A week ago, Wayne Huizenga seemed poised to sell his beloved Miami Dolphins and abandon his long quest for a Super Bowl title.

Scratch those plans.

Huizenga brought in Bill Parcells instead, giving him the task of restoring Miami's lost luster.

Miami yesterday signed Parcells to a 4-year contract as executive vice president of football operations. He will oversee "anything that has to do with football, directly or indirectly," Huizenga said.

The two-time Super Bowl champion coach will report directly to Huizenga, whose affinity for big-name help now has led him to a 66-year-old former coach of four NFL clubs.

"I'm honored to join such an illustrious franchise as the Miami Dolphins and to work for one of the best owners in the league in Wayne Huizenga," Parcells said. "He shares my same commitment to winning, and I told him I would do everything I can to help turn around the team's fortunes."

That will be a massive undertaking - much like when Parcells went to the Giants, the Jets, the Patriots and the Cowboys. His coaching plan helped turn those teams around.

Miami started 0-13 before beating Baltimore last weekend.

Parcells insisted that he will not coach in Miami - but could see himself helping the coach, whoever it is. "It's a young man's game in terms of coaching, and I know it's time for someone else to be doing those things," Parcells said. "If I can assist that person in any manner of speaking with my experience or even in the technical aspect and he would seek out that, then I'm happy to contribute."


* New Orleans running back Reggie Bush sat out practice, but coach Sean Payton is not ready to rule Bush out for Sunday's home game against the Eagles. The Saints discovered on Dec. 6 that Bush had a partial posterior cruciate ligament tear that would not require surgery, but would likely require about a month of rehabilitation. Bush returned to practice ahead of schedule on Wednesday.

* The NFL rejected an appeal by the players union on behalf of suspended Titans cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones.

* Chad Pennington appears ready to return as the Jets' starting quarterback, in place of injured Kellen Clemens (ribs). *