Bill Parcells arrived in Miami in late December 2007, taking over a mess of a team that would finish 1-15. The overhaul began immediately, with Parcells bringing in his coaches and his style of players.
The transition, less than two years later, is already complete. Using the coaches Parcells knows, the Dolphins roster is chocked with quick edge rushers, huge lineman, and powerful running backs, the staples of a Parcells team dating back to his days in the 1980s with the Giants. Today, Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked if any aspects of the Dolphins remind him of teams from Parcells’s past, some of which Belichick coached for.
“Any of them?” Belichick asked. “All of them. Every single one of them.”
Parcells started by hiring Tony Sparano, who had coached under him in Dallas. He brought in Jeff Ireland as his top personnel man. The Dolphins coach and front office staff is littered with coaches who were with Parcless in Dallas – Todd Bowles, Brian Gaines, Kacy Rodgers, Paul Pasqualoni, offensive coordinator Dan Henning.
“I think everything Bill believes in is evident there,” Belichick said. “Start with the coaching staff. He hired Sparano there, who was with him in Dallas. Henning, they’ve been together since ’72 at Florida State. You can go right down the line. A lot of those guys have connections to Bill. Jeff Ireland, in terms of personnel.
“The players they bring are all the kind of players he likes. The defensive lineman are big. They’re all strong. All the outside linebackers can rush. The corners are big. The running backs are big. The tackles are big. They’re a big, powerful team. That’s the way Tony wants it, that’s the way Bill wants it, that’s the way Jeff wants it.
“This has Bill Parcells stamped all over it, no question about it. That’s what Bill believes in. He has a great philosophy, and it works for him. And it should work for him. Look at Dallas. It’s the same thing. They go down there and they get DeMarcus Ware, some big defensive lineman. All the guys they had there, they’ve either moved on to Miami or they’re still in Dallas.
“The Giants, New England, Dallas, Miami, the Jets – it’s a lot of the guys or the same type of guys. It’s worked for him every place he’s been. There’s no way he’s going to change it. There’s no way he should change.”