In a conference call this morning, Bill Parcells expressed surprise at being a finalist for the Patriots Hall of Fame, while at the same time expressing regret for "domestic misunderstandings" with owner Robert Kraft.
Parcells was unaware that the Patriots had a Hall of Fame and said he feels "very flattered to be considered", as he a finalist this year along with Drew Bledsoe and Houston Antwine (voting is ongoing on Patriots.com).
In a 30-minute conference call, Parcells took reporters back to his four-year tenure as head coach (1993-1996) while also mentioning his one year as linebackers coach in 1980. The most revealing part of the call came when he was asked about any regrets he had from his time as head coach.
"As you know, we had a couple domestic misunderstandings with ownership I do regret," he said. "Those things since have been resolved. I think retrospectively, I would have handled things substantially different than I did. I was always saddened by the fact I had to leave there. In all honesty, I really didn't want to. I'm sure Bob [Kraft] would say something along those lines. We have talked about that. ... I did regret that. That's life -- you learn from things as you go on."
Since that time, Parcells and Kraft have spoken about that time in their NFL lives -- Parcells in his second head coaching stint, and Kraft in his initial years as owner.
“I don’t know there was any definitive time. We just kind of ran into each other a few times," Parcells said. "You know, you can’t help but talk things over a little bit. We never had a lengthy conversation about it. Certainly I know, I would have probably handled things differently."
Parcells gave Kraft a compliment when reflecting on his time in New England.
"I remember going there and in all honesty the franchise, I don't want to use the word disarray, but certainly unsettled; ownership was unsettled," Parcells said. "I do feel that when Robert Kraft took over the team that was a major step for stability for the franchise and the Patriots themselves."