Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Vermeil Thinks Parcells Is Worth Two Top Choices

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Vermeil Thinks Parcells Is Worth Two Top Choices

Article excerpt

On the sticky matter of Bill Parcells, the New York Jets only can be thankful that Dick Vermeil is not their president of football operations.

Vermeil, who holds that title along with his head-coaching duties in St. Louis, says he would give up the Jets' farm to have Parcells prowling the sidelines next fall in the Meadowlands.

"Parcells is a special guy, a very special guy," Vermeil said Friday afternoon, holding court before reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine. "Personally, I would give up my first - and second-round draft choice to hire Bill Parcells. I don't mean this critically, but how many first-round picks have (the Jets) had over the last 10 years? How many have made any difference?" Not many. The Jets' list of first-rounders since 1987 is hardly fodder for the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Roger Vick, Dave Cadigan, Jeff Lageman, Blair Thomas, Johnny Mitchell, Marvin Jones, Aaron Glenn, Kyle Brady, Hugh Douglas and Keyshawn Johnson. No first-rounder taken before the '93 draft is even on the team. As for Parcells? "He's a difference-maker, that's all there is to it," Vermeil said. "His communication skills are unique with his players. He gains respect. He demands respect. He has tremendous credibility. They listen to him. . . . He'll be a great consultant." The Jets hired Parcells as a "consultant" after refusing to grant any draft-pick compensation to New England. This was an obvious end-around move to skirt Commissioner Paul Tagliabue's ruling that Parcells can't coach anywhere in 1997 without the Patriots' permission. Tagliabue will make an additional ruling this week on the validity of the Jets' hiring Parcells as a "consultant." Saint Willie: Even though things didn't work out in St. Louis, Willie Shaw's NFL resume was solid enough that he was hired without an interview by Mike Ditka in New Orleans. "I've won division championships," Shaw said. "I've been to the Super Bowl. Just because we didn't do it in St. Louis doesn't mean I'm a bad coach. "When Mike Ditka called me, he said, `Willie this isn't an interview. I know you. I coached against you. You've got a three-year contract. If you want it, get on a plane and come down here.' " So Shaw hopped a plane to New Orleans, joining Ditka's staff as defensive backfield coach. Shaw, who went to the Super Bowl with the San Diego Chargers after the 1994 season, coached against Ditka's Chicago Bears twice a year as secondary coach with Detroit from 1985-87 and Minnesota in 1992. "I'm with a good guy," Shaw said. "He's hired a very good staff - an experienced, knowledgeable staff. In fact, all four of the defensive coaches have been coordinators." Now, Shaw will go against the Rams twice a year in the NFC West. "The talent at St. Louis is young talent, that's going to be there, that they can build on," Shaw said. …

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