PALM BEACH, FLA. - The Big Tuna to the Big Easy?
New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton is considering hiring Bill Parcells as his temporary replacement, according to reports Monday.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell last week suspended Payton for one year for allowing a bounty program on the Saints for injuring other teams' players.
Payton has consulted his former mentor, Parcells, also known as the Big Tuna, about various replacement candidates -- and several times the two have discussed Parcells himself potentially doing the job, ESPN reported.
FoxSports.com later reported that Parcells and Payton were expected to meet this week to discuss the possibility.
The NFL Network, however, cited a league source who said Parcells was unlikely to be hired.
Parcells said Monday he had not been offered him the interim job.
Parcells, 70, has been head coach of all the other NFL teams whose city name begins with "New" -- the New York Giants (1983-90), New England Patriots (1993-96) and New York Jets (1997-99).
His last head-coaching job was with the not-new Dallas Cowboys (2003-06). From 2008 to 2010 he was executive vice-president of football operations of the not-new Miami Dolphins.
It was in Dallas that Payton, 48, served under Parcells as quarterbacks coach from 2003 to 2005, before the Saints hired him.
New Saints defensive co-ordinator Steve Spagnuolo is considered perhaps the likeliest other option to become head man.
Payton's suspension is to begin Sunday, so he must decide this week.
If the Saints decide to pursue a replacement not already on their coaching staff, they will have to abide by the Rooney Rule and interview at least one minority candidate.
At his Monday evening news conference at the NFL's annual meeting, Goodell said it was up to the Saints to determine who becomes interim head coach, even if it is Payton himself who makes that choice.