Are Bill Parcells' fingerprints all over this Super Bowl?
The influence of former NFL coach Bill Parcells appears to loom large in this Super Bowl -- both Giants Coach Tom Coughlin and Patriots Coach Bill Belichick were once his assistants. But Parcells, who also coached for both franchises, says that connection isn't relevant.
"Both of those coaches are their own guys," Parcells said in a phone interview. "The fact that we worked together is irrelevant in these circumstances and was irrelevant in 2007. They formed their own way to do things, their own structure, their own programs, and they’ve both done it extremely well.
"I like both of them, consider both of them friends, but the fact that I was involved at one point in time doesn't mean anything for this game."
However, Parcells said he does take pride in the fact that he worked with both coaches.
"We're all products of our experiences," he said. "I was fortunate to have a really top-quality coaching staff. Part of a head coach's job is to put a good staff together, and I was very fortunate to do that. And these guys were part of that."
Parcells, among the 15 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, declined to talk about the honor -- he's notoriously superstitious.
-- Sam Farmer in Indianapolis
Photo: Bill Parcels. Credit: Matt Slocum / Associated Press