Could Bill Parcells Coach New Orleans Saints During Sean Payton’s Bountygate Suspension?


Bill Parcells is reportedly considering becoming the New Orleans Saints’ interim head coach while Sean Payton serves his year-long Bountygate suspension.

According to Chris Mortensen of ESPN, Payton has spoken to Parcells “numerous” times since last week's Bountygate fallout regarding possibly spearheading the Saints’ march to a Super Bowl this coming year. Given the pair’s history -- Payton served Parcells’ assistant with the Dallas Cowboys from 2003-05 -- and Parcells’ obvious championship pedigree, the arrangement would make a lot of sense.


Sources familiar with Parcells offer mixed opinions as to whether he would be tempted to fill Payton's shoes during the suspension if presented with a formal offer.

One complication is that Parcells, who was among the 10 finalists as a nominee for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, would have to wait another five years once an interim coaching post is completed under the Hall of Fame's bylaws. One Hall of Fame official said the bylaws would have to be changed but did agree it is a unique situation that could merit discussion. The five-year Hall of Fame clock may not have to be restarted if Parcells took a role with the Saints that did not specifically involve coaching.

For various reasons, it doesn’t appear as though any of the Saints’ current assistant coaches could step up and fill the void Payton’s suspension leaves behind. That means New Orleans management has two options on how to proceed: 1.) it could go out and hire an interim coach or 2.) it do a power-sharing thing between the assistants that’s doomed for failure.

As weird as the Parcells move sounds, it actually makes a ridiculous amount of sense. And given everything we know about him, it’s tough to imagine a Hall of Famer nomination deterring the coach from running a team for probably the last time. The fact that are the Saints are legitimate Super Bowl contenders this year is just icing on the cake.

Will this ultimately happen? Despite how logical it is, probably not. Should it happen? Absolutely.

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