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Bart Oates remembers a calm Bill Parcells leading up to Super Bowl XXV

Then-Giants head coach Bill Parcells smiles before the

Then-Giants head coach Bill Parcells smiles before the start of Super Bowl XXV against the Bills in Tampa Sunday, Jan. 27, 1991. Credit: AP / Rusty Kennedy

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — There are few settings more intense than the Super Bowl. There were few coaches more intense than Bill Parcells. But when the two were combined, apparently, the result was less combustible and more chill.

“He was like the coolest, most calm guy,” former Giants center Bart Oates recalled on Thursday while making the rounds on Radio Row at Super Bowl LII. “Everyone kept looking at him like ‘Who is this guy?’ During the season, he’s hard, he’s coaching hard, he’s working guys. In the Super Bowl, he was like, ‘I don’t have to say anything. I’m enjoying it.’ It was like he was one of the fans enjoying it.”

That was mostly during the lead-up to Super Bowl XXV, an event for which the head coach probably should have been more frantic. He was going into a Super Bowl with a backup quarterback in Jeff Hostetler and facing a dominant offense in Jim Kelly and the Bills.

“He had an experienced team,” Oates said. “Most of the guys had been there from the first one, so they’d been with him. He was comfortable with the guys he had.”

Oates said he couldn’t speak on Parcells’ demeanor during the actual game.

“I don’t think I had any interaction with Bill,” he said, noting that he was more focused on blocking schemes and adjustments.

Parcells may have had a personality transplant before that big game, leaving him almost unrecognizable to his players, but the one thing that was not altered was the game plan and the philosophy. There was no doubt that would remain the same.

“We knew,” Oates said.

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