Thursday, March 29, 2012

Parcells prefers Sainthood over Hall of Fame

Bill Parcells sounds like a man who would rather put personal friendship ahead of personal glory after saying he would help the New Orleans Saints— if they asked.

The former New York Giants and Jets head coach said he is waiting to hear his pal, Saints head coach Sean Payton, and the Saints make him an offer to coach the team— if Payton's year-long suspension is upheld.

"I had plenty of opportunities to do things with different teams, and I've turned them all down," Parcells said Wednesday afternoon.  "But this one is special.  This guy is like family to me.  And if I could help him, I would."

Parcells also put the kibosh on talk that the Hall of Fame's rules, that require coaches to be five years removed from the NFL to be considered for induction, would influence his decision to return to the sidelines.

"I'm not going to concern myself about something that may not happen," Parcells said.

Payton is deciding whether or not to appeal his season-long ban for his role in Bountygate— a program that gave Saints players cash incentives to knock opposing players out of games.

Meanwhile, the Saints head coach has tossed out the idea of having his mentor— Parcells— stand in as the interim coach while he is banned from the team.

"I don't know how this is going to play out," said the 70-year-old Parcells.  "I really don't know anything about the situation.  There's a lot of things going on here, and I would suspect it's going to take a while to sort it all out."

Both Parcells and Payton maintain that no job offer has been made but, on Tuesday, both men played a round of golf with Saints general manager Mickey Loomis.  Parcells had never met Loomis before they hit the course.

"We literally did not talk about that job at all," said Parcells.  "The only thing he told me is, 'You're going to like this situation (in New Orleans).'  I know a few of their players, just a couple."

Parcells currently lives in Jupiter, Fla., and is always on an NFL team's head coaching radar when there is a vacancy. His last head coaching job was with the Dallas Cowboys from 2003-06 and he served as an executive for the Miami Dolphins from 2008-10.  Last season, Parcells was an analyst for ESPN.

Payton was Parcells' assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach in Dallas for three years before he was hired as the Saints head coach in 2006.

It sounds like the "interim" title in New Orleans won't bother the no-nonsense Parcells.  He would go in knowing it's a "one and done" deal and step aside when Payton returns.

Parcells has a knowledge of his protege's system and— with Drew Brees at quarterback— the Saints still have the core of a playoff team, so the Big Tuna won't just be babysitting a floundering team for the duration.

If the Saints call, the Hall can wait.

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