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Bill Parcells regrets divorce from New England Patriots

  • By Kevin Patra
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Men with Bill Parcells' resume rarely admit remorse or apologize for how circumstances in their life unfolded, which is why hearing him look back at his stint as head coach of the New England Patriots is a head-tilter.

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"I regret leaving New England. Had we done things differently ... " Parcells told USA Today Sports. "I had a good young team there. I hated to leave that team, because I knew what we could do.

"I was absolutely too headstrong. And (owner Robert Kraft) might have been a little headstrong, too. I think both Kraft and myself, retrospectively, would have done things a little differently."

The Big Tuna, known as one of the best team builders in the history of the NFL, divorced the Patriots in 1997 after taking the team to Super Bowl XXXI citing lack of input on player personnel decisions.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who purchased the team in 1994, agreed with Parcells that he would have done things differently and said his naiveté at the time played a part in the breakup.

"Look, I was a new owner," Kraft said. "I had a lot of debt. I had stardust in my eyes. I had a Hall of Fame coach. I was green and new. And I don't think Bill had ever dealt with someone like myself. He had a contract that said he'd coach year to year. And that didn't make me feel secure. ... He was coaching year to year, making personnel decisions. He used to drive down to (his home in) Jupiter, Fla., at the end of the year and he'd say he'd decide whether he was coming back to coach. That didn't inspire confidence in me."

Parcells will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August, and Kraft has won three Super Bowls with Bill Belichick at the helm. Here's guessing neither would trade those accolades for a hypothetical.

Follow Kevin Patra on Twitter @kpatra.


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