Bill Parcells was Sean Payton’s boss in Dallas and has served as an unofficial advisor to his former assistant coach since Payton became head coach in New Orleans in 2006. Now will Parcells fill in for Payton while the Saints coach serves his season-long suspension in 2012?
The two have discussed the possibility of Parcells taking over as the Saints’ interim head coach in Payton’s absense, according to ESPN. Sources say the two men have talked several times since Payton’s punishment for his role in the Saints’ bounty scandal was announced last week, and part of those conversations included Payton gauging Parcells’ interest in the interim coaching position.
[Updated at 2:03 p.m.: Parcells said Monday that the Saints have not contacted him about possibly coaching the team during Payton’s suspension. But he said that Payton has talked to him about how to handle the season.]
ESPN is also reporting that Payton is considering an appeal of the suspension, which is scheduled to begin April 1 and last until after the Super Bowl.
Saints owner Tom Benson and General Manager Mickey Loomis may or may not be involved with any discussions involving Parcells as interim head coach, ESPN says.
Other possible candidates for the interim job include Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr., offensive line coach Aaron Kromer and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, the former head coach of the St. Louis Rams.
Parcells won two Super Bowls as coach of the New York Giants and appeared in another as coach of the New England Patriots. He was a finalist as a nominee for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.