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Saints have three candidates to replace Payton

NFL Preseason - New Orleans Saints vs Tennessee Titans - August 12, 2006 Getty Images

In one week, Saints coach Sean Payton will be banished from the team’s facility until the day after Super Bowl XLVII.  At some point, the Saints will need to replace Payton for the 2012 season.

Jeff Duncan of the New Orleans Times-Picayune explains that the Saints have three potential candidates:  offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr. (pictured), defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, and offensive line coach Aaron Kromer.

Duncan identifies Kromer as the dark-horse candidate for the job, and for good reason.  Elevating him would allow Carmichael to focus on the offense and Spagnuolo to focus on the defense.

Of course, that would require the Saints to hire a new offensive line coach.  Currently, Frank Smith serves as assistant offensive line coach, so he possibly would be promoted.

Meanwhile, Brian Billick of NFL Network seems to agree with our recent assessment that a high degree of success from the interim head coach could prompt owner Tom Benson to make the interim head coach the permanent head coach.  As of right now, it seems unthinkable.  After a full season of football that would culminate in something like, say, a Super Bowl title, it possibly would seem unthinkable to remove the interim head coach from the job.

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38 Responses to “Saints have three candidates to replace Payton”
  1. ravenator says: Mar 25, 2012 1:13 PM

    Saints superbowl hopes just went up in flames. Maybe, they’ll be a playoff team but that’s about as far as it’ll go.

  2. ascensionparish says: Mar 25, 2012 1:13 PM

    Saints are actually set up fairly nicely, given the circumstances. Spags has head coach experience, and both Carmichael and Kromer have recently interviewed for HC jobs. My gut says it’ll be Kromer, who’ll likely get a lot of input from both Carmichael and Kromer. Payton’s knee injury last year now seems like a blessing-in-disguise.

  3. kmesr53 says: Mar 25, 2012 1:15 PM

    You may be kidding about a Super Bowl title this upcoming season but it is indeed a possibility. Adverse times brings out the best in the Saints and their loyal fans. We’ve been through a lot these past few years and topping off the upcoming season with a championship will be very fitting. This is the Who Dat Nation.

  4. Mr. Wright 212 says: Mar 25, 2012 1:18 PM

    This is beneath Spags.

  5. kegowhisky says: Mar 25, 2012 1:20 PM

    I don’t see the problem here. The NFL is a “what have you done for me lately” enterprise. Compare an “interim” coach who wins a Super Bowl, to Payton who most recently was banned for his role in a bounty fiasco. Sorry folks, Payton loses and winds up as a coordinator on someeone else’s staff down the road. It’s a brutal world – just ask any of the guys who had bounties placed on them.

  6. hallcyon says: Mar 25, 2012 1:21 PM

    Carmichael is the obvious choice and has seniority over the other candidates. He is the closest thing the Saints have to a Sean Payton clone who could keep practices the same and continue the team coaching staff in place. To put Spagnuolo over Carmichael would be a slap in the face and could back fire on this offensive superstar driven team.

    Other whispers here in New Orleans have it that Joe Lombardi is in the mix. And what puts offensive line/running game coach Aaron Kromer over Lombardi, who has seniority on the staff? Both are great coaches, but Lombardi coaches the most important position and his connection to Brees matters.

    Spagnuolo would leave the Saints without a defensive coordinator, and besides, he just finished the worst three year stretch in NFL history for a head coach. However, he is magnificent as a defensive coordinator. But as head coach? In this difficult situation? It’s absurd that he is even considered as he has never held a practice with the team.

    Some news reports have speculated on Bill Parcells or Marty Schottenheimer.

    The Saints also need a new linebackers coach with Joe Vitt suspended. There will be no winging it. And whomever has the team needs to be given the respect to shape it and do their job to the best of their ability with full confidence.

    Maybe a mystery candidate will appear, but Carmichael or Lombardi seem the most likely.

  7. cdsaints says: Mar 25, 2012 1:25 PM

    ” our recent assessment that a high degree of success from the interim head coach could prompt owner Tom Benson to make the interim head coach the permanent head coach.”

    Dumb. Payton is the architect of the Saints recent success. He built this team from the ground up and he will be back, count on it.

  8. jimmysee says: Mar 25, 2012 1:33 PM

    So the ‘Aints even have a QB?

    Did Brees accept the franchise tender?

  9. jacobslatter says: Mar 25, 2012 1:35 PM

    There is only one person who can right the ship for this beleaguered Saints franchise. He is a former football player, linebacker, humanitarian, righter of wrongs. He will lay out Sarah Palin if he has to, and greet Katie Couric with his warmth and charm. He is Terry Tate, Office Linebacker.

  10. VikingstoLA says: Mar 25, 2012 1:38 PM

    Payton is coming back for sure because when the saints do well in 2012 it will be because of the system Payton has in place.

  11. jenniferxxx says: Mar 25, 2012 1:42 PM

    Tim Tebow ! Southern boy. High character. He’d be the perfect choice. But alas he’s captured by the devil at the moment.

  12. purplengold says: Mar 25, 2012 1:47 PM

    Super Bowl? Half of their defense will be in prison! What a train wreck.

  13. pgui88 says: Mar 25, 2012 1:55 PM

    It will be Carmichael is my guess. He was elevated when Payton was out early last year with a knee injury. And he knows Payton’s play book inside and out. Brees will assist and the saints won’t miss a beat on offense. Have to get better on defense and Spags does that. Watch out for this team.

  14. andyreiddoublecheeseburger says: Mar 25, 2012 1:56 PM

    I hear Jonathan Vilma may be looking for work

  15. teal379 says: Mar 25, 2012 2:18 PM

    ” our recent assessment that a high degree of success from the interim head coach could prompt owner Tom Benson to make the interim head coach the permanent head coach.”

    Unless those same Saints players who’ve expressed such loyalty to Peyton so far decide to lay down this year, go in the toilet to make sure Benson realizes Peyton has to come back.

    They’re dumb enough to STILL claim that there wasn’t a system after their HC and DC have both admitted to running the thing – they’re dumb enough to do that too….

  16. gatherspeed says: Mar 25, 2012 2:21 PM

    I actually think the Saints should reach out to Parcells for a one year deal.

    Think about it:
    1. He might come back for one year and he does like to be a savior.

    2. Payton and Spags come from his coaching tree.

    3. He can handle the media.

    4. It would allow Carmichael and Spags to run the O and D.

    5. There is no long term threat to Payton. One year and gone.

    6. He can even cover for the GM for 6 games.

    7. Saints fans would be happy with him as a one year shot.

  17. vetdana says: Mar 25, 2012 2:25 PM

    ascensionparish says:
    Mar 25, 2012 1:13 PM
    Saints are actually set up fairly nicely, given the circumstances

    Really ?…….should we first wait and see what suspensions, if any, are handed down to the players involved in bountygate ?

  18. bolted4life says: Mar 25, 2012 2:29 PM

    Break out the Paper Bags

  19. crabboil says: Mar 25, 2012 2:46 PM

    Did someone really say that Coach Payton will end up as a coordinator somewhere?!

    If Sean Payton isn’t head coach for the Saints, he’ll be head coach for another team… And the fans of that team will be stoked.

  20. Mr. Wright 212 says: Mar 25, 2012 2:46 PM

    bolted4life: EXACTLY. They’ll be back in no time with the bags.

  21. Mr. Wright 212 says: Mar 25, 2012 2:46 PM

    kmesr53 says: Mar 25, 2012 1:15 PM

    You may be kidding about a Super Bowl title this upcoming season but it is indeed a possibility. Adverse times brings out the best in the Saints and their loyal fans. We’ve been through a lot these past few years and topping off the upcoming season with a championship will be very fitting. This is the Who Dat Nation.
    ————–

    I counted five games in 2009 that blatantly slanted officiated affected outcomes in games in the Saints’ favor. Adverse times my ashes. They will be a 9-7 team this year and be hoping for a half dozen teams to lose Week 17 just to have a chance at the playoffs.

    And hearing corporate shill/company spokesman Brees act sheepishly innocent on Twitter… the same clown who sued his OWN MOTHER — any “adversity” is of the Saints’ OWN MAKING.

  22. leatherface2012 says: Mar 25, 2012 2:50 PM

    goodell should now suspend for one year, the whole saints coaching staff, and then prohibit them through fines ,say 75 to 100 million bucks, of hiring anyone else. then make brees start at nosetackle and have a 3rd string guard start at qb…….and let the hilarity ensue!!!

  23. robf2010 says: Mar 25, 2012 2:54 PM

    It would seem some have seriously underestimated the size of the chip the commissioner just placed on this team’s shoulders. Also, the specter of Goodell coming into the Saints home locker room in the SuperDome to present the Lombardi? Who wouldn’t want to dedicate a season to making that dream come true?

    Adjustments will be made and the Saints will be ready to have a good season. They’ll be a contender.

  24. mrlaloosh says: Mar 25, 2012 2:55 PM

    Wow! San Diego fan talking smack? Really? BTW, thanks for Brees & Sproles!

  25. ascensionparish says: Mar 25, 2012 3:07 PM

    vetdana says:Mar 25, 2012 2:25 PM

    Really ?…….should we first wait and see what suspensions, if any, are handed down to the players involved in bountygate ?
    _______________________

    I was referring to the Saints’ coaching dilemma, not the player/personnel situation.

  26. ascensionparish says: Mar 25, 2012 3:09 PM

    bolted4life says:Mar 25, 2012 2:29 PM

    Break out the Paper Bags
    _____________________

    You keep ‘em. You might need them when the Chargers are packing up for L.A.

  27. jason1980 says: Mar 25, 2012 3:25 PM

    Listen to the haters, they are shaking in their boots, and for good reason. The Saints are coming to get ya! Be very scared NFL….Yeah baby!!!!

  28. kevpft says: Mar 25, 2012 3:49 PM

    kmesr53 says: Mar 25, 2012 1:15 PM

    Adverse times brings out the best in the Saints and their loyal fans.

    ———–

    Gotta love this mythology that a lot of Saints fans currently wrap themselves in. One (questionable) Super Bowl in franchise history, and suddenly adversity brings out the best in them? A town that collectively wore paper bags in its head when the team was going to through actual adversity?

    Commit to supporting your team, fine. Believe the team will get through this punishment for unethical behavior, fine. But leave out the silly mythology.

  29. westclaims says: Mar 25, 2012 4:08 PM

    Where the refs have often favored the Saints in recent years (especially after Katrina), this year they will find out what it is like to not have that ref help that they have become used to. The league is NOT going to let the Saints even get to the playoffs, let alone a super bowl. Regardless of how they play. As a Cards fan, I am very happy about how this is turning out. Was it worth it?

  30. lioncrazy says: Mar 25, 2012 4:11 PM

    I would let Carmichael be the Head Coach. Like it has been said, he has ties to the system, changes would be to a minimum, and in all this upheavel, with what the players may go through, consistancy is important for peace of mind and optimum performance.
    If he is a success to the point of other Teams wanting him, Saints can get something for him, if he is still under contract. If he does not perfom well, Saints have Payton coming back.

  31. twardyyy says: Mar 25, 2012 4:23 PM

    Trade for Jesu…. Errrrrr…… Tim Tebow and make him the new head coach. The Saints are in the dark and Tebow can help lead them to the light. With Tebow as the coach, everyone would love the Saints again because Tebow is “a good Christian and the most polarizing athlete in the NFL.” Pffffft, just saying.

    (I’m not a Tebow fan, btw.)

  32. marshawnlynchlookslikepredator says: Mar 25, 2012 4:26 PM

    I agree with whoever said Terr Tate. Well they should at least bring back the office linebacker commercials

  33. sdboltaction says: Mar 25, 2012 4:39 PM

    Hate on the Charger fan for talking crap. Who cares? I guess if he were a 49er or Steeler fan whos team has 5x the Super Bowl championships as the Saints, that’d be okay… But nooooooooooo since the Chargers haven’t ever won a Super Bowl we can’t hang with the big boys like the Saints who have a long, long history of amazingness….

    Give me a break.

  34. voiceofsweetness says: Mar 25, 2012 4:43 PM

    With today’s technology Payton will probably still be running the day to day stuff from home is my guess.

  35. Mr. Wright 212 says: Mar 25, 2012 4:54 PM

    kevpft says: Mar 25, 2012 3:49 PM

    kmesr53 says: Mar 25, 2012 1:15 PM

    Adverse times brings out the best in the Saints and their loyal fans.

    ———–

    Gotta love this mythology that a lot of Saints fans currently wrap themselves in. One (questionable) Super Bowl in franchise history, and suddenly adversity brings out the best in them? A town that collectively wore paper bags in its head when the team was going to through actual adversity?

    Commit to supporting your team, fine. Believe the team will get through this punishment for unethical behavior, fine. But leave out the silly mythology.
    ——–
    EXACTLY. We’re not even a decade removed from the paper bag clan, now all of a sudden they are self-professed legends.

  36. ikoikofinanay says: Mar 25, 2012 5:06 PM

    @westclaims
    You may notice Saints coaches, player AND fans don’t complain about bad calls and won’t this season either. The Saints put enough points on the board to absorb the unfair accusations and calls. Look for them to do it this season as well.

    You cry babies who are dreaming of the sinking of New Orleans prepare to cry me a river cause WE’RE COMIN’ TO GETCHA.

  37. buzmeg says: Mar 26, 2012 10:37 AM

    The Super Bowl is in New Orleans, therefore the Saints will NOT be playing it.

  38. bikerhal says: Mar 26, 2012 11:14 AM

    Mr. Wright 212 pontificated recently: “EXACTLY. We’re not even a decade removed from the paper bag clan, now all of a sudden they are self-professed legends.”
    You obviously don’t have a grip on the English Language or you are just stupid. The era of the Saints with the Bags originated back in the early 80’s with the 1-15 season. Let’s see, we are now in 2012 so that is over 25 years ago; hardly “not even a decade” (BTW a decade is 10 years just so you know). No, we don’t claim to have a storied franchise like the Pittsburghs or Patriots, but I will say that we supported our team and the bags were worn while the stadium was filled with ticket holders. We even scheduled a party for them BEFORE the SB was played. Indy was greeted by a paltry few hundred fans after they arrived at the airport. Haters, all of you. Jealous too for some reason. Go fly a kite all of you jerks.

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