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.