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Bill Parcells Recalls How Reggie White was Nearly Drafted by New York Giants in 1984

May 1st, 2014 at 11:00 AM
By Doug Rush

The New York Giants already had the players many considered to be the best linebacker in the sport at the time in Lawrence Taylor on their defense heading into 1984. But what if they could have added perhaps one of the best pass rushers to play alongside Taylor in Reggie White?

It nearly happened in the 1984 NFL Supplemental Draft as the Giants had the No. three pick and could have taken White who was there, but instead, took offensive lineman Gary Zimmerman. The Philadelphia Eagles had the next pick, took White and the rest was history.

In a special on NFL Network called "Caught in the Draft," the Hall of Fame head coach talked about how he tried to get the Giants to take White in the draft that year, but was outvoted and instead, the Giants chose Zimmerman.

“Gary Zimmerman was there,” Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells, who led the Giants from 1983-1990, said in the feature. “I know I had a particular interest in Reggie White, too. I tried to put my two cents in, but we wound up taking Zimmerman.”

Zimmerman, who ended up having a Hall of Fame career in the league, actually never played a single down for the Giants, as his rights were eventually traded to the Minnesota Vikings in 1986 for two draft picks while White went on to become of the best defensive ends in the sport for the Eagles. Parcells reflected on what could have been if White and Taylor had gotten a chance to play together in the prime of their careers.

“It would have been something special," Parcells added.

From 1985 until 1992, White had 124 sacks in 121 games played and had double-digit sacks in each of his eight years. After playing in Philadelphia, White joined the Green Bay Packers in 1993 and helped them win Super Bowl XXXI against Parcells' New England Patriots. White finished his career by playing for the Carolina Panthers in 2000 and retired with 198 total sacks, which is the second most all-time in the NFL.

White was inducted into the National Football Hall of Fame in 2006, an accomplishment he was not around for because he tragically passed away from cardiac arrhythmia on the night after Christmas in 2004 at the age of 43.

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Tags: Bill Parcells, Football, Lawrence Taylor, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Reggie White

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6 Responses to “Bill Parcells Recalls How Reggie White was Nearly Drafted by New York Giants in 1984”

  1.  rlhjr says:

    Add White to that mix and you’re talking best ever defense period.
    No offense of that era and maybe this could withstand that pressure.
    You can only triple team so many guys.

    That pass rush would have been devastating. And unlike now if you doubled Taylor, Marshall would have a field day. Can you even imagine then having to block Reggie? No Mas…………Third and long would be a joke. And there would be no such thing as running the football against that defense.

  2.  fanfor55years says:

    I love all these draft rumors. They mean nothing, but it sure is fun.

    I think this draft is giving plenty of GMs immense heartburn. It’s deep enough that you can make the argument that players who will be around in the second and third rounds will be as good, or better, than those taken in the first round. Yet there are enough potentially elite players that the first round seems full of potential difference-makers who have, nonetheless, never played a snap in the NFL.

    I know I would NOT trade up to get a receiver because so many who look great in college never pan out as pros. I cannot imagine Reese giving away a draft pick to get Evans. He could easily prove mediocre in the NFL and there are at least 7-8 other wide receivers who will be available who could prove better but will be drafted later. Right now the ONLY player I would contemplate trading up to get would be Robinson, but even he would probably not be worth it when there are a number of other potentially very good left tackles who will be available at #12 (or even in the second round) and you only need “very good”, not necessarily “great”, at that position.

    As for White, he was so good it was ridiculous. He and LT on the same defense would have been a sight to behold. It’s really sad that Reggie died so young. He was a truly great player and a very good guy.

  3.  fanfor55years says:

    Finally, they exercise their rights with Prince!!! Would have been a tragic mistake had they not done that.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      So, going forward they have DRC, Prince, Thurmond, Hosley, McBride and James. That sounds to me like a pretty darned good group at corner. One of them won’t make it to the roster, but the competition should be great.

      If Will Hill wasn’t dysfunctional this would have been the best defensive backfield in the NFL, period. As it is, it’s one of the best IF Brown is fully healthy and ups his game just a little. (By the way, if I were the Giants I would STILL not cut Hill…he’s a troubled kid but all reports are that he’s a pretty decent guy who just hasn’t overcome his demons…I’d want him around after his suspension just in case this time is the one at which he realizes he has to genuinely change if he’s to lead a life that is there for his taking….if he “gets” it this time the Giants will have shown loyalty to a kid who is ticketed to be the best safety in the NFL if he can only get his head right).

      •  rlhjr says:

        Talent wins only if there is not a chance of life threating events connected with the dysfunction. And I mean the individual is dangerous only to his self the team will/should try to work things out. However if there is any chance the behavior will endanger innocents then he has to go.

  4.  Krow says:

    Parcells sucked at the draft … QED.

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