According to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, Parcells has turned down the chance to take over for the suspended Sean Payton and lead the Saints in 2012. The two-time Super Bowl winner could have come in and taken command of a squad that was one of the NFL's best last season, but he chose not to. That should tell you all you need to know about what's going on with the Saints right now.
New Orleans is currently an organization in flux. In the wake of the bounty scandal, the team will be missing its head coach and leader (Payton) for a year, assistant head coach Joe Vitt for six games and general manager Mickey Loomis for eight. Suspensions of players are almost surely coming as well.
Parcells could have jumped in and tried to provide some stability to the franchise, but I just think it would be too much trouble for the 70-year-old coach to deal with. While I believe that Parcells was an excellent coach during his long career, during his last stop with the Dallas Cowboys, he had trouble reaching his players.
That three-year stretch in Dallas probably soured him on coaching in the modern NFL. He took over a team that was a mess then too, and the results were average at best.
Payton served as Parcells' assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach in Dallas before taking over as the head coach of the Saints in 2006. Payton sees Parcells as a mentor, and the two men are close. I believe if the teacher thought he could have stepped in and helped his student he probably would have. I think Parcells knew that even he couldn't fix all the problems with the Crescent City's football team.
I don't believe Parcells could have done anything to make this situation better. The Saints should just elevate someone from within the organization who can help the team tread water until Payton returns. I'm not saying they should completely write off the 2012 season, but with so much negativity surrounding the franchise, I just can't see New Orleans making a Super Bowl run next season.
Parcells made the right decision by passing on the chance to get mixed up in the Saints' mess.