What planting of the Parcells tree means in Miami
In brief, the Parcells way includes ideas about what kind of players you need, what kind of schemes you run, how and when one trains those players both during the season and the offseason, and how you handle both players and the press.
The Dolphins will run the 3-4 defense. It may take Parcells some time to get the right players for it. But that defense is simply the Parcells way, according to Bill Belichick.
"You have more linebackers on the field and less defensive linemen," Belichick said. "You need to have some flexibility there. Since there is some flexibility, that creates more learning and adjustments. Theoretically, you should be faster because you have a more athletic linebacker over a defensive lineman on the field, so you might not be quite as big, depending on how big your linebackers are.
"There are a lot of different ways to play a 3-4, just like there are a lot of different ways to play a 4-3.The thing about it, what Bill does, he's experienced with it, he knows what he's looking for, he'll get people to fit his system. I think we've all seen his system be productive in every place he's coached. I would think, eventually, in time, his system in conjunction with the coach and all that - he's not the coach - but I think that combination of things, certainly, there's no reason why it won't be successful again, based on, historically, the way it's gone."
Saints coach Sean Payton says the Parcells way includes a philosophy on how to prepare a team in the offseason so that, unlike the Dolphins of last year, it isn't overcome by a plague of injuries. So what is Miami's new offseason conditioning program built on?
“It’s not built on machine weights, it’s built on free weights. It’s built on cleans, it’s built on inclines, squats, it’s built on running," Payton said. "And I think it’s built on an environment where these guys have three or four lifting sessions per week and there’s a set number of goals we’re looking for by the end of this spring.
"He pushed minicamps back to the latter part of the offrseason and focuses more on the strength and conditioning aspect of it and didn’t intertwine football during that time. He wanted them to feel like it was just strength and conditioning and football would be later in May. It allows us with injured guys to get them healed up more before you get to the minicamp where you’re not maybe losing some of them.”
To that end, the Dolphins won't have a veteran minicamp until the latter part of May and another in June. The rookies will have a minicamp in early May. Also, the philosophy should help you understand why Parcells is not happy Jason Taylor is missing the current conditioning program. It's not just about being in shape, as Taylor obviously is. It's about getting stronger by lifting dead weights and gaining endurance from running.
The Parcells way is also about how you handle people. I believe the short way to explain it is no B.S.
“He’s someone that really taught you all the dynamics inside the building and how to be successful," Payton says of Parcells. "In other words, it wasn’t so much the football scheme on offense or defense, but what we’re looking for in players, how he wants the training room to function, what he thinks the offseason program should consist of, what’s important in his coaching staff makeup. Things that are a little bit broader than the football game itself.
"He was very detailed that way and held everyone accountable. He’s very good with personnel and is very good at what he’s looking for with players, size wise, speed wise. Those are all things you couldn’t get enough of. Being around him on a daily basis, without seeking out or asking, you heard these things repeated over and over again about personnel, about philosophies on offense and defense, about lifting, the offseason program under him, I thought, just watching it as an assistant, our players really benefited from that."
Parcells coming to Miami means he is now a rival of old friends and confidants like Romeo Crennel and Belichick and even Eric Mangini and Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum. They all know what Parcells being in Miami means.
"You know that with Bill there, they are going to keep getting better as long as he’s a part of them for years," Mangini said. "He was great as far as Mike and I calling him, getting advice. I’ve always respected him as a talent evaluator. There’s a lot of familiarity."
Not anymore, Eric.