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Despite his own suspension, Vitt expected to take reins from Payton

j-vitt Getty Images

With Bill Parcells reportedly out of the running, the Saints are closing in on an in-house candidate to step in for soon-to-be suspended head coach Sean Payton. And it’s a candidate who will start the regular season serving a suspension of his own.

Assistant head coach Joe Vitt is, for now, the man whom the Saints are planning to hand the reins to when Payton begins his suspension on Monday. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that it’s looking more and more like Vitt is the man to step in as interim head coach during Payton’s suspension, and Florio has confirmed that that appears to be the plan.

The problem is, Vitt is suspended for the first six games of the regular season for his own role in the Saints’ bounty scandal. So the current plan would call for Vitt to lead the team starting Monday and through the preseason, then another member of the staff stepping in as interim interim head coach for the first six games of the regular season, and then Vitt to return for the seventh game of the regular season and coach the Saints until the end of the season. Then Payton would return in February.

That’s a convoluted plan, and it’s a plan that’s still subject to change. But there aren’t any good options for the Saints right now, and having Vitt guide the team until the end of the preseason may be the least bad option.

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55 Responses to “Despite his own suspension, Vitt expected to take reins from Payton”
  1. talkintrashallday says: Apr 10, 2012 12:33 PM

    so now they need an interim interim head coach?…back to the NFC’s basement ya go

  2. Tarkus says: Apr 10, 2012 12:35 PM

    That seems very dumb to me. Why change head coaches twice. On purpose. Actually, it would be three times when they get back to Payton.

  3. blacknole08 says: Apr 10, 2012 12:35 PM

    Spagnuolo or Carmichael will probably take the reigns for the first six weeks of the regular season. They seems like the most obvious choices.

  4. 69jaredallen69 says: Apr 10, 2012 12:36 PM

    They needed someone to continue taking pills from training room otherwise they would know it was Sean stealing all of them

  5. mybrunoblog says: Apr 10, 2012 12:36 PM

    Wait….So they have an interim coach while they prepare to hire a interim coach? What a freaking mess in New Orleans.

  6. pacificamjr says: Apr 10, 2012 12:37 PM

    ha. dumb plan.

    8-8

  7. goodolebaghead says: Apr 10, 2012 12:40 PM

    I guess a lot of you don’t realize, this somewhat happened last year and they were fine.

    Inb4 butt hurt vikings fans spam the comments with Saints hate.

  8. mataug says: Apr 10, 2012 12:40 PM

    Payton -> Vitt -> some guy -> Vitt -> Payton
    The Saints will beat Dan Snyder’s record of changing head coaches at this rate.

  9. nfflsuckling says: Apr 10, 2012 12:41 PM

    Saints very quickly becoming a dysfunctional laughing stock around the league.

  10. chrisritch93 says: Apr 10, 2012 12:43 PM

    Not even going to waste my, time reading this crap, will just wait and see what happens, hell you guys said Parcells was going to take the reigns last week !

  11. gatherspeed says: Apr 10, 2012 12:45 PM

    GREAT IDEA! I love it.

    (I’m a Bucs fan)

  12. sfsaintsfan says: Apr 10, 2012 12:47 PM

    pacificamjr says:
    Apr 10, 2012 12:37 PM
    ha. dumb plan.

    8-8

    ***************

    nfflsuckling says:
    Apr 10, 2012 12:41 PM
    Saints very quickly becoming a dysfunctional laughing stock around the league.

    ***************

    Both of you are so far off base. Saints will win the NFC South and will be in serious contention for a Super Bowl appearance.

  13. chadmurdigan says: Apr 10, 2012 12:49 PM

    Did they sign Brees? Do they even have a quarterback yet? The Aints are back!

  14. eaglesnoles05 says: Apr 10, 2012 12:50 PM

    The more stories that aren’t about the eagles, the better. Plus, it keeps the jenniferxxx blitheryblab at bay.

  15. n0hopeleft says: Apr 10, 2012 12:51 PM

    So who’s running the cotton candy stand and popcorn machine on the sideline?

    Queue the goofy circus song.

  16. profootballwalk says: Apr 10, 2012 12:51 PM

    If Vitt can be the head coach through the pre-season, why can’t Payton? This is absurd.

  17. ronin36 says: Apr 10, 2012 12:51 PM

    Vitt’s probably best suited to run the off-season and training camp. That’s why he’s doing it.

    While the upcoming months unfold, they’ll probably be looking at the other in-house coaches figuring out which one(s) are up to coaching during the season.

    The Saints aren’t as bad off as every thinks.

    The GM is still on duty through pre-season. So he’ll run the draft and cuts.

    Vitt can handle the OTAs and training camp and pre-season.

    And don’t count Parcells out as a draft consultant, or a coaching consultant during pre-season. It technically wouldn’t make him a coach, wouldn’t violate the Rooney Rule, etcetera.

  18. j0hnboy says: Apr 10, 2012 12:52 PM

    This is actually a great decision for Sean Payton. With multiple interim coaches, there is no chance that the interim coach will do a great job and allow Benson to think about firing Payton.

    There is also a good chance the team will do poorly and make Payton look that much better in comparison.

  19. ajknox88 says: Apr 10, 2012 12:52 PM

    You know Payton is going to be coaching behind the scenes.. Especially if they hire someone that’s already on the staff.

  20. hatesycophants says: Apr 10, 2012 12:54 PM

    Also known as the Cluster Eff Plan.

    Go Lions! Go Badgers!

  21. sj39 says: Apr 10, 2012 12:55 PM

    Probably is the best option but this team is in trouble for seasons to come and for sure this season will be a train wreck, heck we still don’t know how many of their players may be suspended.

  22. hedleykow says: Apr 10, 2012 12:57 PM

    The six game suspension should give him plenty of time to draw up a new and exciting bounty program for when he gets back.

  23. saintswillprevail says: Apr 10, 2012 1:02 PM

    Why don’t we change the name of this site to SaintsTalk?

  24. tirap says: Apr 10, 2012 1:03 PM

    Will the Saints have to comply with the Rooney rule twice (once for Payton interim, and once for Vitt interim)?

  25. chawk12thman says: Apr 10, 2012 1:03 PM

    No Rooney issues and in-house seems to be the only option if Payton is going to continue next year.

  26. abr173rd says: Apr 10, 2012 1:05 PM

    Some of you guys can’t possibly be fans of football… Unless you are totally blind to the off season Defensive acquisitions made by the Saints and the fact that they are still one of the most high powered offenses in football they will still easily be the division winners. Not even a question.

    Brees calls most of the plays from the line of scrimmage and dictates what he sees and wants to do back to Payton. This is all well documented. Not to mention regardless of Carmichael or Vitt being head coach are both very good coaches.

  27. bullcharger says: Apr 10, 2012 1:05 PM

    With this schedule:

    HOME: Chargers; Chiefs; Eagles; 49ers; Redskins; Buccaneers; Falcons; and Panthers.

    AWAY: Broncos; Cowboys; Giants; Packers; Raiders; Buccaneers; Falcons; and Panthers.

    The Saints could still make the playoffs at 9-7 by beating the Chargers; Chiefs, Cowboys, Raiders, Buccaneers twice, Panthers twice and Falcons once.

    Even in dissarray they are better than lots of teams.

  28. jdoub732 says: Apr 10, 2012 1:06 PM

    Any saints haters out there? get a life!!! We will see yall when we play the sb in our dome.after we sign our coach drew drees that all we need and we putting a nice defense

  29. weepingjebus says: Apr 10, 2012 1:06 PM

    Is this just a way to get back at Goodell? Seems smart to keep antagonizing him given you don’t even know what he’s going to do to your players yet.

  30. delmonte55 says: Apr 10, 2012 1:09 PM

    Everyone is such a comedian….I will be here all week, try the veal.

  31. saintswillprevail says: Apr 10, 2012 1:10 PM

    Adam Schefter just reported that the janitor just changed the trash in front of the Saints team headquarters. More updates as soon as he gets them.

  32. raidermike says: Apr 10, 2012 1:11 PM

    Sean sits ….
    Vitt takes over for awhile, then ……
    Spags takes over for awhile, then….
    Then Vitt comes back for awhile, then …..
    Sean sits…..
    Then, Benson decides which of the two replaces Payton permanently…. Sean sits!!
    BYE SEAN ….. Too bad you “didn’t know” what you should have known. Anyone who claims to not know that this was happening in his team’s locker room should not be a head coach.

  33. jgedgar70 says: Apr 10, 2012 1:17 PM

    As a Panther fan, I was hoping for Spagnuolo for the whole calendar year. But that’s OK; the multiple interim coaches should keep them off kilter enough for Cam & Co to light them up and get 2 easy wins.

  34. skinsrock says: Apr 10, 2012 1:22 PM

    Wow… Looks like Payton might pull off a coup… I just think with all the suspensions… Cleaning house had to be on the table with all this work to do & no one available to do it. I guess they are going to try & pull through… I think it’s a huge win for Payton, if he’s the Saint’s coach in 2013. It’s gonna be interesting to see how they handle adversity this year, because Payton by all accounts is an incredible crisis manager & has an amazing relationship with most of his players.

  35. sloppydogg says: Apr 10, 2012 1:27 PM

    To much talent on that team to finish back in the basement in our division so dream on.

  36. stealthscorpio says: Apr 10, 2012 1:28 PM

    They should ask if Vitt can serve is time in 2013…

  37. sfsaintsfan says: Apr 10, 2012 1:35 PM

    10-6 is the worst record I see possible for this team. More likely 11-5 or 12-4. The Saints are a much better team than most teams in the NFL and one of the top 3 teams in the NFC.

    All the haters can keep on hating. The Super Bowl odds for the Saints have not dropped much. Vegas knows, as always.

  38. sloppydogg says: Apr 10, 2012 1:37 PM

    Can’t wait to blog all of you haters when the season is here an your team is 0-6 and the who Dat are 4-2, where is that bucs fan you will finish last again.

  39. 6ball says: Apr 10, 2012 1:42 PM

    .

    All the suspensions should have begun immediately. Goodell screwed up and now the Saints are making him pay.

    This story will dominate the entire 2012 season, much to Goodell’s chagrin.

    .

  40. db3300 says: Apr 10, 2012 1:46 PM

    “Any saints haters out there? get a life!!! We will see yall when we play the sb in our dome blah, blah, blah”

    Where are all of those SB trophies you won in the last couple of years when all of your coaches (and soon to be players) weren’t suspended?

  41. clintonportisheadd says: Apr 10, 2012 1:54 PM

    Its almost as if Sean Payton drew up this plan himself to guarantee his return to the sidelines in 2013. But that would mean that he (and not the GM or owner) actually runs things in Saintsville.

    Now how could THAT be possible?

  42. cowboycjn says: Apr 10, 2012 2:10 PM

    Us Saints fans are gonna be laughing so hard when the so called misfits aints beat your teams and still make it to the playoffs with out a regular full time coach. We will see who is the laughing stock of the league when your a&& wipe team loses. Go on dummbies believe the false stories in here – don’t worry – whatever the plan is they can still beat your team.

  43. slew55 says: Apr 10, 2012 2:15 PM

    Playing musical chairs with the head coaching position is not near as important as who plays at the QB position. That is why NO needs to stop jacking around and get Brees signed. He is the most important piece of this puzzle. The cheer leaders can be coaching and Brees will win them games.

  44. fballguy says: Apr 10, 2012 2:17 PM

    Never under estimate Steve Spagnuolo’s ability to destroy a season in six games or less.

  45. ricksaints says: Apr 10, 2012 2:21 PM

    Saints upcoming timeline:
    Vitt named interim head coach.
    Carmicheal named interim interim. Spags needs to focus on D.
    We find out what happens with Vilma.
    He restructures or he gets released.
    Brees gets the contract he wants.

  46. iamwhodat says: Apr 10, 2012 2:24 PM

    Like I’ve been telling most of you haters since bounty gate came to existence, the Saints will be fine. The entire offense is coming back minus Nicks and Meachem. Big deal, you replace that with Grubbs and Arrington (most Saints fans know he is) and the O will continue to tick. Carmichael is a Sean Payton clone, he will run the offense exactly as Sean would. So it doesn’t really matter who the H.C is the offense will continue you to rack up points in bunches. 5 turnovers against one of the best defensive teams in the league and still hung up 32 on em. And trust me the d will be better. Who dat

  47. mdd913 says: Apr 10, 2012 2:33 PM

    Saints very quickly becoming a dysfunctional laughing stock around the league.

    ——————————————————————–

    Call them whatever you want; just be sure to call them “daddy” when they mop the floor with whatever loser team you root for.

  48. oldbloodstegosaurus says: Apr 10, 2012 3:02 PM

    cowboycjn says:
    Us Saints fans are gonna be laughing so hard when the so called misfits aints beat your teams and still make it to the playoffs with out a regular full time coach. We will see who is the laughing stock of the league when your a&& wipe team loses. Go on dummbies believe the false stories in here – don’t worry – whatever the plan is they can still beat your team.
    ________________________
    You got a point but I’m a Niner fan. Dummbie.

  49. melikefootball says: Apr 10, 2012 3:16 PM

    This could be the new NFL…no head coach needed.

  50. sfsaintsfan says: Apr 10, 2012 3:17 PM

    Saints very quickly becoming a dysfunctional laughing stock around the league.

    ——————————————————————–

    “Call them whatever you want; just be sure to call them “daddy” when they mop the floor with whatever loser team you root for.”

    **************

    Best post of the year!

  51. sloppydogg says: Apr 10, 2012 3:22 PM

    Oh now i see the big picture, kill the head and the team will fall, not of your life you haters. Goofyell ( Goodell) help you enough and you still will not i say will not beat those Who Dats….

  52. cserisey says: Apr 10, 2012 3:26 PM

    I am not a Saints fan, but you watch; this will not hurt them. I will predict a ten-eleven win season or better.

  53. granadafan says: Apr 10, 2012 4:03 PM

    Going in-house makes it easier for Payton to call the shots behind the scenes. There’s no way Parcells would have listened to Payton’s advice if he had taken the Saints interim job.

  54. c0ldestwinter says: Apr 11, 2012 1:31 AM

    Not sure why everyone is bashing on this decision. It keeps all their current issues (Brees’ contract, player suspensions, etc) in-house, rather than throwing in some wild card coach who hasn’t been around through their success the past few seasons to face all the PR questions. It also makes the transition back to Payton next year easy.

    Most importantly, I doubt the league can control the interactions of two suspended coaches who feel like getting together on Sundays and dissecting game tape. So now Payton gets 6 weeks of legitimate interaction with the team’s future head coach to identify problems in the offense and get them back on track if necessary. Unless the NFL thinks they can control the personal interactions of two employees on unpaid leave.

  55. mikejonesforum says: Apr 11, 2012 3:18 PM

    Are you people just silly or truly believe the speculation. Get real! Remember the Rooney Rule, the Saints aren’t going to run through two or three interims. As the preseason comes to an end, Parcells will be hired as an advisor. As an advisor, he will plan team meetings and practice schedules while Spags or Carmichael embrace the title as interim in week 1. Head Coach is a job full of distractions. It’s not what you haters think it is.

    Benson will not turn this into a circus act. With all hands on deck, I would not hold your breath for an 0-3 start.

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