DAVIE, Fla. - Bill Parcells, who signed a four-year contract last week to become executive vice president of football operations for the Miami Dolphins, got a firsthand look at the NFL's worst team at yesterday's practice.
"When he walked out, everybody noticed," defensive tackle Vonnie Holliday said.
As a coach, Parcells took over losing teams with the Giants, Patriots, Jets, and Cowboys and transformed them into winners. Now he takes charge of a franchise that flirted with the first 0-16 season in NFL history and missed the playoffs for the sixth year in a row.
"I have quite frankly been in this situation before," Parcells said at a news conference. "I'm just trying to be a good team member and help use my experience to put a structure in place that will serve the Dolphins well now and in the future, hopefully for the long term."
Parcells didn't address the team. He'll likely leave the speeches to his head coach, which for the moment is Cam Cameron. Parcells's first big decision will be whether to retain Cameron and general manager Randy Mueller. Parcells said he doesn't want either job.
"I have to evaluate all the things that are here, first of all, and attempt to do that as expeditiously as possible, and see where we go from there," Parcells said. "I don't know where that's going to take us."
Cameron said he spoke briefly to Parcells during practice.
"I went over and said hello, and he said hello," Cameron said. "One thing he said is, 'Hey, I know we've got to get ready for Cincinnati. So just keep doing what you're doing, and there will be time to talk.' "
Parcells, 66, quit coaching after the 2006 season with Dallas. He spent this season as a television analyst, and said he decided to join the Dolphins because he can't get football out of his system.
"I've quit being ashamed of what I am," he said. "I'm a guy who likes football very much. I've always liked it.
"Hopefully, I can add to this organization and lend my experience to it. I know there aren't many more stops on the road, but I do feel energized. So I look forward to the challenge."
Those critical of the move note Parcells's most recent playoff victory came nine years ago. He went 24-24 in his final three seasons in Dallas, and conceded he feels pressure to succeed in Miami.
"I don't mind saying that," Parcells said. "When your name is on it, and it's not going too well, it doesn't make any difference how many championships you've won. You're not winning now, so you become some of the ones that aren't winning now. And they use other terms for you.
"I do feel pressure to try to improve this situation."