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No decisions yet on Payton appeal, replacement

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On Sunday, Saints coach Sean Payton’s one-season suspension begins.  On Monday, his period for appealing the suspension ends.  According to the Associated Press, no decision has been made on whether Payton will appeal.

The fact that Payton’s suspension would be delayed until the expedited appeal is resolved makes it more likely that Payton will appeal, since he would be available to help prepare for the draft and to help select his replacement.  And it could be that the Saints and Payton will leak or announce the decision to appeal the suspension late Friday afternoon, which will minimize the extent to which the talking heads who operate on a more traditional business-week cycle won’t be able to fully criticize Payton for not truly taking “full responsibility” for the bounty system.  And then, by Monday, everyone will be talking about the aftermath of the NCAA semifinals and the looming title game, all of which coincidentally will be played in New Orleans.

Perhaps the decision on hiring an interim head coach hinges on the outcome of the appeal.  If the NFL reduces Payton’s ban, there’s less of a need to bring Bill Parcells out of retirement.  And maybe, to the extent that hiring Parcells feels like a loophole through which the Saints happily would sprint, Commissioner Roger Goodell would be willing to cut the suspension down to, say, 12 games in order to entice the Saints to go with an in-house interim hire and not make a potential mockery of the suspension by hiring Payton’s mentor to take his place.

Still looming is the broader question of whether the Saints, if Parcells is hired to take over, would be able or willing to comply with the Rooney Rule.  In past situations where teams have made a mockery of the rule, those teams have been able to find a minority candidate with an eye on the bigger picture of his own career arc, going along with a possible sham interview now in order to get more experience interviewing for head-coaching jobs and/or to curry favor with the 32-branch conglomerate that eventually will have head-coaching vacancies that aren’t already earmarked for a non-minority coach.

In this situation, because the Saints would have to find a minority coach who isn’t currently employed by the Saints or any other NFL team, the universe of potential minority candidates would be very limited.  Men like Dennis Green (who once participated in a Rooney Rule sham telephone interview before Jerry Jones hired Bill Parcells in Dallas), Herm Edwards, and Tony Dungy surely wouldn’t be interested in doing a favor for a franchise that brazenly ran a bounty system for three seasons.  Also, no college coach in his right mind would want to give rival schools an opportunity for negative recruiting by flirting with the Saints during spring practice.  Even brand-new Tulane coach and former Saints receivers coach Curtis Johnson would surely be leery about engaging in what would be an obvious “thank you” to his former employer, even though folks in New Orleans (including people at Tulane) would appreciate Johnson’s wink-nod participation in the effort to clear a path for Parcells.

That leaves someone like Art Shell, who in the past has helped teams comply with the Rooney Rule by swooping in and sitting for a job.  But even if he does it now, the cat is so far out of the bag regarding the team’s interest in Parcells that Shell or anyone else who agrees to be interviewed for the one-year-only job would be willingly walking into an obvious Rooney Rule sham session.  As a result, any candidate who agrees to do it will confront a torrent of criticism far worse than what Payton will face when his acceptance of “full responsibility” becomes an appeal of the punishment levied against him.

UPDATE 10:35 a.m. ET:  The league office says that the Saints may satisfy the Rooney Rule by interviewing a member of the current coaching staff.  It’s logically inconsistent with the idea of the rule applying only if the team hires someone from outside the organization, but it makes it a lot easier for the Saints to comply.

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26 Responses to “No decisions yet on Payton appeal, replacement”
  1. jackers252 says: Mar 30, 2012 8:43 AM

    So if the Saints are being forced to comply with the Rooney Rule just to fill a one-year void, then why restrict their ability to interview other teams coaches?

    The NFL is saying how important it is for minority coaches to interview (for nothing else, they gain that experience in interviewing) but not in this case. Here, they don’t care about the spirit of the rule at all.

    Imagine that, the NFL being hypocritical AGAIN!

  2. jenniferxxx says: Mar 30, 2012 8:45 AM

    Remember …

    “Sean Payton apologized Friday for the bounty system under which Saints players were offered payouts for big hits on opponents, saying he takes “full responsibility” for the program that operated for three years under his watch.”

    Guess that was a lie too.

  3. eaglesjmo1978 says: Mar 30, 2012 8:47 AM

    As everyone has heard Bill Parcells seems to be the likely candidate for head coaching job this upcoming season…

    What about Art Shell? What about Jon Gruden?
    What about Mike Ditka? What about John Madden? What about Buddy Ryan (yea he’s real old, but he was great coaching the Eagles in the late 80’s).

    What about calling up Bill Cowher? He would turn New Orleans around!

    I don’t know if Sean Payton should have gotten suspended for the entire year, but since it has happened and nothing else can be done about it, it’s time to move on and hopefully the Saints wouldnt get a loser of a head coach.

    Really though it doesnt matter to me, as I am diehard Philadelphia Eagles fan.

  4. machester52 says: Mar 30, 2012 8:48 AM

    Sean Payton would pay a ton to see his players injure an opponent.

  5. nflofficeadmin says: Mar 30, 2012 8:48 AM

    The embarrassing aspect of this is that the Saints are not interviewing for a “head coach” they are looking for a band-aid for one season. If I’m serious about my coaching career, this one year temp job with the Saints woun’t appeal to me. There is not only a letter, but also a spirit to the Rooney rule, this one year gig does not fall within the spirit of the rule. It seems like some people are making noise for the sake of complaining without thinking about what is really up for grabs here… a one year stop gap position, not a full-fledged head coaching position.

  6. sg419 says: Mar 30, 2012 8:48 AM

    Henry Ellard
    New WR coach will interview

    By the way, what coach, black or white, would interview for an interim job?

  7. sledgehorn says: Mar 30, 2012 8:51 AM

    The league needs to take advantage of this opportunity and throw away this sham of a rule. It’s out-dated, doesn’t do anything but degrade minority candidates and is an embarrassment to the NFL as a whole.

  8. xxwhodatxx says: Mar 30, 2012 8:52 AM

    If I shoplifted and got caught, and said I accept full responsibility before the sentence. Then the punishment comes down and it’s life in prison damn right I’d appeal. That doesn’t mean I don’t accept responsibility it means I don’t agree with the over the top punishment. That’s what I think Payton is saying if he appeals.

  9. insidej0b says: Mar 30, 2012 8:52 AM

    Whatever. Screw everyone’s feelings on the Rooney Rule for a friggin interim position.

    Loomis: “Hey, Curtis, how’s everything over at Tula…oh, you’re happy at Tulane. Oh, ok. Well thanks for the interview.”

    You’d be an idiot to interview for a position that will leave you unemployed after 10 months anyway.

  10. jpb12 says: Mar 30, 2012 8:56 AM

    If he appeals, then I’m sure the Commish will look at all options… including a 2 year ban.

    Payton: “Hey… I know I lied to you before a couple times… but now I’m telling the truth…. Plus Benson couldn’t find his own ass with 2 hands and a roadmap.”

  11. clintonportisheadd says: Mar 30, 2012 9:02 AM

    This is America 2012.

    Whether it is crashing the financial system, looting investors, being caught in scandals, or killing unarmed black kids carrying Skittles, the phrase “taking full responsibility” has been downgraded to mean “getting away with as much as possible while keeping as much as I can and staying out of jail in the process.”

    Why would Payton not go where so many have gone before?

  12. Puddy says: Mar 30, 2012 9:03 AM

    Oh the joy we Saints fans will have watching whiney bitches like F-L-O-R-I-O and King Roger cry when Parcells takes over and with the NFC South being weak with teams and coaches, we will have no problem getting in the playoffs. So much for punitive penalties

  13. chrisritch93 says: Mar 30, 2012 9:04 AM

    No decisions, No Story

  14. jeff4life says: Mar 30, 2012 9:04 AM

    The Rooney Rule is sham on its own.

    No one should care if the canidate is blue brown black or green. Just the best person for the job.

    The NFL should do away with the rule to begin with and your right it will be sham and everyone knows and no one will do anything because the rule is idiotic nowadays.

  15. Mr Mojo says: Mar 30, 2012 9:10 AM

    Get off the Rooney Rule soapbox, we get it already. It’s a stupid rule and I’m glad it’s being flaunted. You harping on it day after day gets incredibly annoying after a while.

  16. brownbuddha says: Mar 30, 2012 9:35 AM

    The Rooney Rule says a team must interview a minority candidate for an opening, not consider hiring a candidate. The rule is just a way to provide opportunity and it still is.

  17. nolarules says: Mar 30, 2012 9:44 AM

    We get it….The Saints and its fans don’t deserve a good season. There should be no way that Parcells ends up with the Saints. It just isn’t fair. The Saints and their fans should sit the corner and shut up. Really, the Saints should be forced to lose Brees, in essence forfeiting the entire season away. Payton should be fired so Jerry Jones can snatch him up when his suspension is done. Is that about right?

    And Curtis Johnson should not be leery at all about interviewing. If he wants that new stadium at Tulane (the administration surely does), he would be wise to do the interview.

  18. darthsaint says: Mar 30, 2012 9:48 AM

    You guys really try to twist any angle you can for a BS story. It is actually kind of sad. Your bias is so obvious I’m not sure anyone can’t see it.

    Wondering if you all ever read comments on your stories. The other day when you posted about Herm Edwards making talking points around “Saints making a mockery of the Rooney Rule”. Your readers comments were SPOT ON. The Rooney Rule makes a mockery of the Rooney Rule. Almost all readers agreed that this was a non-story and that the Saints should be able to hire whoever they want, ESPECIALLY because of the nature of this hiring.

    I agree with the idea of this rule. I think it is important that all organizations do what they can to promote fair hiring practices. But this isn’t the same NFL as a decade ago. I don’t see teams afraid to hire the best coach or player available…THEY ALL WANT TO WIN.

    If the Saints want to hire Parcells because there is a personal relationship already there. Because they respect his pedigree. Because as Payton put it, the team was setup similarly to how Parcells himself would have set it up. If ONLY because they need someone who doesn’t want or need a full time job, instead understands and actually relishes the interim position of being a coach for ONLY 9 months. Ask yourself PFT…how many top minority candidates want to leave their current NFL team to take a 9 month job before they have to move their family again to find another job? NONE…that is how many.

    Tell the real story instead of trying to inflate bogus hate towards the Saints. The real story is how the NFL should not worry about enforcing the Rooney Rule for an interim position. Because as I pointed out, and as common sense would tell ANYONE. No legitimate minority coach, wants to uproot their family, turn their back on the their current team, for a 9 month gig. Yet nobody seems to point that part out…instead the evil Saints are sticking it to the league. BS…the league needs to think maybe instead of acting like judge and jury on EVERYTHING they do.

    Your bias is so damn obvious I don’t think you guys even try to hide it anymore.

  19. eballa1 says: Mar 30, 2012 9:57 AM

    Payton has taken full responsibility but the majority of “pundits” have chimed in that they think the 1-year ban is excessive. I see no disconnect of him taking full responsibility but appealing the dictator’s crazy suspension.

  20. gmen424 says: Mar 30, 2012 9:59 AM

    In society today their is no need for the Rooney Rule. At this point in time teams hire the best coach ou there and not by race. Heck the President is Black that should end all of this

  21. stealthscorpio says: Mar 30, 2012 10:43 AM

    No chance? You ever hear of a coach named Mike Tomlin?

  22. 7ransponder says: Mar 30, 2012 11:04 AM

    Puddy says:
    Mar 30, 2012 9:03 AM
    Oh the joy we Saints fans will have watching whiney bitches like F-L-O-R-I-O and King Roger cry when Parcells takes over and with the NFC South being weak with teams and coaches, we will have no problem getting in the playoffs. So much for punitive penalties

    ————————-

    How delusional. You just think Parcells is going to walk in there with gold plated diapers and churn out a playoff berth? No coach is a sure thing in an interim situation because their hands are very much tied. It’s not like Bill will be able to consult with Payton to make big decisions during this time.

    Also you’re forgetting two very important factors that have yet to play out:

    1. Brees contract situation.
    2. Player disciplines for the bounty.

  23. thejuddstir says: Mar 30, 2012 11:27 AM

    I don’t care if the Saints hire Bill Parcells or Lombardi himself as “interim coach” but I do think it is inexcusable to allow Payton to “appeal” his suspension without him facing the possibility of additional punishment. Appealing the decision means he doesn’t agree with it, yet he stood at the podium and said, “I accept full responsibility”. If a person truely accepts full responsiblity for their actions it must include sincerity….by appealing, he would be admitting that he does not accept responsibility and his apology was not sincere. An appeal should involve a risk that the punishment could be increased. I think Goodell was far too easy on Payton and the Saints and I suspect his compassion was a result of Payton’s supposed sincerity and accepting responsiblity for his actions. This clown was in effect sanctioning and paying hit squads to assault other players, if this happened anywhere else, he would be looking at possible prison time. I know Saints fans will be quick to disagree but stop and think about it…..if your neighbor paid someone else to come over and assault you, how would you react??????

  24. xcerebus1 says: Mar 30, 2012 11:59 AM

    Uh……Dungy was ALREADY linked to bountygate. Why does every keep insisting he’s this wonder coach controlling every aspect of the game, yet was somehow ‘blind’ when he was on the same field as his assistant when he was schooling players to cheap shot opposing players?

  25. fusion3450 says: Mar 30, 2012 12:38 PM

    7ransponder says:
    Mar 30, 2012 11:04 AM
    Puddy says:
    Mar 30, 2012 9:03 AM
    Oh the joy we Saints fans will have watching whiney bitches like F-L-O-R-I-O and King Roger cry when Parcells takes over and with the NFC South being weak with teams and coaches, we will have no problem getting in the playoffs. So much for punitive penalties

    ————————-

    How delusional. You just think Parcells is going to walk in there with gold plated diapers and churn out a playoff berth? No coach is a sure thing in an interim situation because their hands are very much tied. It’s not like Bill will be able to consult with Payton to make big decisions during this time.

    Also you’re forgetting two very important factors that have yet to play out:

    1. Brees contract situation.
    2. Player disciplines for the bounty.

    ———————————-

    parcells won’t have to do much more than call time outs, throw challenge flags, and provide the media with sound bites. this is already a playoff team. brees contract will be done. outsiders that think otherwise are just hoping. player suspensions won’t be as big a deal as people try to make it. you hear 22-27 players. go count how many of them are actually still here. people’s jealousy blinds them and causes them to just ramble out any thing without thinking about it

  26. 7ransponder says: Mar 30, 2012 2:05 PM

    fusion3450 says:
    Mar 30, 2012 12:38 PM

    ——————————
    parcells won’t have to do much more than call time outs, throw challenge flags, and provide the media with sound bites. this is already a playoff team. brees contract will be done. outsiders that think otherwise are just hoping. player suspensions won’t be as big a deal as people try to make it. you hear 22-27 players. go count how many of them are actually still here. people’s jealousy blinds them and causes them to just ramble out any thing without thinking about it

    ————————–

    Jealous. That’s a good one. Being jealous of this team is like being jealous of being a Vikings fan during the whole love boat fiasco.

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