Bill Parcells has rejected the Head Coaching job in New Orleans as of today, a league source has disclosed.
I had written an article a few weeks ago on all the reasons why this would be the ultimate outcome – his age and the fact it would reset his five year Hall of Fame ballot wait, namely. He’s a finalist for THIS year’s HOF class as things sit now, and if he doesn’t make it in this year there’s always next year and so on.
He also has little to gain and a lot to lose by having taken the job…if he won, he was supposed to win with that team. If the Saints had an off year, all fingers would point to him and could possibly jeopardize his induction in the minds of some.
But what’s next for New Orleans? Do they promote from within or do they reach outside and pick up someone with HC experience, or both?
Well, there’s always Steve Spagnuolo, who had a wretched tenure as the Rams’ head man.
If the Saints do decide to promote from within, the Rooney Rule doesn’t apply and Spagnuolo would seem to be the only person that hasn’t been suspended with anywhere near the credentials for even a 1-year caretaker role.
If they do decide to look outside the organization, the Saints must interview at least one minority for the position. Hue Jackson would seem, at first, to be a top candidate but he did so much damage with his short time with the Raiders I’d think they’d make sure he’s the one guy NOT on the list unless they interview him just to satisfy the Rooney Rule. Otherwise, now is a very bad time to be hunting a Head Coach – even if for only a single season.
I think the Saints would be best served to settle this as quickly and seamlessly as possible even if it’s with TWO men, not one. How’s that, you may ask? Assistant Head Coach Joe Vitt will be suspended for only 6 games, and it might be that Spagnuolo will lead the team for those six games, then they turn the reigns over to Vitt for the last 12.
While it might be better in some eyes to have the same man head the team for the entire season, this is a unique situation. Spagnuolo has the experience but just wasn’t very good at it and Vitt outranks him within the organization.
Could Vitt come back and take his former position as “Assistant Head Coach” UNDER Spagnuolo, only to become his boss again in 2013 when Sean Payton returns to become both their bosses?
That sounds to me like more confusion and bruised egos than there needs to be, and if the Saints want their organizational structure to mean much, they might have to just do some coach-shuffling for 2012 so that things can return to normal in 2013.
It’s very hard to say at this point exactly what they will do, but it’s certainly a situation worth keeping a good eye on.
Then again, perhaps they can pry Dennis Green away from the UFL’s Sacramento Mountain Lions for a year. He is, after all, who they think he is. But will they let him off the hook?