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Parcells: I left Miami too early

Retired NFL football coach Bill Parcells watches batting

Retired NFL football coach Bill Parcells watches batting practice before a spring training game between the New York Mets and the St. Louis Cardinals in Jupiter, Fla. (March 30, 2012) Credit: AP

Bill Parcells thought he was doing the right thing by stepping away from the Dolphins early in the 2010 season, exercising a clause in his contract that he could leave the team if there was an ownership chance.

He admits in hindsight he left Miami too soon, leaving the team and new owner Stephen Ross in the lurch.

“I didn’t anticipate the ownership change, not that I didn’t along with either [Wayne Huizenga or Ross],” he said. “I was trying to take young guys – first-time head coach (Tony Sparano), first-time GM (Jeff Ireland) and then when you throw in a first-time owner, that’s a difficult dynamic.

“Everyone wants to put their own mark on their franchise and they have every right to do that,” Parcells said. “Personnel-wise, I know our team was better when I left the Dolphins. When I left the Dolphins, we had a winning record. We’d just beaten the Green Bay Packers and Vikings on the road, and the Packers wound up winning the Super Bowl that year. I think there were some things in place.

“I think my leaving created a situation that was not good for the Dolphins retrospectively,” he said. “I thought I was doing the right thing, but retrospectively, I don’t think it was the right thing.”

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