Chris Mortenson reported that Sean Payton asked his mentor and retired former Dallas Cowboys coach Bill Parcells to consider coaching the Saints while he’s suspended for a year. As you know, Payton’s suspension is due to the fact that the Saints ran a bounty program under his watch and lied to the NFL about it for about 2 years. As numerous reporters have pointed out, even an “interim” coaching job would set Parcells another 5 years back for Hall of Fame consideration so the likelihood of Parcells taking over for Payton is pretty low. He could, however, fill in for GM Mickely Loomis who is suspended until week 8 but even that seems like a stretch from where I sit. Obviously, that means nothing as stranger things have happened.
In fact, the mere thought of Payton and Parcells discussing such a move is strange itself. Why would Payton want to subject the team to an entirely different coaching style (Payton is known for being a good listener and a flexible leader, Parcells, however, is not) that, if things go as planned, would only be for a year anyway? Would it not make more sense for Steve Spagnuolo to double as DC and HC…at least then–assuming Spags doesn’t flee for another HC position after next season–players would be adapting to a style that they’d have to get used to anyway.
But the mentor-mentee relationshp is an influential one. And like any good mentor Parcells has had a lasting impact on Payton. In 2010, Jeff Duncan mentioned in the Times-Picayne that when Payton first took over as HC of the Saints, the halls seemed haunted by Parcells:
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