NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will not stand in the way if the New Orleans Saints want to hire Bill Parcells to be the interim head coach while Sean Payton serves his one-year suspension for his role in the team's illegal "bounty" program, the Associated Press reports.
"Bill's a great coach, and I'm sure (he) will add a lot of personality and intrigue. And he's as competitive as they get so I'm sure he'll do a good job.
"At the end of the day, these are management decisions that (Saints owner) Tom Benson will have to sign off on," Goodell said at the launch of a pop-up store for NFL apparel in New York City. "He (Benson) will get recommendations from Sean, (Saints general manager) Mickey (Loomis) and others and make his determination. If it ends up being Parcells and they have gone through the full process, it is their decision. They need to make those decisions and we'll move forward."
The full process that Goodell is referring to is compliance with the Rooney Rule, which requires NFL teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching and certain front office positions. Because the Saints would be going outside the organization to make an interim hire, they would have to follow that rule, a point Goodell made clear at last week's league meetings in Palm Beach, Fla.
Payton, along with Loomis and assistant head coach/linebackers Joe Vitt, is appealing his suspension. A report over the weekend had the appeal hearing scheduled for Tuesday, but Goodell said an exact date and time was not yet scheduled but believed it would take place later this week.