So, while he was a full-time employee of the Miami Dolphins, Bill Parcells advised the New York Jets to hire Rex Ryan:
Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum solicited his mentor’s official scouting report on the Baltimore defensive coordinator [Ryan].
Parcells told his protégé he liked Rex and his pedigree, as in a lot, and Tannenbaum took it to the bank. On Jan. 21, 2009, the Jets made Ryan one of the franchise’s Mount Rushmore hires, right there with Weeb Ewbank, Joe Namath and Bill Parcells.
“I had a fierce rivalry with Rex’s father when I was coaching the Giants,” Parcells said, “but I held Buddy in high regard. What made Buddy a dangerous adversary was that he knew what he was looking for personnel-wise, and Rex is the same way. That’s a pretty good head start for Rex because there are quite a few coaches in this league who don’t know what they’re looking for.”
What amazes me about this is that most of the football world is pretty much just calling this a cute story. The guy was on Miami’s payroll. He was the team’s personnel czar. And he was recommending coaches to division rivals?
I realize that there is a give and take in NFL coaching ranks. I know that teams have a noble obligation to let assistants interview for head-coaching gigs elsewhere, and I understand that they should probably even given them an endorsement. But that endorsement should come reluctantly, and it should only come when someone from a team’s own flock is on the verge of jumping ship.
But Ryan was a Baltimore Ravens employee, and Parcells admitted that he probably would have hired Ryan had Tony Sparano not been pretty much promised the head-coaching opening in South Florida. And yet Parcells still decided to reach out to his former team and give them sage advice.
Unacceptable. In the two years since Tannenbaum took Ryan’s tip and gave the job to Ryan, the Jets have gone to two conference championship games, while the Dolphins have missed the playoffs twice with a combined record of 14-18.