End of an era? Parcells vows days as NFL coach are done

Anyone who believes Bill Parcells might return to the NFL will be disappointed. Parcells just doesn't see it happening.

"I'm done," the former coach and front-office executive told reporters Monday on a conference call regarding his New England PatriotsHall of Fame nomination. "I know I've said that before. You better put it down in pencil. But my full intention is that I'm going to be 70 years old in August and I'm enjoying my time now ... I still have a lot of things I'd like to try to do, but I think I'm going to leave the NFL to someone else now."

Parcells was asked how he'd like to be remembered when all's said and done.

"I feel like if someone would say something positive about Bill Parcells, I would hope it would be that, 'He had a lot of respect for the game and his predecessors. If he did leave any mark on the NFL, it would certainly be those to follow,' " he said. "That's what I would hope.

"I've said many times, we're all riding a train. And it's a great ride when you're on it, but (when) they ask you to get off, everybody has to get off the train."

Parcells, who's joining ESPN as a special analyst for this month's NFL draft, left the Miami Dolphins in October after three years as the executive vice president of football operations. At the time, the team called it a "leave of absence" but in March confirmed that Parcells is "not associated with the team anymore in any official capacity."

Parcells, 69, signed a four-year contract with the Dolphins in December 2007, after they finished a 1-15 season, then brought coach Tony Sparano and general manager Jeff Ireland on board in January 2008. Parcells handed control of Miami's football operations to Ireland before the start of the 2010 season.

Before he became a front-office fixture, Parcells coached the New York Giants to two Super Bowl victories and took the Patriots to the big game. Parcells went 303-172 in 19 seasons as an NFL coach, including three with the New York Jets (1997-99) and four with the Dallas Cowboys (2003-06) after his stints in New York (1983-90) and New England (1993-96). He worked as an ESPN studio analyst in 2001, 2002 and 2007 between NFL jobs.

Parcells was asked about his rocky departure from the Patriots following the 1996 season and acknowledged "domestic misunderstandings" with team ownership.

"I do regret that," Parcells said. "Those things have since been resolved. I think retrospectively, I would've handled things substantially differently than I did. ... I was always saddened by the fact that I had to leave there and, in all honesty, didn't really want to."

Parcells also said current Patriots coach Bill Belichick has "done a tremendous job" and should be "right up there at the top of the conversation" of the game's best.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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