No sooner had the media wrapped up the Peyton Manning saga but another Payton’s future changed. This time it’s New Orleans Head Coach Sean Payton’s, having been shown the door by Goodell for the sake of the game’s image for 2012. Whether or not lopping the head off an entire organization for a season over something like this is a just punishment may be dubious is another discussion.
Does Parcells want the caretaker job in New Orleans? Short answer is no. He’s 71 and eligible for first-ballot HOF voting next year; taking the HC job would press the reset button on the 5-year countdown. That’ll make him 76 or 77 when you start count after the end of the season. He’s retired from his last hurrah with his hand in a division championship a few years back in Miami, but they’ve been flat since. Clearly, New Orleans would do well to have someone like Parcells – even if only for the name and respect he commands – but perhaps the modern game has passed him by. I don’t think he would be a good fit as their Interim Head Coach. Oh, he could restore some much-needed discipline amongst the players…he’s got BAGS of discipline to dole out so that isn’t even an issue. He’d have the players afraid to take a sip of Gatorade without a scowl from the Tuna. I don’t think the team fits Parcells style, either, as the Saints’ roster is all built around the forward pass, not the 3 yards and a cloud of recycled prescription athletic turf rubber bits. Bill Parcells has always been old-school; pound the rock, stop the run, set up play-action. The personnel sets and packages have evolved, the rules have literally changed, and he’s likely getting too old for the time demands put on any Head Coach. Then there’s performance….what’s in it for Bill? Again…nothing…unless BP wants one last season at the helm of a franchise before he retires for good and (hopefully) has a long and healthy sunset.
Say what you will about the players’ actions involving Bountygate, but the Saints have a great offensive system under Sean Payton. Fans get spoiled awfully fast, and the Saints are the team to beat in the NFC South and have Super Bowl-level talent. What they may lack in the secondary they more than make up for in Brees and his weapons plus a walking-wounded backfield rotation that seems to produce just enough to get the job done. So, Bill Parcells would be expected to get a least a Wild Card spot and anything short of another good showing towards the NFC title chase would be a failure on his part. If he succeeds, well, he was supposed to. There’s Atlanta, a reloaded Tampa Bay team, and a rising Panthers squad in the division. See where I’m going here? The NFC South will be murderous this season.
I think a Head Coaching position is out, and in fact they may not even be discussing that whatsoever. The Tuna’s last gig was with Miami as football ops director or some other hoiti-falloiti title but the point is he was an overseer, a manager. He was current Miami GM Jeff Ireland’s boss. A liason between ownership, the players, and the coaches. Someone who’s been around long enough to know how all the inner workings go and act behind the scenes to help hold the Saints’ organization together for a season…maybe even take a little game-planning work in there as a consultant too. It will all depend on the skills of the person they ultimately DO make acting HC. I just don’t think that person is going to be the Tuna himself.
Next question? Who will if not Bill? That much I do not know for sure, but I’m thinking it will be someone who needs a break like a Romeo Crennel got last year, or a Jason Garrett the year before. Someone with divisional knowledge might be someone to try for a single season like a Raheem Morris. Josh McDaniels is well-traveled lately and is back with the Pats, but he’d have an outside shot. Maybe a respected assistant that’s not been considered HC material after previous failure? If they go that far, they might as well just promote from within and name Steve Spagnuolo as IHC for 2012. Plus, there’s always a small chance Sean Payton’s banishment will be reduced.