When I first heard that the rumors regarding Bill Parcells becoming interim head coach of the Saints during Sean Payton's season-long suspension were actually valid, my first thought was, "how well would Drew Brees and Parcells work together?"
With Payton serving as Drew Brees' mentor and Parcells fulfilling the same role to Payton, it makes Parcells a symbolic grandfather/mentor to Brees. Yet, I just can't see Parcells and Brees on the sideline discussing play calling strategy during a time out. It just doesn't seem like a natural fit to me. Yet, considering how great the relationship has been between Brees and Payton, it's hard to envison any other head coach that can match that same type of connection with Brees, even offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael, Jr.
The vast contrast in playing styles between Parcells' teams and the Saints is another reason why Parcells and Brees do not seem like a natural fit. During his tenure with the New York Giants, New England Patriots, New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys, Parcells team strengths have always been a crushing defense and a bruising rushing attack, whereas the Saints have been mainly a finesse team under Payton with a Drew Brees led aerial assault employed as their primary calling card to victory. However, taking a step back in time, strong comparisons can be made between Parcells-coached teams and the Saints under Jim Mora. I would even describe the Dome Patrol and the Saints teams of the late eighties and early nineties as a poor man's version of Parcells' two-time Super Bowl champion Giants.
Bill Parcells has had an incredible NFL career and boasts a larger than life personality that has the potential to become a big hit with the outlandish collective personality of Who Dat Nation. As successful as Parcells has been, however, he still falls behind former NFC coaching rivals Bill Walsh and Joe Gibbs in Super Bowl rings, in addition to his own former protege, Bill Belichick.
The main reason Parcells has not been able to match or surpass Walsh, Gibbs and Bellichick has been the lack of a top caliber quarterback. Parcells, with his old school approach, has developed a reputation as a turnaround specialist, becoming the only coach in NFL history to take four different teams to the playoffs, each of whom struggled before his arrival. However, the Achilles heel of Parcells teams following his departure from the Giants has been the absence of a top notch quarterback, and is the key factor why the Patriots, Jets and Cowboys were unable to parlay their turnaround success into a Super Bowl victory as well.
Should Parcells come to New Orleans, Drew Brees would be, by far, the best quarterback he has ever coached. Even much better than former Giants quarterback and current NFL color commentator Phil Simms, who won two Super Bowl rings under Parcells (yes, I realize it was actually Jeff Hostetler who filled in for an injured Simms during the Giants 1991 Super Bowl championship). Teams often adopt a style of play, however, that is reflective of their coach's personality, and the rugged, blue collar style of Parcells coached teams have always been a dead on match with his no nonsense exterior demeanor.
The Saints defense could definitely use a kick in the butt, and I can't think of a better person to do it than Bill Parcells. If the Big Tuna landed on Poydras St. there would be a strong chance that the defense would become more physical and less finesse, even with Bountygate suspensions lingering. My concern is whether or not the offense would also become less like Sean Payton and more like Parcells, thus loosing a good bit of its potency and creativity, and resulting in more 20-17 final scores.
What type of impact would Parcells have on the face of the franchise, Drew Brees? You tell me.