The Saints are preparing for life without Sean Payton as he will begin serving a year suspension, handed down by the NFL for his failure to stop Gregg Williams “bounty” system, starting this Sunday April 1st.
Payton has accepted full responsibility as leader of the Saints, and in turn Commissioner Roger Goodell made him pay for the indiscretion.
Now the Saints must name an interim head coach — and while several internal candidates have emerged — Bill Parcells is said to be the favorite to fill in for Payton this season.
Parcells, Payton, and Saints general manager Mickey Loomis spent time together in Florida this week, seemingly to kick the tires on the “Big Tuna” desires to come out of retirement to help out Payton.
That same day Parcells all but said that he would take the job out of sheer respect for he and Payton’s close relationship, and that all Payton needed to do was ask.”
So barring any sort of freak fall-out between Parcells and the Saints, it seems highly likely he will run the show as the Saints attempt to survive the loss of Sean Payton.
But Parcells joining the Saints raises an interesting questions, just how much can Payton communicate with his friend over the course of the regular season?
With news breaking today that Payton will indeed file an appeal to “fight” the suspension, the action on Sean’s behalf is likely more to flesh out his boundaries than actually attempting a reduction of the suspension.
The appeal will be heard by Roger Goodell, the very same man who frowned heavily on Payton’s perceived cover-up of the bounty program, and also his lack of effort in stopping it altogether.
More than anything Payton wants to know what he can and cannot do. Can he contact assistant head coaches? Could he make contact with the interim head coach? Can he be involved in any planning?
All things he would like an answer, hence the appeal.
Fans of the Saints would be wise to let go of any hope that Payton’s suspension will be reduced, it won’t happen, but what will happen is he will get the clarification he desires.
Best case scenario — he will be allowed to maintain communications with the team in a limited capacity — likely nothing more.