Tomorrow, former New York Giants, New England Patriots, New York Jets, and Dallas Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Of course, his induction criteria does not include his days as the football czar of the Miami Dolphins. However, that does not mean his ties to Miami are not part of the discussion whenever Parcells speaks.
According to the Miami Herald's Adam H. Beasley, Parcells met with the media ahead of the induction ceremony. During that press conference, Parcells spoke about his ties to the current regime in Miami, a place he left in 2010.
"I only know [contract negotiator] Dawn Aponte down there well. She's the only one that I speak to from time to time, and not very often."
Apparently, Parcells does not know his hand picked general manager, Jeff Ireland, very well. And, he is no longer on speaking terms with the man he hired to make personnel decisions for his most recent NFL team.
"I'm proud of what she's accomplished," Parcells continued, speaking of Aponte. "She's pretty high up for a woman in this league." Parcells invited Aponte to Canton, Ohio to be his special guest as he is inducted.
However, the Parcells/Ireland rift appears to be deep, and it may all stem from the Dolphins' failed attempt to lure then Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh to Miami. Ireland and team owner Stephen Ross flew to California to meet with Harbaugh, while incumbent head coach Tony Sparano was still employed.
"I left very early in the third year (2010) and we had just beaten the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings on the road. The Packers wound up winning the Super Bowl that year, so there were some things in place," Parcells said during a press conference with the South Florida media a few weeks ago . "But my leaving created a situation that was not good for the Dolphins retrospectively.
"I thought I was doing the right thing for the Dolphins to let these guys go, take [the team] on their own," he continued. "But retrospectively, I don't think it was the right thing because I saw things happen that I would have made every effort to try to avoid."
According to the Miami Herald's Armando Salguero, Parcells does still speak to Sparano.
During the July press availability, Parcells spoke about the Dolphins' offseason moves and the direction of the team he was brought in to rebuild, but has had four straight losing seasons. "I think they're trying to definitely improve the team, and I'm sure that everybody that's involved is in agreement with the course of action that they're taking, so hopefully it will work out for them," Parcells said.
"I think their division is such that they can be competitive, and even maybe have a chance to win it, so I'm hopeful that goes well for them. I do have a high regard for Steve Ross. I like him very much. I talk to him from time to time, and I certainly wish him well."