Parcells out of picture to coach Saints in 2012? Yeah, right

Bill Parcells has said one thing and then wound up doing another in the past. (Getty Images)
The day the reports broke that Bill Parcells could potentially replace the suspended Sean Payton, I was in Palm Beach at the NFL owners meetings. At the time I interviewed 10 former employees of Parcells who know him as well as somebody could, given the fact Parcells is a very private person. Nine believed he would take the Saints job and one felt he might not for health reasons. All 10 believed he wouldn't come cheap and he probably wasn't in any rush to get things done.

Bill Parcells knows what he's doing when it comes to setting up his next situation. I was working in the front office for the Jets when we were trying to pry him away from the Patriots. I remember our team president describing Parcells as mercurial. Webster's dictionary defines mercurial as someone characterized by rapid and unpredictable changeableness of mood. That's Parcells to a tee.

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Back then, his whole Patriots staff had their contracts expire in New England and were all in place at the Jets before he ever arrived. If you remember, we had named Bill Belichick the coach before Parcells ever got there. In fact, Belichick took up residence in the corner office and was truly the head coach. Not for one second did I believe Parcells wasn't on his way to New York. The Tuna didn't miss a trick about how the scenario would go down.

When he went to Miami as the GM, he had a clause in his contract that if Wayne Huizinga ever sold the club, Bill would be free to walk with his whole contract guaranteed. The club was sold as he suspected, and as we all know, Bill walked. In my opinion, despite Tuesday's reports he was no longer a candidate, he's still the odds-on favorite to take over the Saints for the 2012 season. He's just getting his ducks in order. He has a plan ... he always has a plan.

I had a good discussion about Bill Parcells potentially joining the Saints with Phil Simms last week. He believes he should take the job and probably is even excited about doing it. As Phil pointed out, Bill Parcells knows exactly how to put out the fire of expectations. He simply says he's not going to do it, and the story goes on the shelf for the time being. Joe Vitt the interim head coach and suspended for the first six games? I don't think so. That's more farfetched than Bill Belichick sitting in the corner office being the head coach at the Jets.

The Saints need a veteran head coach to stabilize the ship for a number of reasons: 1. Let the coaches coach the team. 2. Let the 80 (or 90) players see a leadership figure in front of the room. 3. Get a competitive edge on game day with clock management; decisions to go for it or punt or kick a field goal; protect a lead; or when to go two-minute. 4. Deal with the league office on any potential issues that will come up while Mickey Loomis is gone for the first eight weeks of the season. 5. Eliminate the reason to hire more staff while Sean Payton and Joe Vitt are gone. 6. Possibly get Drew Brees back in the building in time for most of the offseason program or at least get the Saints to get a deal done. Parcells is worth what he's asking for in maybe the most unique NFL coaching situation ever.

The Saints could have begged Bill Cowher to take this team. They could have brought in Dennis Green, Marty Schottenheimer or even Marv Levy, but they want Bill Parcells. He gives this team the best chance to win the Super Bowl in 2012. This is not a lost season for New Orleans. All they need is to give the Tuna what he wants and let him show up when he wants and the Saints will come marching in to the 2012 season. The fans deserve the best the New Orleans Saints can put on the field, and right now, that includes the Big Tuna walking out on to the field dressed in black Week 1.

Pat Kirwan has been around the league since 1972, serving in a variety of roles. He was a scout for the Cardinals and Buccaneers, a coach for the Jets as well as the team's Director of Player Administration where he negotiated contracts and managed the team's salary cap. He is the author of Take Your Eye Off the Ball: How to Watch Football by Knowing Where to Look, and the host of Sirius NFL Radio's Moving the Chains.
 
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