not take the vacant Tampa Bay head coaching job was because of the National Football League warned the Buccaneers and Parcells that an investigation would be conducted in regards to any possible tampering that might have taken place while Parcells had reportedly started to put a coaching staff together for his expected return to the NFL. The NFL takes tampering seriously and they do not permit current or former coaches to communicate with coaches who are under contract or participating in the playoffs with other teams. If the NFL found Parcells and/or Tampa Bay's ownership had indeed tampered, they would have been subject to fines and might have even lost one or more draft picks.
The pending tampering investigation is believed to be the one and only issue that would keep Parcells away from the Tampa Bay job.
The other two issues holding Parcells back from the Tampa Bay head-coaching job were reportedly family-related, and have subsided to the point where those issues would not keep the Tuna from swimming the NFL waters.
Although Olbermann did not cite this as an issue, Parcells was also recently among 15 finalists announced on Jan. 17 for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. If Parcells had taken the head coaching job at Tampa Bay, he would have no longer been eligible for induction into the Hall of Fame this year. The Hall of Fame voting will take place on Saturday, Feb. 2.
Both Parcells Sexton, denied the report and reassured everyone that Parcells was staying retired and was not going to coach the Bucs.
"I don't know where this latest thing got started," Sexton told ESPN. "But there isn't a shred of truth to it."
If this sounds like deja vu, it's probably because the Bucs and Parcells have indeed been through this type of scenario before.
After the 1991 season, Parcells was offered the head coaching job by then-owner Hugh Culverhouse, but he turned it down. Parcells later had a change of heart and wanted the job again, but Culverhouse denied Parcells the opportunity and named Sam Wyche as head coach.
Is this another wild rumor for Super Bowl week or will this become a reality? Stay tuned.
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