Then-Dallas Cowboys Coach Bill Parcells, right, shakes hands with New… (Matt Slocum / Associated…)
Bill Parcells says he has not spoken to the New Orleans Saints about becoming their interim head coach for the 2012 season, replacing Sean Payton if he serves out his suspension by the NFL in connection with the bounty scandal. Payton says he and Parcells, a close friend, "really haven't gotten into it" either. But the notion just won't go away.
In fact, Payton may have left the door open for speculation while speaking to a gathering of about 25 reporters who waited for him in the lobby of the Breakers Hotel, where the NFL is staging its annual meetings.
After explaining that he and Parcells talk on a regular basis but have not talked about the issue of his mentor taking over in his absence, Payton did say that the matter could be addressed at some point by himself, Parcells, General Manager Mickey Loomis and Saints ownership.
"The specifics in regards to him coaching ... that would be something that Mickey and I, our owner and Bill will deal with at a later time," Payton said.
Parcells, a finalist as a nominee for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, was head coach of the New York Giants, New York Jets, New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys, winning two Super Bowls with the Giants and coaching in another with the Patriots. He was also the executive vice president of football operations with the Miami Dolphins.
Payton, who served as an assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach under Parcells with the Cowboys from 2003 through 2005, sounded like he was endorsing Parcells in his comments on Tuesday.
"Certainly I'm biased, having worked with him," he said. "But he's a Hall of Fame head coach. And I would also say there are some things probably set up within the framework of our program that would be exactly how he would have set things up had he been the head coach here back in '06. So there is some carryover that way."
What do you think? Does it make sense for Parcells to step into the Saints' head coaching job for a year? Vote in the poll, then leave a comment explaining why you voted the way you did.