The New York Post, thanks to its vaunted Page Six section, is one of my favorite sources for news about Lindsay Lohan’s nocturnal activities. When it comes to updates about the Vikings, I tend to go elsewhere. But on Wednesday the Post did have a nice juicy Vikings-related story. It concerned Bill Parcells, a guy the New York media still has a lot of love for even though it’s been over a decade since he last coached in that town.
As you may or may not recall, there was a bit of buzz two years ago about the Vikings possibly pursuing Parcells to become their general manager. The buzz was built mainly around Giants fan Zygi Wilf’s life-long admiration for Parcells, and the fact that despite his age Parcells was thought of as a tough-minded football guy who could sweep in and fix an organization that at that point looked very dysfunctional indeed. In the end, obviously, the Vikings didn’t hire Parcells. They gave Leslie Frazier the coaching job and a year later promoted Rick Spielman to general manager.
Until this morning, no one really knew if the Parcells stuff was ever real or just speculation. But now we know it was in fact real. According to the Post, Parcells revealed during a sit-down with Sean Payton that the Vikings gave him a “blank check” offer to come aboard as general manager and head coach. The Saints and Payton are of course currently engaged in negotiations with Parcells to become interim coach while Payton serves his Bountygate suspension.
Here’s the kicker to the Post story: it doesn’t just say the Vikings once offered Parcells a job, it indicates that they are still actively trying to bring Parcells to the organization not only as GM but head coach. The story fails to cite any other source beyond the same unnamed person who passed along the tidbit about Parcells and Payton at lunch. The Vikings pursuing Parcells at this late date would certainly constitute a bombshell revelation, especially given that they just made Spielman GM a couple months ago and are already several weeks into his rebuilding plan.
It’s easy to believe the Vikings pursued Parcells after the tumultuous 2010 season, but it’s not so easy to buy that they are still chasing him two years on. Would Zygi Wilf really throw Rick Spielman and Leslie Frazier out the window a couple weeks before the draft? We know Zygi can be impulsive – just ask Brad Childress – but jettisoning both your coach and GM now and going to Parcells cold would go beyond impulsive into the realm of the schizophrenic.
To put it bluntly, the idea that the Vikings are still after Parcells sounds like hooey. And indeed, Tom Pelissero has already shot down the story. Pelissero’s source confirmed to him that the Vikings did indeed approach Parcells “a long time ago” but are no longer interested in his services. Pelissero speculates that Parcells may have thrown the Vikings nugget out there as a negotiating ploy.
In the end this makes a nice talker but there’s no substance to it whatsoever. Rick Spielman and Leslie Frazier shouldn’t lose a second of sleep fearing Zygi Wilf will can them for his idol Parcells. Some fans may think firing both those guys would be a good idea, but in fact it wouldn’t. For better or worse, Wilf and the Vikings need to let the current plan play out. They can pursue some old possibly over-the-hill coach next offseason if they must. Maybe Jeff Hostetler would like to try a comeback too. You know how they love those broken down QBs.