The Final Season
My Last Year as A Head Coach in the NFLBook - 2000
As unflinching, candid, and tough as the man himself, The Final Season is Bill Parcell's swan song as head coach in the NFL. During 1999, a grueling, difficult season, Parcell's found his resolve and coaching ability tested at every turn.
It wasn't supposed to be like that, though.
The two-time champion coach who had guided two different teams to the Super Bowl was expected by fans and pundits to drive the New York jets all the way. After all, they had reached the AFC Championship the year before. But fate would not allow it. In the preseason, respected and longtime owner Leon Hess died, casting a season-long pall of uncertainty over the organization. During training camp, two players were arrested after a bar fight. In the final game of the preseason, Wayne Chrebet one of their top receivers, was injured. Then a huge blow-in the season opener Vinny Testaverde, the Pro Bowl quarterback, ruptured his Achilles tendon and was out for the year. Things grew progressively worse-at one point Parcells had lost nine starters. He also endured personal suffering when his dear friend and agent Robert Fraley died in the same plane crash that killed Payne Stewart.
Parcells struggled to keep his team on track, trying to maintain their confidence in the face of enormous odds. "When you're losing, you coach better. You're on top of every detail. You scrutinize yourself, your coaches, your players, and the system you're using." He became his own fiercest critic: "No matter how long you have coached, no matter how many games you have won, no matter how many playoff games, conference championships, Super Bowls you've won, it's all irrelevant. You are not winning now and that's what counts. You think you suck. You are a loser as a coach."
Things hit rock bottom when the team went 1-6. But
Parcells the coaches, and the players would not lie down. "If you don't play to win, then you shouldn't play at all." Parcells called up every strategic and motivational ploy he could dream up, and through sheer force of will and a great amount of pride, the jets won seven of their last nine games.
In The Final Season, readers will not only get an unsparing look inside one of football's greatest minds and a champion's philosophy but also Parcells frank take on good owners; his battles with "owner-operators"; the greatest "warriors" he's coached for and against; the players who are "dogs"; the game's most challenging coaches; and his seasons with the Giants and the Patriots. Parcells also provides the reasons for retiring from coaching as well as his perspective on Bill Belichick's controversial resignation and eventual departure for New England.
A rare, behind-the-scenes football memoir, The Final Season brims with insights and revelations, a testament to a great competitor and future Hall of Famer.