Bill Parcells is quite content while watching baseball games, golfing, and racing horses, and he won’t be replacing Sean Payton as the Saints’ interim head coach for 2012.
NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora reports that Parcells has informed New Orleans of his desire to remain retired. Since coach hiring season has long come and gone, the Saints will now be forced to look within the organization for a temporary replacement.
One of the leading candidates is offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr., who took over the play-calling duties from Payton late this past season when the head coach suffered a leg injury during a sideline collision. Carmichael has been on the Saints’ coaching staff since 2006, when he started as the quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator before being promoted to his current role in 2009.
Steve Spagnuolo is another clear candidate after he was brought in to replace Gregg Williams as the team’s new defensive coordinator. But it would make sense to have an offensive-minded coach lead a team that wins games with its ability to explode offensively. That would also allow Spagnuolo, an elite defensive mind, to concentrate solely on the task he was assigned upon his arrival in New Orleans: to improve a defensive unit that subtracted from the Saints’ offensive accomplishments, and allowed an average of 368.4 yards per game (24th).
However, a head coaching experience that ended in failure is still head coaching experience, and that’s an advantage Spags has on his résumé. Spagnuolo spent three years as the head coach in St. Louis and finished with a record of 10-38, while Carmichael hasn’t been a head coach at any level of football.
Direction will be the primary motivator, and if a lack of experience is the Saints’ main concern during a turbulent time for the franchise, then Spagnuolo will get the temporary promotion. But if defense is still the main worry (as it should be), then it’ll be either Carmichael, or one of the offensive position coaches, like O-line coach Aaron Kromer.