Sean Payton's one-year suspension is set to begin Sunday (he has until Monday to appeal). In the hours remaining, the Saints head coach and his staff are working against the clock to formulate contingency plans, with a focus on next month's draft.
General manager Mickey Loomis will begin his eight-week suspension with Week 1 of next season, but Payton is running out of time. The Saints have yet appeal to appeal their head coach's suspension for his role in team's bounty program, but even if an appeal goes forward, commissioner Roger Goodell suggested deliberations would take days, not months.
The Times-Picayune reported that Payton and Loomis are engaged in "routine" business, but finding an interim coach is anything but routine. Bill Parcells hovers in the distance as a likely candidate, and tales of the legendary coach have filtered through the Saints' locker room for years, only fueling perceptions of a comfortable fit between Parcells and this team set adrift.
"I heard a lot about (Parcells) since Payton got there," running back Pierre Thomas told the newspaper. "Since I got with the Saints, (Payton) talks a whole lot about him. He sounds like a great guy, somebody Payton learned from, and I don't think a whole lot would change if he comes."
Right there, friends, is your selling point for a Parcells hire. Both coaches speak the same language and view the NFL landscape through a shared lens. Under the most unusual of circumstances, players will find themselves in a familiar world. Bill's the man Payton trusts to step in -- and step right back out.