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Brandt: HOF will weigh heavily in Parcells' decision

There is a healthy debate in NFL circles about whether hiring Bill Parcells as interim head coach in New Orleans would be a good idea or not. Even if the Saints wanted him, does Parcells truly want to return to the grind of coaching for another season?

One of Parcells' closest friends,'s Gil Brandt, believes Parcells would be up for the challenge. But Parcells' desire to enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame might get in the way.

"If the five-year rule persists, I think he'll stay on the golf course," Brandt told Around The League in a phone interview Wednesday.

The Hall of Fame confirmed earlier this week that Parcells would re-start his Canton clock if he returned to the sideline. Parcells turns 71 years old later this year and would have to wait at least another five years for possible induction. Brandt wondered if the Hall of Fame would consider making an exception for a unique case like this for an interim head coach.

"I speak to Bill frequently," Brandt said. "Going into the Hall of Fame is extremely important to him –- like it is for everyone being considered."

If it wasn't for the Hall of Fame issue, Brandt believes Parcells would be on board. He says Parcells wants to compete and show he still can coach.

"I think Bill would like the challenge of what would be a very, very difficult situation," Brandt said. "But he would have to balance that with the Hall of Fame rule if it exists as it is."

It's hard to imagine the Hall of Fame making an exception for Parcells, who narrowly missed being selected in Februrary. (He survived the cut from 15 to 10, but not the final cut.)

We don't fault Parcells for wanting to make it to Canton while he still can enjoy the moment as much as possible. Perhaps it's for the best. It would make a lot more sense for the Saints to hire Parcells as a consultant while letting a younger coach run the team.

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