New Orleans Saints  

 

Saints' Payton says he will discuss interim job with Parcells

PALM BEACH, Fla. -- New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton said Tuesday that he will speak to Bill Parcells in the next few days about possibly filling in for him as head coach while he serves a one-year suspension and that he is considering appealing the severe discipline for his role in the bounty scandal that has embroiled the franchise.

Photo gallery: Bill Parcells through the years

In a nearly 18-minute question-and-answer session with the media in the hotel lobby where the NFL Annual Meeting is being held, Payton spoke in conciliatory terms and took accountability for his actions and for others in the organization.

Payton said a meeting with Parcells, his mentor, is one of the many options that he is going through on a checklist of measures that need to be resolved before his suspension kicks in April 1.

"No. 1, I kind of speak with him pretty regularly," Payton said. "I'll have a chance to visit with him when I get down here. ... My conversations with Bill to date have just been about the uniqueness of the situation.

" ... He's a great teacher, certainly I'm biased having worked with him," Payton added. "He's a Hall of Fame head coach. I would say there are probably some things set up in the framework of our program that would be exactly how he would have set things up had he been the head coach here in '06, so there is some carryover that way."

Payton said he will decide in the next "two or three" days whether or not he will appeal the suspension. He has until April 2. Though he said he still is working through his plans, it sounded like he would file an appeal, if for no other reason than to buy time to continue tying up loose ends. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Monday he probably would allow Payton to continue working during an appeal. Goodell said he would expedite his ruling, however, the possibility of having more time could allow him to help that staff prepare for the April 26-28 draft.

He touched on several topics. Asked if he may work in broadcasting this season, Payton said anyone in his position would keep their options open. Asked about Gregg Williams, the former Saints defensive coordinator who ran the program and has been suspended indefinitely, Payton said he has not had contact with him about the penalties. Asked if bounties were what he envisioned when he asked Williams to build a defense, he replied, "No, obviously not."

It remains unclear how much contact Payton will be able to have with the Saints during his suspension.

"I think it's easier with a player because it exists, in other words, that protocol exists," Payton said. "But this is different. So what specifically are the guidelines, and then let's make sure we follow them. I think that process will take place and we'll continue to communicate and really acquiesce to the league in regards to, `Hey, how do you see these specific things being followed?'"

Payton added that he, general manager Mickey Loomis -- who is facing an eight-game suspension -- and team owner Tom Benson are continuing to weigh a number of scenarios.

"We've gone through just an early, between Mickey, myself, Mr. Benson, just an early synopsis of what our options would be," Payton said. "We'll continue to do that when we get back to Metairie. Even this morning some, we're going to have some breakfast and discuss that matter. Fortunately, we feel like we've got a number of good candidates. The trick then is what it does to affect their roles that they currently have."

One role Payton said he is certain about: He's "100 percent" confident he will coach the Saints in 2013.

Payton also said that he answered questions honestly when he met with Goodell in New York twice. After administering discipline last Wednesday, Goodell cited repeated deception by the Saints during a lengthy investigation into suspected bounties dating back to 2010. Payton said he didn't believe he was singled out for lying in the reports.

"I think the commissioner has done a great job communicating with us throughout this process," Payton said. "I think that being in a leadership role myself as a head coach, I certainly understand the position. I think he's made it clear and for good reason. ... the idea of something with this magnitude is an important issue that he wanted to address."

No one was singled out for lying in the summaries that have been made public.

Follow Steve Wyche on Twitter @wyche89.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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