Darlington: Opportunity knocks
Parcells, who has two Super Bowl victories under his belt, told USA Today on Wednesday that he feels "an obligation, a responsibility to help" Payton, his friend and former colleague. But Parcells also has indicated that he and the team are just having preliminary discussions at this point.
A source who was familiar with the trip seemed to corroborate Parcells' account, telling The Times-Picayune that Tuesday "was really more about golf than coaching. Nothing final was even mentioned."
The NFL suspended Payton for the 2012 season because of the "bounty" program the team implemented under former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams' direction.
It has been speculated that Parcells could fill in for Payton as an interim coach. Parcells' friend, NFL.com's Gil Brandt, said eligibility for induction into the Hall of Fame -- which would be delayed by an additional five years if Parcells were to return for the 2012 season -- would have an impact on his decision. Parcells, however, told Newsday on Wednesday that worries about the Hall are "not even a factor right now."