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After being suspended for the entire 2012 season for taking part in the New Orleans Saints bounty program, head coach Sean Payton has spoken to Bill Parcells about possibly taking his spot.Parcells sounds like he’s strongly considering it, if Payton formally asks him to take over and upper management approves the move.
He wouldn’t be the first legendary coach to come back from retirement, but few who have come back had the kind of opportunity Parcells is being presented with.
The Saints are just two years removed from a Super Bowl championship and feature one of the most prolific offenses in league history.
As Parcells has hinted, the decision seems fairly easy to make if he’s offered the position.
Mike Ditka had a great run as head coach of the Chicago Bears during the 1980s, winning the Super Bowl with his famous defence in 1985
Ditka retired in 1992 until he came back in 1997 trying to breathe life into the downtrodden New Orleans Saints.
His Saints tenure was mostly known for giving up a slew of draft picks to take Ricky Williams in the 1999 draft.
Ditka was gone after three awful years.
The Philadelphia Eagles went to four straight postseasons under Dick Vermeil in the late 70s and early 80s, winning the NFC title in 1980
He retired in 1982 and stayed out of football until 1997 when he accepted the St. Louis Rams offer to be their coach.
Two terrible seasons followed, but Vermeil was still in St. Louis in 1999 when the Rams and unlikely hero Kurt Warner made one of the most improbable Super Bowl championship runs in NFL history.
Hall of Fame basketball coach Hubie Brown enjoyed 12 years of success as both an ABA and NBA coach until he retired in 1987
Brown went on to become one of the most liked basketball analysts on television before the Memphis Grizzlies came calling in 2002.
He led the Grizz to a playoff run in 2004, maximizing the talents of a young Pau Gasol and Bonzi Wells.
Bill Parcells has already been here before. He took over the Cowboys in 2003 after retiring as Jets head coach in 1999
Parcells took the Cowboys to the playoffs twice during his four-year stint in Dallas.
The Cowboys never won a playoff game, though.
Redskins owner Dan Snyder thought he could revive the franchise by bringing the old coach back in 2004.
In four seasons, Gibbs took the Redskins to the playoffs twice, winning one postseason game.
Phil Jackson appeared to be done after the Los Angeles Lakers' 2004 NBA Finals loss to the Detroit Pistons
A bunch of hard feelings between Jackson, Lakers management, Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant led to the split.
But Kobe swallowed his pride and asked Jackson to come back in 2005. Together they went to three consecutive NBA Finals between 2007 and 2010, winning the last two.
Pat Riley looked comfortable as a Miami Heat executive, but he thought he could do a better job as coach so he got rid of Stan Van Gundy and took over in the middle of the 2005 season
And Riley was right.
As he orchestrated a championship season out of the Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade-led Heat.
As manager of the Toronto Blue Jays for 10 seasons Cito Gaston won two World Series championships in 1992 and 1993
Gaston retired in 1997 after a few disappointing years, only to come back in 2008.
He thought it would be on an interim basis, but after going 51-37 to finish the year the Blue Jays asked Gaston to stay.
Gaston stuck around for two more years, but wasn't able to make the playoffs.
Long time baseball manager and coach Jack McKeon was 79-years-old when he was asked to return as manager of the Florida Marlins in 2011
McKeon took the Marlins to a World Series title the first time he stepped in mid-season in 2003.
He didn't have the same luck in 2011, as Florida finished in last place in the National League East.
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