Behind Enemy Lines: Bill Parcells

Bill Parcells clarified his comments about Jon Jansen and the big quarterback switch.


Q: Were you pleased with Tony Romo's first start?
A: It was a little less than perfect but yes overall. I don't think I could have expected more.

Q: What was the emotional swing like from the Giants game, through the quarterback decision and then how Romo played against Carolina?
A: Obviously Drew (Bledsoe) had played a lot of good football for me, so there are some personal things involved there. It is a difficult thing to do that. You don't like to do things that obviously are going to hurt someone you like and that has done a good job for you overall. You have to do what you have to do sometimes. I just thought we could get a little spark and help our situation because it certainly needed some help after that Giants game. That was embarrassing.

Q: Have you ever been part of a fourth quarter like what happened against Carolina?
A: I don't think to the degree that it happened. When you start turning the ball over deep in the opponents territory late in the game, usually bad things happen to you. That was really what happened. We got one score and then they fumble right away. When that stuff starts going down hill sometimes it is hard to get it stopped.

Q: Any concerns having a young quarterback going against a Gregg Williams defense?
A: It is not like Tony has not been here. This is his fourth year here. He has been here for the preparation in the past. I am sure it is going to be a major test for him but he is a bright kid. I don't look at him as a rookie. I look at him as a little inexperienced under fire. I certainly don't look at him as a rookie, particularly from the mental aspect of the game. He is well in advance of any first year player.

Q: When you make a quarterback change, are all the situations different or is there a common denominator that tells you the right time to make a change?
A: That is a good question. I don't know if I can go back in time and mentally revisit some of the times that have happened. I don't think I have an inordinate number of those changes. You just think you have to do something and you don't like the way it is going. That is what happens and then you do it.

Q: Did the rest of the team rally around Romo and is that one of the things you hoped would happen?
A: I told the players in the meeting when we made the change that I don't like doing this to Drew (Bledsoe) but now you have to rally around Tony (Romo). You have to do it. That is where we are going and you better rally around him. They are doing a good job of that.

Q: What does it say about the nature of coaching that both you and Joe Gibbs have struggled the past few years?
A: I think this is a humbling game. Both of us know it. We have both been in it long enough to know that there are going to be, from time to time, things that don't go well. When you get to our age and things don't go well then you get to hear about how the game is passing you by. I think both of us rely on what has been good for us in the past. We have this reservoir of information and experience. That is one thing about being a veteran coach. You have a reservoir of things that have happened in the past that you can think about. Even though each circumstance is different you still have a lot of experience in those areas. I was telling our writers that one of the things that helped me is when I got away, which was several years ago, of worrying about what peripheral people, friends, critics, writers, talk show guys and television guys, when I got away from that and just stayed with the idea that the game is going to tell you what you are. You don't need anyone else to tell you. You have been in it a long time. You know the game is going to tell you what you are. Once I got to that point it was better for me.

Q: What do you see from the Redskins since the last meeting?
: It looks like they are healing up a little bit. Their offense is diverse and can give you problems. It is certainly a different style than what I have been accustomed to seeing from the Redskins in the past. I think there has been an acclimation to the offense. The offensive system has proven to be successful in the past and I think that will be the case with Washington as well. Defensively, I know they are banged up a little bit but they seem to be getting their guys back now. I know what situations both teams are in. Neither of us can afford too many more bad days. The rivalry itself will probably make things pretty combustible. Now that there is so much on the line for both teams I think it will add to that. I am expecting a tough game.

Q: Does winning bring about a change in your personality?
: One of the things that I would be honest about is that winning is more of a relief now. In the past I think I used to enjoy it more but now it is more of a sense of relief. Losing is probably worse now that I have gotten older than it has been. There is a good deal of satisfactory time when you are a head coach in this league. Things are never really on the inside that they seem to be. There are always problems. Every day there is a problem and more than one usually. My personality is such that I am a little bit of a type A and an emotional guy. My emotions swing a little bit. I think those emotions have been as asset to me from time to time in the past as well as a liability.

Q: You were quoted in a New York Times article saying before the first meeting that Jon Jansen did not look like the same player. Why did you think that?
: In the preseason I don't know for what reason, whether it was injuries, I saw him get pushed back a couple times. I've always thought a lot of [Jansen]. He's been a good player for a long time.

Breaking Burgundy Top Stories