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Originally published Monday, April 2, 2012 at 8:01 PM

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Commissioner says New Orleans Saints can hire Bill Parcells if they choose | NFL

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said he won't stand in the way if the New Orleans Saints ask Bill Parcells to take over as interim coach for suspended Sean Payton.

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NEW YORK — League commissioner Roger Goodell said he won't stand in the way if the New Orleans Saints ask Bill Parcells to take over as interim coach for suspended Sean Payton.

"That's their decision. They need to make those decisions and we'll move forward," Goodell said Monday. "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."

Before the Saints pick someone to run the team in the 2012 season, though, Goodell has to rule on Payton's appeal of his seasonlong suspension, along with the appeals of shorter suspensions to assistant coach Joe Vitt and general manager Mickey Loomis and penalties handed down to the team.

Goodell expects to hear the appeals this week, and said he wants to make a ruling shortly thereafter.

"Part of it depends exactly when the appeal is going to be, and second of all what information comes up in the appeal," Goodell said.

Payton considers the retired Parcells, who coached the New York Giants to two Super Bowl titles, a mentor.

Meanwhile, league officials were meeting with NFL Players Association representatives about penalties involving Saints players who took part in the bounty program that led to the suspensions. The union has asked the NFL to provide it with all the information from the league's investigation that revealed 22 to 27 defensive players were part of the Saints' pay-for-pain bounty pool run by former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.

The pool awarded thousands of dollars from 2009 to 2011 for vicious hits that knocked targeted opponents out of games.


• Police say Detroit running back Mikel Leshoure was caught chewing marijuana during a recent traffic stop in Lake Township, Mich. Leshoure, 22, and the driver of the car were ticketed for marijuana possession.

The March 12 incident occurred less than a month after police in a different Berrien County community say they caught Leshoure with marijuana.

Lions officials said they were "aware of the reports" and were gathering more information.

• Receiver Torry Holt, a seven-time Pro Bowler with the St Louis Rams, will sign a one-day contract with the franchise and retire.

Holt, 35, spent his first 10 seasons with the Rams after being a first-round pick in 1999. He caught 869 passes for 12,594 yards and 74 touchdowns with St. Louis, all three of those totals ranking second in franchise history behind Isaac Bruce.

• Nike, partly known for gaudy college uniforms, is replacing Reebok as the league uniform provider, with a gala uniform unveiling set for Tuesday in New York.

The design details are a closely guarded secret at the Beaverton, Ore.-based shoe and apparel maker, but some images — there's no way to know if they're real or fake — have circulated on the Internet. The biggest changes might be in the performance aspect, such as lightweight fabrics.

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