Bill Parcells said Wednesday that his decision not to coach the Saints during Sean Payton’s suspension was simply a matter of knowing that he wants to remain retired — and he said he never really wanted to coach again, although he did want to help Payton in any way he could.
Parcells said on ESPN that he never really wanted to be the interim head coach of the Saints for the 2012 season, but he did consider it because he considers Payton such a close friend.
“In my mind, I didn’t really feel an inclination to do that,” Parcells said. “My real feelings were about his welfare.”
Parcells reiterated his past comments of not feeling the itch to coach.
“I’ve been out quite a while now and I have another life and I’m pretty happy with that,” Parcells said.
Parcells said it upset him to hear about the bounty program overseen by former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, but he believes Payton is a good man who doesn’t deserve to lose his team over the matter.
“I was certainly — like a lot of people in the NFL — saddened by the news of what precipitated some of this activity here, the bounties and those kinds of things,” Parcells said. “I do have a very high regard for the coach of the Saints, Sean Payton. I like him very much personally, we worked together for three years in Dallas, we correspond on a frequent basis. My initial thoughts were just concern about him.”
Because of that concern, Parcells said, he spoke to Payton as soon as the news came down that he was suspended for the 2012 season.
“I talked to him very soon after the announcement came out,” he said. “We went back and forth about a lot of subjects, and one of them was coaching, and we just kind of broached that.”
But in the end, Parcells has decided that he’s staying put in retirement.