Ryan: HOF-bound Parcells a mentor

Rex Ryan got to know Bill Parcells when Rex interviewed for the Dolphins' head-coaching job. USA TODAY Sports

CORTLAND, N.Y. -- One of the most influential figures in Jets history, Bill Parcells, will be inducted Saturday into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The current coach, Rex Ryan, considers Parcells a mentor.

Ryan got to know Parcells in 2008 when Ryan interviewed for the Dolphins' head-coaching vacancy. Parcells, running the organization, ended up hiring Tony Sparano. But the Dolphins' boss made an impression on Ryan, who had a hunch Sparano would get the job but took the interview to be able to meet with Parcells.

"Let's just put it this way: I gained way more out of it than he did," Ryan said. "He got nothing from me, and I got a ton from him. He was amazing. He talked about setting up a team. He talked about the bottom of your roster. He even talked about the developmental team and a whole lot of things that I've used. I don't know how long the interview was, but I took so much from it.

"He's kind of a mentor, and I wish I spent more time with him, but what an impressive guy. Obviously, you know what you get with him, the type of team he had. He's tough, but he was consistent. He's just a great football coach. Obviously, very deserving of going into the Hall of Fame."

In 2009, Ryan told me he called Parcells during the season, seeking advice during one of the Jets' slumps. Ryan said Parcells' response was: "Rex, you have to be more of a head coach." Heeding Parcells' wisdom, Ryan started to get more involved in the offense that season. Now, four years later, Ryan is going the opposite way. He's back to being the de facto defensive coordinator, leaving the offense to Marty Mornhinweg.

File that advice under: "What's good for one coach ..."