A Q&A with Cowboys coach Bill Parcells

Bill Parcells discussed his former team and former assistant coach on Wednesday. <BR><BR>

Q: Coach, could you tell us why you and Tom Coughlin hit it off so well and why you're such good friends?

A: I think we both have very similar backgrounds in coaching. I mean, he started at Rochester Institute and I started at Hastings. I think we were both, you know, east coast guys and just the communication was always good. I think he has a tremendous passion for the game and I like football guys and I definitely think he's one of them and I think you can already see evidence of it.

Q: Was there one instance when you hired him that told you in your mind that this guy thinks like I do?

A: I don't know that there was, no, I just felt Tom was very demanding and was insistent on things being done the right way and I just always liked him and just gained a lot of respect for him when we worked together, and you know we don't talk a lot now or since he has been with the Giants, but he's a guy that I do have a lot of respect for and I think he's going to do a good job there. I thought he did a really good job in Jacksonville, starting from nothing; that's hard to do, what he did, get to the AFC Championship and you know just starting with nothing; it's hard and he did it.

Q: What did you think about all the turmoil that was going on here in the beginning of the year with his meetings starting early and the stuff in the spring with players complaining?

A: I'll just tell you, I got an e-mail from my younger brother, I guess, back when they had that stuff in the spring and the e-mail said, "Could you imagine the nerve of that Tom Coughlin not wanting to be 4-12 again?" That's my brother who is not even in coaching, that's just his observation, so I thought it was pretty astute. Well something has to change you know and sometimes the seas can be a little turbulent while there is change going on and that's okay. If you're not afraid of those kind of things then that's just part of the process and I don't mean that in something as unrealistic as being expected.

Q: When was the last time you talked to Tom?

A: I can't remember, I think it would probably be late spring, in the spring sometime;it's been a while.

Q: What did you think of the Giants going into the season and what do you think of them now? Has your opinion changed?

A: I don't look back, you know these years they change as you can see just from looking at the beginning of this year some teams that were down and out last year are starting very, very well and teams that you would, I think arguably, there probably wouldn't be anyone who wouldn't say that Carolina and Green Bay, a couple of those teams would be strong, strong playoff contenders and they haven't started that well, but that's what happens nowadays, these games. I was just doing a little research, I talked to my team this morning, you know there has been 60 games in the NFL and 15 of them are three points or less right now, 28 are seven and less. So little things make a difference and if you don't do them right, you're going to lose and what may seem insignificant early in the game winds up being a big factor later, so I'm just trying to get my team ready to go. As I said last week, we're not anywhere near being a good team right now and we're a long way from it and we have a lot of work to do here; we've had a couple of injuries lately that we've had to plug in and see if we could play better football than we played last time.

Q: How big of a blow is losing Dan Campbell?

A: Pretty big, it's hard to replace him, he did a lot of the dirty work, which is what I said down here. I like him, I like him as a player, I like him as a kid. I'm sure they liked him there in New York and I know he speaks fondly of good players on the Giants, some of the guys he played with. I like him, we're going to miss him, and he was kind of a big player for us.

Q: Did you offer Coughlin a job on your staff in Dallas when you got hired there?

A: The conversation never went there, but I did tell him that if he ever wanted anything along those lines that he would certainly be welcomed to be with me. That would be a standing offer.

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