Bill Parcells staying retired

Bill Parcells said Wednesday that he talked to Sean Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis about the New Orleans Saints' interim opening for 2012, but he's enjoying his life away from the sidelines and "it's time" to stay retired.

"I've been out quite a while now. I have another life. I'm very happy with that," Parcells told ESPN's Mike Tirico on "SportsCenter."

Parcells, a Hall of Fame finalist who turns 71 in August, has not coached since 2006. He will remain an ESPN analyst.

The former New York Giants, New England Patriots, New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys coach said he talked to Payton after the NFL's announcement of penalties for the Saints for the pay-for-pain bounty program they employed during the 2009-11 seasons.

"I do have a very high regard for the coach of the Saints, Sean Payton," said Parcells, who had Payton on his staff with the Cowboys. "I like him very much personally ... my initial thoughts were about him."

Parcells said he later met with Loomis but "we didn't speak too much about the job."

"In my mind, I didn't really feel an inclination to do that," Parcells said of coaching the Saints.

He said he was most concerned with Payton's welfare and wants "to help him any way I can."

Payton's yearlong suspension begins Monday and will end after Super Bowl XLVII, scheduled for the Superdome in New Orleans.

There are growing indications the Saints will turn to Joe Vitt, the assistant head coach/linebackers, as the interim coach when the Saints begin their offseason program on Monday.

Vitt will serve a six-game suspension once the preseason ends, but will be available to oversee the team's offseason program. If he is asked to become the interim head coach, other assistants will manage the team when the season opens until Vitt returns after the sixth game.

The Saints still could ask other candidates on staff to fill the interim position, but Vitt is the strongest candidate among offensive line coach Aaron Kromer, offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr. and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.

Information from ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen was used in this report.