It's looking more and more as though the Saints will fill their interim head coaching job from within -- and not with a big-name coach like Bill Parcells.
The Saints are operating under the impression that Parcells will stay retired and not be a candidate to replace Sean Payton, whose season-long suspension related to the bounty scandal that is roiling the Saints will begin next Monday.
Parcells could not be reached to confirm this story, but a source close to the team confirmed that Parcells is almost certain to stay retired. Of course, with the 70-year-old Parcells, you can never say never, but it's highly unlikely you'll see him on the sidelines this fall.
It was also confirmed this morning that Tony Dungy, the other retired Super Bowl coach who made sense as a Saints candidate, has not been contacted by the Saints, and would not be interested in the job if the Saints did reach out. Dungy is happily employed as an NBC "Football Night in America'' analyst, and he also wants to spend the fall watching son Eric play football. Eric Dungy is a wide receiver at Oregon, and the Dungy family attends several games on the West Coast each season.
It's not known whether the Saints ever seriously considered Dungy, but he would have filled two requirements if they went outside the coaching staff to name a coach for 2012. He would be a great candidate in the first place, and he would also fulfill the NFL's Rooney Rule, which says that when a team names a coach, it must interview at least one minority candidate for the job. Dungy is African-American.
If a team names an interim from within the staff, it does not have to interview a minority candidate.
The three prime candidates from within the Saints staff are defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael and offensive line/running game coach Aaron Kromer. Spagnuolo is the only one of the three who has been a head coach before, going 10-38 in the last three seasons as coach of the Rams.
The decision on the Saints new coach will be made by owner Tom Benson and GM Mickey Loomis.
Now onto your email, which is filled with the Gregg Williams/Sean Pamphilon/Steve Gleason story:
Thanks, Jon. Your sentiment mirrors many of my readers' views. This is a tough subject, obviously. But what Williams said was not a crime. In the eyes of the NFL, it's way over the line, and reasonable cause for him to be banned from coaching for a year. But I don't see his words as criminal.
Again: This mirrors what many readers have said to me in the last 24 hours. One question: Who invents this so-called "moral authority?'' You may think it's more morally important to release the audio than it is to comply with the wishes of a close friend, without whose invitation you wouldn't have been in the room to hear what Pamphilon heard. I don't.
If I could prove it, using a tip from the off-the-record conversation, yes. With only the off-the-record conversation as proof, no.
I understand. And I agree that the Williams speech is powerful confirmation that something bad was going on in New Orleans. But it all comes down to this: Pamphilon was in the room as Gleason's guest, would never been in the room without being with Gleason. Gleason said he didn't want Pamphilon to use the tape, he used it, and really, other than affecting public opinion, how much did it change the case or the discipline associated with the case? It didn't.
Gleason is not asking to be the poster boy of a safer NFL. He doesn't have a responsibility to make the speech public. And as for what he has "been touting,'' as you say, all he has been pushing is for ALS patients to live fuller, more active lives. I think everyone gets in trouble here when they start to talk about what Gleason has done, is doing or should do. All he wants to do with his time left on earth is work for ALS patients around the world, and leave his family a positive legacy.
One thing I will say about Pamphilon is that I truly believe he did this because he did what he thought was right -- not to say, "Hey, look at me!'' What's right is something difficult to comprehend for different people. I believe Pamphilon has a good heart. I just disagree with how he handled this thing.
GREGG WILLIAMS' ROLE.
Michael Vick did. Or at least it appears he did. Why can't Williams?
I TOOK A CHEAP SHOT AT PETRINO.
I can't believe someone actually wrote in to defend Bobby Petrino. What a world we live in. Okay. Coaches in all sports get fired all the time -- and get paid for the remainder of their contracts. That's the case with the coaches you mentioned. Resigning with games left in the season (unless the "resignation'' is forced, which Petrino's was not) to take another job is an act of betrayal. If you don't think it's an example of poor moral fiber, I'd suggest reading another football writer. You're not winning with me on that one.