Opinion: Bill Parcells a Longshot to Coach Saints

By now we've all heard the news that soon-to-be-suspended Saints coach Sean Payton is seriously interested in having Bill Parcells step up as interim head coach of the team during Payton's year long absence, and has already approached his former mentor about that possibility. In fact, the two have spoken nine times over the past few days but have plans for a serious sit down this week during the NFL owners meeting. Meanwhile, Saints fans across the globe are sharing their own opinion about the possibility of Parcells coming to New Orleans for the year.

But nobody seems to be considering the most important opinion of them all: that of Bill Parcells. Who said he wants the job and what's really in it for him? The truth is, it's hard to find many reasons in favor of such a move.

Consider first the fact that Parcells would be 71 years old at the start of the 2012 NFL season. He's no spring chicken by any means. Does he really have the energy to run a professional football team for an entire season?

There's also the crucial sticking point of Tuna's Pro Football Hall of Fame induction. Though he narrowly missed the cut this past year, he's most likely going to get in with next years class. But if he takes this job with the Saints, the clock resets and Parcells is moved to the back of the line of a five-year waiting period, meaning he'd be 76 years old by the time he'd be eligible again.

Besides, what does Bill really stand to gain from taking this job? His football legacy is obviously already cemented. He doesn't need this. Anything short of a deep playoff run for the Saints in 2012 would do nothing to further that legacy and a poor showing could actually hurt it, or at least be an embarrassment. If you boil it down, it's basically Super Bowl or bust.

Not that there aren't reasons to the contrary. Parcells has an affinity for Payton, might be bored in retirement and wouldn't need to deal with building a team from the ground up. But to temporarily take over a team currently in turmoil just for the chance to win another championship, albeit a reasonable possibility, is certainly a risk, to say the least.

Time will tell, of course, how the Saints will handle the loss of Sean Payton as head coach this year and who will be tapped to replace him. Bringing in Bill Parcells might be the desired move for the organization and for Payton. It's not, however, necessarily the wisest career move for the coaching legend.

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