Sean Peyton Suspension Upheld: Who Will be the Saints Next Coach?

on April 09 2012 4:35 PM
New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Peyton will miss the entire 2012-13 season due to a suspension.
New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Peyton will miss the entire 2012-13 season due to a suspension. REUTERS

Sean Peyton is officially persona non grata in the NFL for the 2012-2013 NFL season after commissioner Roger Goodell upheld the penalties he imposed upon Peyton and the Saints in the wake of the bounty scandal.

Somewhat paradoxically, Peyton was forced by NFL rules to appeal to the same man who suspended him. Unsurprisingly, Goodell did not reverse his stance from a few weeks ago when he suspended Peyton for the season.

This means that someone else will have to take the reins of the New Orleans Saints for the upcoming season. That man will take over a powerhouse of a team, one that has won at least 11 games in each of the last three seasons.

The Saints won a Super Bowl in 2009, and have won the NFC South twice in the past three seasons. They are still led by Drew Brees, a two-time NFL Offensive Player of the Year, but he is now 33 and the Saints chances at another championship dwindle each year that passes.

The Saints are officially in crunch time for their search. The team's offseason program begins on April 16, ten days before the draft. New Orleans will almost certainly have an interim head coach in place before then.

There has been a great deal of suggestion that Bill Parcells will be the next coach of the Saints, along with reports that he was asked by Peyton himself to take control. If Parcells decides not to take the job, the Saints will most likely go with an internal promotion.

Sources close to Parcells told ESPN's John Clayton that the former head coach and front office man has gone back and forth on the decision since being asked. A major factor in his decision is going to be the fact that he would be eligible for induction into the Hall of Fame this offseason. If he were to take the Saints job it would restart the clock requiring him to be retired for a further five years.

The most likely internal candidate is still offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr. who took over the Saints offense in 2009 after three years as the quarterbacks coach. Under his stewardship the Saints offense has been unstoppable, leading the league in yards per game in 2009 and 2011.

Carmichael was a candidate for a number of head coaching jobs this past offseason and actually interviewed with the Colts. He has said that he prefers to remain as an offensive coach with the Saints, but he could likely be enticed to at least take on the interim head coach title.

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