ESPN is reporting that the suspended Sean Payton has approached his mentor Bill Parcells about coaching the Saints this season.
Payton was suspended last week for the entire season in response to the discovery of his team's defense placing bounties on opposing players to knock them out of games.
The AP is reporting that while Payton has spoken to Parcells, it hasn't been directly about taking over the head coaching role with the Saints. Parcells said the conversations have been about how to handle having to sit out the season.
The program was apparently run by defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who is suspended indefinitely. He was reportedly going to join the Rams as their new defensive coordinator.
Parcells, who last coached in 2006 for the Cowboys, was a mentor to Payton. He worked for Parcells as his assistant head coach for two seasons in Dallas before taking the head coaching job with New Orleans. Parcells was the head coach of the Giants, Patriots and Jets as well. He won two Super Bowls with the Giants and has a career record of 172-130-1 in 19 seasons.
Parcells is 70 years old and would be 71 when the season started, but the position would only be for the current season, before Payton took back over after the suspension ends April 1, 2013.