Payton '100 percent' certain he will coach Saints in 2013, but Parcells remains an option for this season
A contrite Sean Payton said he is '100 percent,' certain he will coach the Saints in 2013 but that the team is considering a number of options about who will replace him during the year-long suspension.
Chief among the candidates is Bill Parcells, the Giants's two-time Super Bowl coach and Payton's mentor. In fact, Payton said he planned to meet with Parcells later Tuesday.
Payton was suspended a year and general manager Mickey Loomis eight games for their role in the Saints bounties program that operated for three years under their watch.
“We’ve gone through just an early, between Mickey, myself, Mr. (Tom) 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.”
Parcells, the two-time Super Bowl coach with the New York Giants, hired Payton as an offensive assistant with the Dallas Cowboys in 2003.
“You’re asking me what are his great strengths?” Payton said. “And I would say to you he’s a great teacher. Certainly I’m biased, having worked with him. But he’s a Hall of Fame head coach. And I would also say there’s some things probably set up in the framework of our program that would be exactly how he would have set those things up had he been the head coach here in ‘06. So there’s some carry-over that way.”
The Saints could also decide to replace Payton on an interim basis with offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael, defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo or offensive line coach Aaron Kromer.
Payton, who has twice apologized and taken responsibility for the Saints bounty program, spoke for about 17 minutes Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings in Palm Beach. He talked about his disappointment of having to miss a football season for the first time since he began playing the sport 39 years ago.
“You go through a range of emotions that kind of hit you,” Payton said. “You’re disappointed. You’re disappointed in yourself that it got to this point. I think we’re trained as coaches to begin preparation right away. I find myself reflecting on it, and you go through a lot of emotions.”
Payton said a decision on whether to appeal the suspension will be reached in two or three days.