Parcells to Hawks: 'Do It Now'

Jan. 1, 2010

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following first appeared in the Dec. 29 edition of the University of Iowa’s Official Sports Report, a free daily e-newsletter. For more information about the UI’s OSR, click HERE.

MIAMI — — Bill Parcells, coach of two Super Bowl championship teams, told the University of Iowa to get adjusted on the practice field before it’s too late in the remaining days leading up to the FedEx Orange Bowl.

Parcells visited the Hawkeyes on Tuesday at their practice facility at Barry University in Miami Shores.

“I’m talking mostly to the defensive guys here — when you’re getting ready to play the game and face a team that has a unique style of offense…I’ve seen many of those games where a team like yourselves came up on an opponent like you’re getting ready to play. Then I have to read all the quotes after the game by the losing team that says, `Well, you know, we just weren’t familiar with that style of offense and it took us a little while to get adjusted. By the time we got adjusted, we were playing catch-up.’

“Your job is to get adjusted out here, because if you don’t, and your scout team guys don’t present a good picture, these guys will hang up 20 on you before the national anthem’s over.”

Parcells compiled a record of 172-130-1 as head coach in the National Football League for the New York Giants, New England Patriots, New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys. Parcells and the Giants won Super Bowl championships in 1986 (39-20 over Denver) and 1990 (20-19 over Buffalo); his 1996 Patriots lost to Green Bay in the 1996 Super Bowl, 35-21.

Now executive vice president for football operations for the Miami Dolphins, Parcells addressed the Hawkeye players following their second practice in Florida as they prepare for the FedEx Orange Bowl on Jan. 5 against No. 9 Georgia Tech.

“I have long been an admirer of your coach’s program,” Parcells said of UI head coach Kirk Ferentz. “I’ve coached some of the great names in Iowa history. This is the kind of place that we look to acquire players from because we know what kind of environment they’ve grown up in. That’s important to us.

“Let me give you a little idea of what we’re looking for; I’m sure it’s kind of the same that your coaches are looking for when they recruit. We’re looking for reliable, dependable, accountable, smart, tough, disciplined players that are willing to work hard and help their team win and don’t have any issues. If you have issues and I know about it, I’m not drafting you, period.”

Ferentz called the visit and speech by Parcells “a great honor.”

“We are very appreciative that he took the time to speak to the team,” Ferentz said. “He delivered a great message and it was an exciting moment for all of us.”

Parcells then aimed his comments at a Hawkeye defense that ranks 10th in the NCAA in fewest points allowed (15.5 per game) and 11th in 11th in fewest yards allowed (286.7 per game).

“You defensive players, you need to do more film work. You need to get your assignments straight and you need to get adjusted right here on the practice field, because if you don’t, it’s going to be too late.”
Bill Parcells

“You defensive players, you need to do more film work,” Parcells said. “You need to get your assignments straight and you need to get adjusted right here on the practice field, because if you don’t, it’s going to be too late.”

Parcells’ current team — the Dolphins — host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, Jan. 3. Iowa’s turn at Land Shark Stadium will be two days later against the Atlantic Coast Conference champion Yellow Jackets. The “unique” challenge Parcells was referring to is Georgia Tech’s triple option offense that averages 307.2 rushing yards and 35.3 points per outing.

“That’s one of the tasks that you have this week that’s a little different than most of your opponents that run offenses that you’re pretty familiar with,” Parcells said. “I wish you a lot of luck, fellas. Good luck.”