The legendary outside linebacker expressed his displeasure when the Giants made what turned out to be a great move.
“Bill Parcells’ Giants.”
Hearing that phrase reminds everyone of the legendary Lawrence Taylor-led pass rush that dominated the 80s and early 90s, a unit that was run by current Patriots head coach and future Hall of Famer Bill Belichick.
It was Belichick himself who designed schemes that greatly assisted in the successful Super Bowl runs of 1986 and 1990, but when he was initially named the defensive coordinator, Taylor didn’t exactly agree with the move.
“I come into the league, and I meet Bill Belichick, he is an assistant special teams coach,” Taylor told Rich Kleiman of the ‘Boardroom: Out of Office’ podcast. Belichick worked with Big Blue’s special teams from 1979-84 before his promotion to defensive coordinator in 1985. “What the hell is [assistant special teams coach]? That’s like a towel boy. Then the next year, he is the special teams coach, and then the third year, Parcells becomes the head coach, and he makes Belichick the defensive coordinator, and I went ape s***.”
Parcells assured LT that Belichick designed many of their schemes already. Surely, Taylor didn’t know at the time the type of coach Belichick would turn out to be either.
“He got a little respect from me, and he has turned out to be one of the best coaches in history,” he said.
Belichick and Taylor were with one another in East Rutherford until the 1990 season when they won Super Bowl 25 over Buffalo. Belichick then left to become the head coach of the Browns in 1991 prior to Taylor retiring after the 1993 season.
It’s not exactly surprising to see Taylor originally unhappy with a move that was made; he wasn’t one to reserve his frustrations.
LT additionally stated that when he was a rookie in 1981, he didn’t agree with then-defensive coordinator Parcells’ aggressive approach.
“I looked at him after he jumped in my ass and I said, ‘Hey, Coach Parcells, you can cut me, you can trade me, you can put John Skorupan [the last Giants right outside linebacker prior to Taylor’s tenure] back in here, I don’t care what you do, but you have to stay the hell off my ass because I don’t work like this,” he said. “He looked at me for about five minutes, and he said he would let me do it my way, but when you screw up, you have to do it my way. I didn’t talk to him again for the next 10 years.”
Of course, their relationship ended up being fine, and whatever on-field “way” they put to use certainly worked. Taylor’s illustrious career included 10 Pro Bowls, a pair of Super Bowl rings, an NFL MVP honor, and an induction into Canton.