Bill Parcells reportedly will not fill in as the Saints’ interim head coach during Sean Payton’s season-long suspension.
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports that Parcells told Payton that he will remain retired rather than return to coaching. Almost immediately after Payton’s suspension for failing to stop the Saints’ bounty program was announced, discussions began that Parcells could fill in for Payton for the year. But in recent days it appeared more likely that the Saints would go with an in-house candidate as the interim head coach, rather than hiring from the outside.
Bringing in Parcells would have caused all kinds of problems, including perhaps alienating the coaching staff that’s currently in place, and risking the Saints being in violation of the Rooney Rule, which would have required them to interview a minority candidate before hiring Parcells.
There are big problems with the Saints anyway, however, starting with the question of who will serve as the interim head coach during Payton’s absence. Mortensen reports that assistant head coach Joe Vitt is the most likely interim head coach for the offseason and most of the regular season. But Vitt is suspended for the first six games of the regular season for his own role in the Saints’ bounty scandal.
So the Saints may need an interim interim head coach for their first six games.