By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Bill Parcells was a notorious hardass and ball-buster as a head coach, and it made him a legendary motivator. So it’s not surprising that he once told Adam Vinatieri he’s one bad week away from getting cut.
A new story by ESPN’s Mike Wells gathered Vinatieri stories from ex-Patriots holders, and the whole thing is worth your time if you’re a fan. But in the story from Tom Tupa, who held for Vinatieri from 1996-98, Parcells is the real star.
During his rookie year in 1996, Vinatieri faced a lot of pressure from Parcells to perform. Not unlike most other players. But apparently, Parcells really liked to mess with kickers. So naturally he told Vinatieri he was “week-to-week”, meaning if he had another bad game he could find himself on the street.
“Adam had a tough battle because the history Parcells had. We didn’t know a kid coming from such a small school (South Dakota State) would be able to handle that. That’s some serious pressure, especially when dealing with Parcells. Coach Parcells enjoyed putting pressure on you. He would stand right next to you, right behind you all the time while you were kicking. He wanted to see how you reacted with that sort of pressure being on you. Like every kick mattered. That was Bill; he’d do things that you wouldn’t be too happy about. But it was all about getting the best out of you. Adam came in and did his job. He took it serious and won out.”
Thankfully, Parcells never followed through with that threat. Hopefully it was just another classic Parcells motivational jab and he wasn’t serious in the first place. Maybe you can even give Parcells a piece of the credit for molding Vinatieri into the most clutch kicker that has ever existed in pro football.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.