If Bill Parcells joins the Falcons and Rich McKay leaves, that's the Falcons' best trade in years. It's about time owner Arthur Blank realized McKay had to go as general manager. Nobody from the Falcons was voted to this year's NFC Pro Bowl team. That tells you something about how poorly McKay has drafted.
Since McKay came to the Falcons, they've made one mistake after another. The Falcons gambled on two head coaches who had never been NFL head coaches -- Jim Mora Jr. and Bobby Petrino. Mora didn't work out, and Petrino ran out. No wonder the Falcons' record since the start of the 2005 season is 18-28.
During McKay's tenure, the Falcons also decided to give Michael Vick a 10-year, $130 million contract, with an NFL record $37 million in bonuses. Think the Falcons got their money's worth, now that Vick is sitting in jail?
Parcells has been asked to become the Falcons' vice president of operations, and he is close to accepting Blank's offer. The New York Daily News reported Wednesday that Parcells would have final say on all football decisions, but that he would also hire both a general manger and a head coach.
McKay can remain in a lesser role if he wishes, but no matter what happens, his days as the Falcons' general manager are over. Even if the Parcells deal falls through, how could McKay stay now, knowing that Blank wants someone else?
Give Blank credit for moving quickly after being burned by Petrino, who walked out on him last week. Petrino's abrupt exit gave Blank the early jump on retooling his organization, and he's trying to make the most of it. Clearly, Parcells wants back into the NFL, and if the Falcons don't hire him, somebody else will, perhaps the Dolphins.
We know Parcells can coach, having won two Super Bowls with the Giants, and having taken four different teams to the playoffs. But during his four seasons in Dallas, he also showed his eye for talent. Most of the players the Cowboys have gone 12-2 with were brought to the organization by Parcells.
Give Cowboys owner Jerry Jones his fair share of credit for the Cowboys' success, particularly because Jones wanted Terrell Owens and Parcells didn't. But Parcells was the guy evaluating players every day in practice. Parcells was the guy who saw something special in quarterback Tony Romo. Parcells knows players, what makes them tick, what separates those who make it from those who don't. He's an NFL lifer, and he has won everywhere he has been. With his track record, there's no reason to think Parcells can't win with the Falcons.
Parcells could look to hire Cardinals offensive coordinator Todd Haley as the Falcons' next head coach. Haley worked as an assistant coach for Parcells with both the Jets and the Cowboys. Not only is Haley young (40 years old) and hungry, he has a feisty personality similar to Parcells.
After what the Falcons have endured this season, they need direction and discipline, and Parcells' presence would provide both. This is the perfect time for Parcells to be strictly a personnel guy, because at age 66, with his personality, it's tough for him to handle the daily rigors of NFL coaching.
Blank and Jones are good friends, and Jones surely told Blank what it was like to work with Parcells. If Jones and Parcells could coexist with their egos, Blank and Parcells surely can.
The Falcons are terrible now, but we've seen many examples of how quickly NFL franchises can turn around. If Parcells comes to the Falcons, it's the first step in the right direction. Dumping McKay and adding Parcells is a trade that any organization should make, any day of the week.