Joe Vitt was named the interim head coach of the New Orleans Saints this past week and with the announcement some question marks have been cleared up. However, Vitt will be suspended for the first 6 games of the regular season so there will be a lack of consistency heading into the regular season. Vitt is eligible to coach the preseason which might be a good idea so that the Saints’ players will have some continuity with the system without Sean Payton in place. However, I would argue that the Saints might be better off having offensive line coach, Aarom Kromer, calling the shots during the preseason and maybe the entire regular season.
It would make sense to have the same coach for the entire season, how would the players react to the switching of head coaches during the season? In the upcoming season there will be a lot of pressure on the Saints, for one, their defense is sure to be highly scrutinized in light of the bounty scandal and two, the Super Bowl will be played in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. How great would it be for the Saints to make it all the way to the Super Bowl this year? It would be the ultimate home field advantage for the biggest game in football.
It makes sense having Vitt as the interim head coach; he has been the Saints’ top assistant for the past few seasons and has actually served as an interim head coach before. In 2005 when Vitt was with the St. Louis Rams he stepped in as the interim head coach for 11 games and went 4-7 during that stretch. While Vitt might not boast the best record as a head coach it is still crucial that he has that head coaching experience. Some could argue that new defensive coordinator, Steve Spagnuolo, would be a good choice for the interim head coach. That is a fair argument but Spagnuolo is brand new to the Saints and I think the Saints really need some consistency so he might not be the best bet; also his main focus will be re-shaping the Saints’ defense.
While appointing Vitt makes sense, I still think the Saints should consider having Kromer as the head coach for the entire season, especially if the Saints do well in those first 6 games. Furthermore, Kromer knows the offense better than Vitt and offense is what the Saints thrive on. Vitt is the linebackers coach and while it would be intriguing to see a defensive coach calling the shots for the Saints I still think offense is their best attribute, “If it’s not broke don’t fix it.”
This is my personal take on the Saints’ coaching situation and while I think it makes sense to have the same coach for the entire season; it is ultimately up to general manager Mickey Loomis to decide who will be the interim head coach for the season. Loomis has chosen Vitt so hopefully Vitt can come in and give the Saints a real shot at making the Super Bowl this season. It is sure to be a long season for the Saints and only time will tell if they sink or swim.