The New Orleans Saints made it official yesterday in an obvious choice to make offensive line coach Aaron Kromer the head coach in assistant head coach Joe Vitt’s absence for his six-game suspension. It should be a relief all the way around for staff, players, and mostly for fans.
When the discussion first arose as to possible options to take Vitt’s place, offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr. and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo were at the top of the list for some.
The choice of having either one made sense at first really. Carmichael had filled in for head coach Sean Payton last year when he was recovering from a serious leg injury he sustained in a sideline hit taken during a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The relationship between quarterback Drew Brees and Carmichael helped sustain them until Payton’s return and everything seemed fine. This time it’s different. Payton at that time was still able to relay information to his staff and players which now he won’t be.
Spagnuolo may have the seniority here in the coaching line since he has has experience of being a head coach before with the St. Louis Rams. Not saying he can’t be but looking at the Rams during his tenure, Spagnuolo is probably better suited as a coordinator than a head coach for right now.
For Carmichael and Spagnuolo, the decision to have Kromer as head coach benefits them both since they need to focus strictly on their duties. After the debacle on both sides of the ball, mainly on defense, against the Jacksonville Jaguars last Friday it’s obvious that things still need to be tweaked.
Another relief is that the Saints coaching staff, front office, and players all agree that Kromer is the best fit since he closely follows the mold of Payton. He’ll get his chance to break into that mold starting this Saturday as Kromer will shadow Vitt on the sidelines against the Houston Texans and next Thursday against the Tennessee Titans.