AFC East most disciplined division

October, 8, 2008
10/08/08
9:40
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

Perhaps it's fruit born from the Bill Parcells coaching tree.

What stands out when looking at AFC South reporter Paul Kuharsky's post about penalties is how the AFC East teams -- three of which have a heavy Parcells influence -- are among the NFL's nine fewest-flagged.

The Parcells mantra demands strength, toughness and discipline.

The New England Patriots are second in penalties with an average of 2.75 per game. They're coached by Parcells disciple Bill Belichick.

The Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills are tied for fourth with a 4.0 average. Parcells is the Dolphins' football operations boss, and rookie head coach Tony Sparano was his assistant with the Dallas Cowboys. Bills coach Dick Jauron is the only AFC East coach with no Parcells ties.

The New York Jets rank ninth in penalties at 4.75 a game. Eric Mangini served under both Parcells and Belichick.

All of the AFC East clubs have at least two victories even though three of them already have had their byes.

The NFC East and NFC South are the only other divisions in which every team has at least two wins, but seven of those eight teams have played all five weeks.

But not all of Parcells' acolytes are following the script. Romeo Crennel's Cleveland Browns are 31st with a 9.25 average. Sean Payton's New Orleans Saints are 28th with an 8.0 average. Tom Coughlin and the New York Giants are tied for 17th with a 6.25 average.

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