“The Two Bills” finally premiered Thursday night on ESPN, giving viewers a fascinating look inside the relationship between two of the greatest coaches in NFL history: Bill Belichick and Bill Parcells.
In addition to a rare joint interview with Belichick and Parcells that produced many of the documentary’s most compelling and revealing moments, the film also featured sit-downs with Robert Kraft, Charlie Weis, Romeo Crennel, Mike Pope, Al Groh, Willie McGinest, Curtis Martin, Lawrence Taylor, Harry Carson, Pepper Johnson, Bryan Cox, Ty Law and Scott Pioli, all of whom either played for, coached under or worked with one or both of the titular Bills.
The entire film — the latest in ESPN’s superb “30 for 30” series — is must-see TV for fans of the New England Patriots, New York Giants or football in general. Here are 12 of the best quotes:
Carson on Belichick’s first impression with the Giants: “When Belichick first came in, he was out with (punter) Dave Jennings timing the punts. And I was like, ‘Who’s this guy?’ A lot of coaches, you can look at them and tell that they’ve played the game. Belichick was the complete opposite. He didn’t look like a football player. We sort of disregard him because he’s not really one of us. He’s a coach, but he’s not really one of us.”
Taylor on Belichick’s nickname during his Giants years: “We used to call him Doom, because every time he walked around it was end of the world,” Taylor said. “‘Ah, you didn’t make this play. Ah, you didn’t go over here.’ Everything was end of the world.”
Parcells on his and Belichick’s coaching strategy in New York: “We preached to both our players and our coaches, sensitivity really wasn’t in play very much. That led to our success with the Giants.”
Belichick on Woody Johnson and James Dolan, the two men vying to buy the New York Jets after team owner Leon Hess’ death: “I hadn’t spoken to either one, but I had issues with both.”
Pioli on the day Belichick resigned as Jets head coach: “He stopped by my office, and he kind of winked at me and said, ‘This is going to be interesting.’ And I’m like, ‘What does that mean?’ ”
Cox on that day: “Story has it that he went downstairs and got on the treadmill and was running and was like, ‘I don’t want this (expletive) job.’ And then he went upstairs and resigned.”
Kraft on how Belichick wound up coaching the Patriots: “One night around 6 o’clock, my assistant comes to me and says, ‘There’s someone on the phone saying they’re Darth Vader calling you.’ And I knew that was Bill Parcells.”
Cox on the tension between Belichick and Parcells after the former joined the Patriots: “From that 2001 season to now, they call it The Patriot Way. But a lot of what they did, it was the Parcells way. Bill did a great job of applying and taking the things that he learned by way of Parcells, and he made his own team. But the thing you’ve got to know is this family is dysfunctional. When they split, they didn’t talk for years. Parcells and Belichick didn’t talk for years.”
Belichick on going years without speaking to Parcells: “I certainly take my share of the responsibility in the relationship at that point. I could have done a better job.”
Belichick on reconciling with Parcells over a round of golf in 2005: “It was a great day, and probably a big relief for both of us.”
Belichick pointing to the Giants’ two most recent Super Bowl rings in the team’s trophy case: “These are the two we gave them.” (Parcells’ response: “You should have never lost that one game. (David) Tyree.”)
Belichick as the film crew tries — unsuccessfully — to bring Parcells and him into the Jets’ locker room: “Not the Jets locker room.” (Parcells adds: “I’m not going in there. No. I’m not going in there. I don’t want to go in there. What’s the point?”)
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