Sean Payton Meeting Today With Bill Parcells About Saints Head Coaching Position
Saints Nation is still reeling from head coach Sean Payton's one-year suspension handed down by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Still, if Payton must sit this dance out, an all-time coaching great and two-time Super Bowl winner may be a fitting fill-in.
Payton will meet Tuesday in Florida with retired coach Bill Parcells and address the possibility Parcells might become the team's interim head coach, ESPN reports. Goodell banished Payton from NFL sidelines for the 2012 campaign due to his admitted role facilitating a three-year bounty program offering bonus payouts knocking specific players out of games. Payton will reportedly be jointed by Saints GM Mickey Loomis, himself suspended eight games for his own role.
The NFL's investigation into the program concluded that now-former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams - hired in the 2012 offseason to become the St. Louis Rams' head coach, now suspended indefinitely by the league - actively ran the program, but that Payton knew about the ongoing payouts, lied to league investigators about whether they happened and instructed assistants to similarly cover up. According to the league's timeline, the program was in place during the Saints' Super Bowl-winning 2009 season, which included an NFC Championship that saw Minnesota quarterback Brett Favre injured early and knocked out of action.
For Parcells part, "The Silver Tuna" claims he hasn't once more felt the coaching bug's bite. During his NFL career leading the New York Giants, New England Patriots, New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys, he led the Giants to 1986 and 1990 Super Bowl victories and was named to the league's 1990's All-Decade Team. He was most recently the Miami Dolphins' Executive VP of Football Operations from 2008-2010.
"Sean Payton and I know each other well, and he has sought my counsel about his situation with the Saints. He has told me a little bit about the team, about the situation they're in, and about the players. But that is it," Parcells told SI.com Monday.
Payton has until April 2 to appeal his suspension, and has claimed he is "100 percent" certain that he will resume his old position when the 2013 season arrives.