Monday, 26 March 2012 17:56

Reports: Payton Reaches Out To Parcells For Interim Job, May Appeal Suspension

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There is all sorts of tweets regarding the New Orleans Saints coming out of Palm Beach Florida where soon-to-be-suspended coach Sean Payton and GM Mickey Loomis are attending the NFL owners which starts today in Palm Beach, Fla.

Sean Payton has reached out to two-time Super Bowl winning coach to serve as interim coach of the Saints while he is out on a one-season suspension by the NFL.

Payton and Parcells are attending the NFL owners meeting in Palm Beach, Fla.
Parcells, 71,  retired from his job of Dolphins president three years ago. He currently is an an analyst for ESPN.

Payton was an assistant coach under Parcells with the Cowboys before becoming head coach of the Saints in 2006. He has remained close friends with Parcells and often calls him for coaching advice.


According to Chris Mortenson, Payton, approached Bill Parcells about coaching the Saints this season. And, get this, Mortensen is also reporting that Payton is considering filing an appeal of the one-year suspension.  

However, in my view, the appeal is probably futile as the appellate court is Roger Goodell. 

Then, there are other rumors that Peyton has asked Parcells to help get him an interim position.

We shall see but for now, this is what ESPN is reporting:

New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton has reached out to Bill Parcells about the possibility of taking over as interim head coach while Payton serves a one-year suspension, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports. 

The report does not say Parcells is willing to take the job or that it even has been offered to him. It simply says that Payton has discussed this scenario with his mentor. 

Payton was an assistant when Parcells was in Dallas and Payton often talks about Parcells having a huge influence on his career. 

If Parcells is willing to coach again, this scenario could make plenty of sense. It would allow the Saints to keep the rest of their coaching staff in their current places. The offensive staff continued to thrive last season when Payton suffered a broken leg and offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael took over play-calling duties. Steve Spagnuolo is the new defensive coordinator. 

Payton could find employment for this season with one of the NFL's broadcast partners. He has done television work for the networks during Super Bowl weeks. His college major was journalism.

"Our feeling about Sean is that he's bright, articulate and obviously contemporary," Lou D'Ermilio, Fox's senior vice president for communications," told Judy Battista of the New York Times. "Any network with NFL rights would have to consider it."

The league responded in a statement: "He is suspended from the NFL for the season. His involvement in any non-NFL employment or business matters is not our decision."

According to Batista, the other networks have apparently have considering hiring the Saints coach, and  they have decided against it. Representatives of CBS, ESPN and NBC said that Payton would not be hired.


The NFL has never suspended a head coach before and it stunned Payton and the Saints. He must stop working with the Saints on April 1.  A person briefed on the suspension and the the league's edict did not offer details, but broadly prohibited Payton from being involved in coach the team told Battista.

Could he buy a ticket to sit in the stands at a game? Probably. Could have have a three-hour phone conversation with Drew Brees to discuss the game plan? No.

The NFL has no realistic way of monitoring Payton's interaction with Brees or anyone else in the organization. But the implication is that is that if the NFL finds out that Payton has violated the suspension, he will be even in deer trouble.

The Saints have an urgent need to designate an interim coach. Either offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael, who called plays last season while Payton was recovering from knee surgery and a broken tibia, will probably be the guy. He was a candidate for several head coaching jobs last season.

The interim coach chosen by Loomis will spend intensive time with Payton and Loomis before April 1. Payton had a lot of say on the draft and personnel decisions, and Loomis must direct next month's draft without him.

Loomis and the i interim coach will meet with Payton to determine personnel moves, team priorities, running practices and offseason workouts while Payton is still available.

SAINTS SIGN LB LOFTON: Wanting defensive players who didn't play for them from 2009-11, signed free agent middle linebacker Curtis Lofton to a five-year deal on Saturday night. He was a second-round draft choice for the Falcons in 2008.

He was the highest rated free agent linebacker available. Financial terms of his contract were not disclosed.

"Curtis is a versatile, hard-working player that has displayed a knack for being around the football, and more importantly, making plays on the ball,( something the Saints have been missing)," GM Mickey Loomis said in a statement released  by the club. "He has the ability to play all three linebacker positions and we feel that he's just entering the prime of his career. We think he can come to New Orleans and fit in well and provide us with  a significant contribution to our defense."

Lofton is insurance for the Saints if Jon Vilma is suspended by the NFL. The Saints as of now, plan to keep Vilma.

Ex Saints tight end Jeremy Shockey is determined to do something about Warren Sapp's accusations that he was whistleblower in the Saints' bountygate.

"He's hell-bent on doing something," a source said of Shockey's intentions via Pro Fooball Shockey might be inclined to file a law suit against Sapp for simply attempting to ruin his reputation. But that could also hurt his chances of signing with a team for next season. He is a free agent and played at Carolina last season, but wants to move on...

SAINTS RESTRUCTURE TWO CONTRACTS: The Saints have quietly restructured the contacts of cornerback Patrick Robinson and wide receiver Lance Moore, freeing up a total of about $2.3 million.

In Moore's case, his $2 million base salary has been dropped to $825,000. Moore receives a $1.75 signing bonus to compensate. The signing bonus will be prorated instead of having it all count against the salary cap.

The Robinson restructure moved his cap figure from $2.9 million to $2.06 million.

And, the Saints brought in two linebackers who likely will be starters.

New Saints linebacker Chris Chamberlain's message to Saints fans: "I commend them for averting they've been through. The reputation they have created in New Orleans for guys like myself and throughout  the league to want to come here, they play a big role. They make a huge difference. I want to commend them for everything they've done and tell them to keep it up. I'll do my job. I'm looking forward to meeting them and giving them something to cheer about."


FINAL FOUR ODDS: Kentucky 8 1/2 over Louisville; Ohio State 2 1/2 over Kansas.


SOME hither, others yon: Nobody puts up lines quicker  than Bovada. Their revised Super Bowl odds: Packers 13/2, Patriots15/2, Saints 10/1, Texans and Broncos 12/1. The Broncos are up from 50/1 last month. The even have an over/under on Peyton Manning's 4.000-yards passing and 28.5 on TD tosses...New LSU quarterback Zach Mittenberger is earning praise from senior receiver Russell Shepard for his work this spring. Shepard's tweet made  the greenback feel good. After all, it can be very tough for a quarterback who has never started a major college game, to get praise from a senior...


Former Tulane quarterback (1976-79) Dr. Roch Hontas was impressed with the enthusiasm and buzz at Tulane’s spring game on campus Saturday. The scrimmage attracted 30 prep prospects.  “There are a lot more players  here than  in years past,” said Hontas. “You’re  not going  to get every one of them,  but if you get a good portion of them, you’re going to be OK.” New Tulane coach Curtis Johnson , who was Saints receivers coach before coming to Tulane, refused to comment on the Saints’ bounty program, but was excited about his Green  Wave team. Many former players told Johnson they were excited about the program’s enthusiasm. “It’s good to hear the feedback,” said Johnson. “I just know what we got and I’m pleased, but we have a long way to go”...


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Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography. | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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