NEW ORLEANS - Phil Simms said he never considered Bill Parcells a Hall of Fame coach when he was playing for him.
"Hell no!" bellowed the former Giants quarterback, who will be the lead analyst for CBS' coverage of Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday. "I'm just trying to survive another day with him. I say that and people go, 'Oh, come on!' No, it was survival. Every day was a new day and a new thing and here you go again."
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Now, though, Simms is one of the many who expect that Parcells will be enshrined in Canton this summer. He's a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the second straight year. Last year, in his first year of eligibility, Parcells missed. This year, many believe he will make the cut from among the 15 modern-day finalists, a list that includes former Giants defensive end Michael Strahan.
"Bill Parcells is a great football coach," said current Giants coach Tom Coughlin, an assistant under Parcells. "He has tremendous instincts. He has the ability to say the right thing at the right time, always did. He was a guy who set a very, very high standard and then held players to it."
"All the places he coached, the success he had, that alone [should be enough]," Simms said. "He was a unique coach, there's no doubt about it. But when you coach and win two Super Bowls, you take another franchise to the Super Bowl, and then you have success with getting to the championship game with the Jets and success with the Dallas Cowboys, that's pretty good."
Parcells was NFL coach of the year in 1986 and 1994. In 19 seasons as a head coach, he posted a regular-season record of 172-130-1 and was 11-8 in the playoffs. He is the only coach to guide four different teams to the playoffs.
More than that, he was known for his blunt style that sometimes could be bullying with players and the media.
"I had Bill when he was relatively young," Simms said. "Usually you mellow as you get older, but I had him when he was young, OK? Does that answer that question? I mean, every day with Bill was . . . it was good, but it was tough."
Ultimately, though, Simms believes that Parcells' records should land him a bust in Canton.
Said Simms: "There are a lot of people in the Hall of Fame who did a lot less than him."