Bill Parcells's Career NFL Record Is 68-80-1 Without Bill Belichick Running His Defenses
It's easy to win in the NFL when the greatest coach in history is running your defenses
Yes, you read that headline correctly. Without Bill Belichick running his defenses, Bill Parcells's record as a head coach in the NFL is 68-80-1. That is a winning percentage of just 0.460.
When Bill Parcells was hired by the New York Giants to be their head coach in 1983, he inherited a young assistant coach named Bill Belichick (who had been an assistant coach in the league since 1975). The first two years with the New York Giants, Bill Parcells had a record of 13-20-1, while Bill Belichick was the special teams and linebackers coach.
In 1985, Bill Parcells named Bill Belichick as defensive coordinator and from then on, every time the two Bills worked together, Bill Belichick ran the defense. So Belichick ran the Giants defense from 1985-90, the Patriots defense in 1996, and the Jets defense from 1997-99. (Technically, Belichick was the Assistant Head Coach and defensive backs coach for the Patriots in 1996, but he ran the defense.)
While Bill Belichick was running the defenses for his teams, Bill Parcells's record as a NFL head coach is 115-58 (0.665). That would be the 10th highest winning percentage for any NFL head coach with 50 or more wins. (Belichick's own NFL winning percentage is 0.690, good for fifth place of all time.)
When Bill Belichick was not running the defense for his teams, Bill Parcells's record as a NFL head coach is just 68-80-1 (0.460). That would be the 91st best winning percentage for any NFL head coach with 50 or more wins.
Many NFL fans and especially New York Giants fans might be surprised by the numbers above. You know who is not surprised by the numbers? The players who played for Bill Belichick when he was a defensive coordinator.
When the New York Giants defeated the Washington Redskins, 14-0, in the 1986 NFC Championship game, the players carried Bill Belichick, not Bill Parcells, off the field.
Here's Bill Parcells's coaching record by team without Bill Belichick running the defense :
Giants 13-20-1 (0.390)
Patriots 21-28 (0.429)
Cowboys 34-32 (0.515)
Those records include the playoffs. Parcells went one to one in the playoffs with the Giants in 1984. He went zero to one in the playoffs with the Patriots in 1994 (losing to Belichick's Browns team), and he went zero to two in the playoffs with the Dallas Cowboys.
Here is Bill Parcells's coaching record by team with Bill Belichick running the defense :
Giants 72-32 (0.692)
Patriots 13-6 (0.684)
Jets 30-20 (0.600)
Those records include going seven to two in the playoffs with the Giants and two Super Bowls wins. Going two to one in the playoffs with the Patriots in 1996 with a Super Bowl loss, and going one to one in the playoffs with the Jets.
Parcells was Don Shula with Belichick
With Bill Belichick running the defense, Bill Parcells was as good a head coach in the NFL as Don Shula. Shula has a career winning percentage of 0.665, with a record of 347-173-6. Parcells was 115-58 (0.665) with Belichick running the defense.
Parcells was Jerry Glanville without Belichick
Without Bill Belichick running his defense, Bill Parcells was just a bit worse than Jerry Glanville as a head coach in the NFL. Glanville has a career record of 63-73 (0.463). Parcells record without Belichick running the defense is 68-80-1 (0.460).
We are not talking about small sample sizes here either. Bill Parcells coached 149 games in the NFL without Bill Belichick running his defense, and 173 games with Bill Belichick running the defense. That is far more than enough games to see the difference between Bill Parcells as a NFL head coach, when he had Bill Belichick running the defense and when he did not have Bill Belichick running the defense.
Any idea that Bill Parcells is responsible for Bill Belichick's success is not supported by the facts. Bill Belichick was an assistant head coach for Ted Marchibroda (1975 Baltimore Colts), Tommy Hudspeth (1976-77 Detroit Lions), Red Miller (1978 Denver Broncos) and Ray Perkins (1979-82 Giants) before Bill Parcells.
The best of those coaches by far is Red Miller who has a career record of 40-22 (0.645) as a NFL head coach. Miller took the Denver Broncos to the Super Bowl in 1977, where they lost to Tom Landry and the Dallas Cowboys. If Bill Belichick learned how to win in the NFL from any coach, it's most likely he learned from Red Miller the most.
All the stats above make it pretty clear that Bill Parcells benefited tremendously from having Bill Belichick running his defenses. If Bill Parcells taught Bill Belichick how to win, then why didn't Parcells win without Bill Belichick?
Without Bill Parcells around, Bill Belichick's career record as a NFL head coach stands at 300-135 for a winning percentage of 0.690. Belichick holds the record for most Super Bowl wins at six and most Super Bowl appearances at nine.
Without Bill Belichick around running his defense, Bill Parcells career record stands at 68-80-1 for a winning percentage of 0.460.