|Parcells (right) is staying retired, while Carmichael (left) could be interim to the interim! (Getty Images)|
The countdown to Sean Payton's suspension beginning is under a week, which means the Saints need to move fairly quickly in determining who their interim coach will be, provided they want Payton's input. It will not, however, be Bill Parcells, and the interim coach will come from within, CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman reports.
According to Freeman, Parcells is no longer a candidate for the Saints job. Freeman reports there were mutual concerns about Parcells joining the Saints. Parcells was concerned how taking over the Saints would affect his possible induction into the Hall of Fame. Saints owner Tom Benson, according to Freeman, was slightly nervous about hiring Parcells and thought the process of bringing someone like Parcells in from outside would be too messy.
Instead, the Saints will hire a new coach from within. Freeman hears that Joe Vitt is the leading candidate for the job, despite the fact that Vitt -- currently the Saints assistant head coach -- is suspended for the first six games of the season. Vitt's suspension does not begin until the preseason ends, so he would miss just the first six regular-season games. That makes it possible for him to run the team up until the season begins and then after his suspension is served.
Presumably, the logic here involves Pete Carmichael taking over as interim to the interim head coach for the first six games of the season and essentially letting Drew Brees run the offense through that time. When Vitt returns from suspension, Carmichael will return to his job as offensive coordinator and Vitt will take over as interim coach.
Steve Spagnuolo, who has head-coaching experience, is also on staff.
Regardless of how the Saints determine who will run the team on a day-to-day basis, though, it's clear that it won't involve Parcells, and that a hire will come from within.