Bill Parcells met with Saints

Updated: March 28, 2012, 9:44 AM ET
By John Clayton | ESPN.com

PALM BEACH, Fla. -- New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton, holding his first interview since being suspended for the 2012 season for his team's involvement in a bounty system, said he will decide in two or three days whether or not to appeal and plans to name an interim coach by the end of the month.

Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis met with retired coach Bill Parcells on Tuesday before Payton flew back to New Orleans to finish planning for the 2012 season.

"We played golf," Parcells told the New York Daily News of the trio's Tuesday meeting. "We really didn't talk about the job. They told me they would be in touch."

Parcells, sources have told ESPN's Chris Mortensen, has discussed possibly coaching the Saints for the coming season.

"I kinda speak with him [Parcells] pretty regularly," Payton said. "My conversations with him to date have just been about the uniqueness with the situation."

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

Payton, whose suspension begins Sunday, described a long checklist of decisions that needed to be made by the end of this week. Commissioner Roger Goodell said Payton has until Monday to appeal and, if he does, he could stay on as coach pending an expedited hearing.

"I'm appreciative of the opportunity to appeal," Payton said. "I don't know if there would be a benefit."

A source in the league office told ESPN's Rachel Nichols that if Payton appeals, the hearing and ruling would come in "days, not weeks," and that any notion that Payton could extend his working status through the draft in late April is inaccurate.

Payton said another advantage to an appeal is that it would give him the opportunity for another face-to-face meeting with Goodell, in order to clarify the terms of his suspension. Goodell said Monday that while Payton definitely cannot "coach from home," he would not necessarily be banned from all contact with the team.

Payton arrived at the NFL owners meetings Monday and planned to stay one day before flying back to New Orleans.

"I'm one of those checklist guys and so I've got a lot of to-do things right now specific to football," Payton said. "It starts with leadership and starts with the staff. It gets into the draft. It gets into our players. The offseason calendar and everything has been basically planned up until the Hall of Fame game [in August]. Between now and then, there is a lot of little things that I will try to make sure we have covered."

Though he hasn't decided whether to appeal, Payton spoke with respect about how Goodell has handled the matter to date.

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

Payton He's a Hall of Fame head coach. I would also say that there are 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 back in 2006. So I would say there would be some carryover there.

-- Sean Payton, on Bill Parcells

The NFL informed the Saints after the 2009 season, according to Payton, about its awareness of a pay-for-hits bounty system and that it needed to stop. At one point of the 17-minute, 39-second interview, Payton was asked how the situation got to the point in which he ended up suspended, the Saints would lose two second-round draft choices and two of his assistants also would be suspended.

"Listen, there is a number of things just specifically in the report -- some of which I can't comment on," Payton said. "But I made this statement earlier, as the head coach, anything that happens in the framework of your team and your program you are responsible for. That's a lesson I've learned. It's easy to get carried away in regards to a certain side of the ball when we're involved offensively or defensively. That's something that I regret."

Payton has several options in finding a temporary replacement. He could reach into his staff and promote offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr., offensive line coach Aaron Kromer, defensive head coach Joe Vitt or defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. Carmichael, according to a source, would prefer to just call plays, and Vitt is suspended for six games. If Spagnuolo is promoted, Payton might have to find a new defensive coordinator.

"We feel like we've got a number of good candidates," Payton said. "The trick is then what it does to affect their roles as they currently are."

Payton said he is considering all options, including Parcells.

"You're asking me what are his great strengths, and I would say to you, he's a great teacher," he said. "Certainly, I'm biased having worked with him. He's a Hall of Fame head coach. I would also say that there are 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 back in 2006. So I would say there would be some carryover there."

Parcells on Tuesday told ESPN: "Sean has been a friend of mine for many years. He sought my counsel after the suspension and we must have talked eight or nine times. We did talk about his coaching staff. That's a natural thing to discuss in this situation. We'll talk a little more today."

One league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter on Monday night that he would be "shocked" if Parcells took the Saints job, largely because he likely would have to wait five more years to be eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame if he returned to coaching.

When asked his reaction and emotions about the penalties, Payton didn't hold back.

"You go back to a range of emotions that hit you," he 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. You go through a lot of emotions."

Information from ESPN reporter Rachel Nichols, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter and The Associated Press was used in this report.

John Clayton

NFL senior writer

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