Tom Coughlin and Bill Belichick share many of the same characteristics that make them, unmistakably, proteges of former New York Giants and New England Patriots head coach Bill Parcells. Both coaches take a no-nonsense approach to the game and their players, both are fierce competitors and both are tireless workers. In an interview with "Mike & Mike" on Thursday, Parcells noted their differences as well, especially in upbringing.
"You know Bill Belichick was the son of a coach, I knew his father [Steve] very well," Parcells said. "He came up [with] football all his life. Tom kind of took the same route I did as a coach, starting in a very, very small Division III school. He was mowing the grass and lining the fields, and doing all the tasks that a coach in one of those situations has to do. So he came up the hard way and people who do that learn the ropes. I think Bill was taught by his dad on what was necessary, and Tom, by his experience, starting off at a very low level as a coach -- I did the same things at Hastings College in Nebraska -- makes you appreciate it when things change for the better."
Both coaches have proven that they know how to prepare their teams for football's biggest stage, just as Parcells did with the 1986 and 1990 Super Bowl champion Giants. If they are true Parcells disciples, however, prepare for some trickery come next Sunday.
"What I tried to do was have something a little extra ready, whether it be a fake punt or a field goal," Parcells said. "I tried to tell the players, 'We're going to pull out all stops here. We're going to try anything.' Keeping in mind the risk/reward, you have to do that, of course. But I wanted to understand that we were going to try to do every single thing we could to win the game."