by Fitzgerald Cecilio
Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Bill Parcells admitted that he regretted leaving the New England Patriots after he turned the team into contenders during his four-year stay.
"I regret leaving New England. Had we done things differently," Parcells told USA Today. "I had a good, young team there. I hated to leave that team because I knew what we could do."
Parcells turned the Patriots from laughingstocks to contenders from 1993-96 but his tenure was marred by clashes with owner Robert Kraft.
Parcells' stint in New England ended when word leaked that he was being courted by the New York Jets while the Patriotds were preparing to play in Super Bowl XXXI in early 1997. He left for the Jets soon after.
"I was absolutely too headstrong. And he might have been a little headstrong, too. I think both Kraft and myself, retrospectively, would have done things a little differently," Parcells said.
Kraft said he also regretted how things ended with Parcells but they have made peace a decade ago in a conversation.
"At a Super Bowl, Bill was standing there as I approached, and he just said to me, 'If I had to do it all over again, I would have done things differently.' And I said, 'So would I,'" Kraft told USA Today. "It would have been pretty special."
"We were just coming at it from different times. And so much in life is timing. But in the end, we have a great relationship today. I have great respect for him. He did a great deal for our franchise. And I will forever be grateful for that," Kraft added.
Parcells will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Aug. 3. He was a finalist for induction into the Patriots Hall of Fame in 2011 and 2012 but lost out to Drew Bledsoe and Troy Brown, respectively.