The legendary head coach hasn’t coached in New England in nearly 15 years, but he still maintains a tight connection with close friend and current coach Bill Belichick. And Parcells admitted Monday that he’s been in touch with Belichick — even claiming that this year’s Patriots team is better than the Super Bowl runner-up of a season ago, according to WEEI.
“I do communicate with Bill sometimes during the year — usually via text. Occasionally, it’ll be a phone call,” Parcells said. “I told him that I thought his team was a better team this year than it was last year, and I really believe that. I really think that. I know they went to the Super Bowl last year, but I believe they’re better now than they were in 2011.”
At just 6-3 on the season, the Patriots have underachieved in many regards, but they remain one of the best teams in the AFC and a Super Bowl favorite, at least in Parcells’ eyes.
“They are certainly one of the top contenders in the AFC,” he said. “They’re a team that I don’t think a lot of teams would look forward to playing late in the season and into the playoffs. You see things differently from a coaching perspective, and I think people need to realize that.”
The Patriots’ biggest flaw on the season has been their abysmal pass defense, ranked fourth-worst in the NFL and allowing more than 285 yards per game. Bringing in veteran cornerback Aqib Talib should help quell some of the issues in the secondary, but Parcells seems to think the pass rush is just as big of a problem.
“I think you can talk about the pass defense, but at the same time, you need to also talk about the pass rush,” Parcells said. “I know Bill addressed that this past season with the addition of a few guys like Chandler Jones, but I think they could use another guy coming off that edge. They could use another pressure player off the corner.”
Even with the defensive deficiencies, though, Parcells says Belichick will have the Patriots ready for any challenge come playoff time.
“Bill knows what the problems are, and he’s better than just about anyone when it comes to identifying the problems and going about trying to fix it and adjust it,” Parcells said. “With the wide-open offenses, the problems with pass defense are everywhere. It’s just a matter of making the adjustments and seeing who can play best late in the season, and I’m confident that Bill will have them headed in the right direction.”
Parcells knows a thing or two about winning championship, seeing as he has two Super Bowl trophies of his own sitting on his mantlepiece. So, all that title talk coming from him offers just another vote of confidence for his understudy, Belichick, in the Patriots’ quest for a fourth Super Bowl title.
Photo via Facebook/Bill Parcells