With the Hall of Fame class being announced last night, and Bill Parcells leading the group, I thought it would be fun to look back, and remember Bill’s time with the Jets. It was a special time for Jets fans, let’s look back.
First remember where we came from, 4 wins over the previous 2 seasons under the great Rich Kotite. Rich discovered, and gave a chance to, Wayne Chrebet, but other than that, didn’t do very much for us. Then owner Leon Hess wanted to “win a championship before he died”. In walked Bill Parcells. Remember the arm wresting that the Jets had to do with the Patriots to get him? They were going to be forced to hire Bill as a consultant for one year, and then annoint him as the head coach. But, commissioner Paul Tagliabue brokered a deal between the two teams to allow Bill to take the job in 1997.
What a turnaround they had in 1997, am I right? Bill basically took the roster from 1996, and brought them to within one win of the playoffs. Had they won the final game of the season against the Detroit Lions, they would have made the turnaround from 1 win to a playoff team. The biggest problem Bill had with that team was his lack of trust for the quarterback, Neil O’Donnell. Anyone remember the halfback option with Leon Johnson? We were all shocked to see Bill take his feelings against a player so seriously that he would actually put the team in a bad situation, but that is what he did. Still, it was a great turnaround from 1-15 to 9-7.