Report: Sean Payton craves Tuna, wants Bill Parcells as Saints' interim coach
A can of tuna, that is. ESPN reported early Monday afternoon that Sean Payton has approached Bill Parcells to coach the Saints for the duration of Payton's one-year suspension.
Under this scenario, Parcells would serve as the Saints' interim coach for the 2012 season. Payton would then resume coaching the Saints once the season is over, with Parcells presumably stepping aside after one season.
Payton faces a one-year suspension for his role in the Saints' bounty program that provided cash incentives for injuring opposing players. His suspension is slated to take effect April 1 -- just five days from now.
Sean Payton and Bill Parcells have worked together before, and reportedly remain in close contact. Payton served as the Dallas Cowboys' assistant head coach from 2003-2005, when Parcells was head coach. The ESPN report indicates that Payton and Parcells have spoken numerous times since Payton's suspension was handed down.
Parcells, for his part, claims the Saints have not contacted him. At the same time, Parcells did acknowledge to ESPN that Payton "has spoken to him about how to handle the (2012) season".
Should Parcells actually return to coach the Saints -- and we have no way to know how he feels about this proposition -- his Hall of Fame clock would be set back yet again. Parcells did not make the final cut for the 2012 Hall of Fame class. Should he coach in 2012, Parcells would not be eligible for Hall of Fame consideration again for another five years.
That factor hasn't really deterred Parcells in his previous three comings-out of retirement.
The Saints, for their part, face a serious quandary in filling Payton's shoes for the upcoming season. New Orleans' assistant head coach Joe Vitt would be a logical fill-in for Payton, but Vitt is also suspended for six games in relation to the bounty scandal. ESPN's report claims Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael, Jr. does not want the head coaching position, and that new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo is considered too new to the franchise to take over the entire program.
The Saints would be Parcells' fifth NFL head coaching position. Parcells additionally served as Executive VP of the Miami Dolphins from 2008-2010. He's won two Super Bowls with the New York Giants.