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Saints put Vitt in charge, for now

j-vitt Getty Images

As expected, the Saints have handed the reins, for now, to assistant head coach/linebackers coach Joe Vitt.

The Saints announced that, as of the commencement of coach Sean Payton’s suspension on April 16, Vitt will handle the day-to-day duties of running the team.

No decisions have been made as to the start of the regular season, when Vitt starts a six-week suspension of his own.

“This is about our program, and the continued success of our program,” Saints Owner Tom Benson said in a release, breaking weeks of silence regarding the bounty scandal.  “Joe has been part of building our success along with our Head Coach Sean Payton and our General Manager Mickey Loomis.  We are looking forward to the start of the offseason program, the NFL Draft, our minicamps and training camp.  We are looking forward to the start of our season, as I know that all of our fans are and we are looking forward to competing and winning a championship right here in our own city, in our own stadium this year.”

“We will work through the offseason under this plan and when we get to training camp we will decide on a course of action for the first six weeks of the season, while Joe Vitt is unavailable,” G.M. Mickey Loomis said.  “We are fortunate to have a great veteran coaching staff well equipped to handle this challenge.  Joe and Sean have worked closely together to build our program, one of the most successful in the NFL in the past six years, and I have the fullest confidence that Joe will continue that success that Sean has brought us.”

So, basically, Vitt will be the interim head coach.  And then there will be an interim interim head coach when the regular season begins.

Unless, of course, the Saints make some other decision between now and then.

For now, Vitt is in charge.  Which makes it even more likely that Payton will be back in 2013, even if Vitt leads the Saints to a Super Bowl win.

“It is important that we keep Sean Payton’s philosophy front and center during this season,” Loomis said.  “Sean has been the driving force behind the tremendous success our team has enjoyed during the past six years, his leadership will be missed.  But we need to set a course of action that gives us the best chance to win this season without our head coach, and that is why I am announcing today that Joe Vitt will assume Sean’s duties.  We considered a number of great options to handle Payton’s duties both internally and externally, but believe this will provide the most seamless transition for our players and our coaching staff, allowing our offensive and defensive staffs to remain intact with the fewest changes.  This is the same structure we used last season during Sean’s knee injury.”

Initially, it was reported that offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr., offensive line coach Aaron Kromer, and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo were the primary in-house candidates to take over, given Vitt’s suspension.  Then, after Bill Parcells’ name emerged — and subsequently dissipated — as a potential replacement, Vitt suddenly became the primary option.

A cynic would say that Payton initially wanted Vitt, that Loomis and Benson resisted, that Payton responded by recruiting Parcells, and that Payton dropped the prospect of pursuing Parcells once Loomis and Benson agreed to give the gig to Vitt, who presumably will gladly give the whistle back to Payton in 2013.

Of course that would be a little far-fetched.  Almost as far-fetched as a three-year bounty system that continued for two years after the NFL investigated it and found nothing.

UPDATE 7:46 p.m. ET:  Per Adam Schefter of ESPN, Kromer is expected to be the interim interim head coach.

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54 Responses to “Saints put Vitt in charge, for now”
  1. pdubs212 says: Apr 12, 2012 5:03 PM

    Never trust a guy with nipple sweat……

  2. knowerofallthings says: Apr 12, 2012 5:12 PM

    Makes no sense whatsoever to put a temp in place before another temp. Makes me wonder about who’s calling the shots

  3. goodolebaghead says: Apr 12, 2012 5:14 PM

    “A cynic would say that Payton initially wanted Vitt, that Loomis and Benson resisted, that Payton responded by recruiting Parcells, and that Payton dropped the prospect of pursuing Parcells once Loomis and Benson agreed to give the gig to Vitt, who presumably will gladly give the whistle back to Payton in 2013.

    Of course that would be a little far-fetched. Almost as far-fetched as a three-year bounty system that continued for two years after the NFL investigated it and found nothing.”

    Could you sound anymore biased and desperate for controversy to help sell ad clicks?

  4. patfic15 says: Apr 12, 2012 5:15 PM

    Doesn’t matter..still making the playoffs.

  5. pacificamjr says: Apr 12, 2012 5:16 PM

    7-9

  6. geauxmez says: Apr 12, 2012 5:18 PM

    i think this is probably best.

  7. gotampabay52 says: Apr 12, 2012 5:18 PM

    Stupid payton will be in contact with the saints its so hard now a days to total stop all contact with othe coaches and players this is a joke I root for vodoo and karma against the saints screw your who dat if you all could speak right screw the saints

  8. frojo112963 says: Apr 12, 2012 5:27 PM

    gotampabay52 says: Apr 12, 2012 5:18 PM

    Stupid payton will be in contact with the saints its so hard now a days to total stop all contact with othe coaches and players this is a joke I root for vodoo and karma against the saints screw your who dat if you all could speak right screw the saints

    Ummmm?….If WE could speak right?…….. This coming from someone who……Nah, this would be too easy!

  9. thejuddstir says: Apr 12, 2012 5:32 PM

    “in the last six years…..”, pretty much coincides with the hiring of the “Gang of Four”. First 40 years the Saints were the laughing stock of the league……same as the last 3-4 years when they became the Taints*. Loomis, Payton, Vitt and Williams……now that’s a legacy to be proud of.

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

    if vitt has to head coach then who will monitor the oxy inventory?

  11. jxegh says: Apr 12, 2012 5:45 PM

    With Vitt still there, the bounty system can stay intact. But on the down low of course.

  12. sfsaintsfan says: Apr 12, 2012 5:59 PM

    “Almost as far-fetched as a three-year bounty system that continued for two years after the NFL investigated it and found nothing.”

    Also almost as far-fetched as a three-year bounty system that resulted in ZERO opposing players being injured as a result of illegal hits…..

    No cart offs and no knock outs…..

  13. soldiersaint77 says: Apr 12, 2012 6:00 PM

    I cannot wait for the season to start so the Saints can start knocking the hypocrites on this site off their high horse. Of course they will want to put an asterisk after we whip them this year too though. But that is fine, they will always come up with an excuse.

  14. dat504 says: Apr 12, 2012 6:00 PM

    It’s funny reading the post from you haters.lol You want Payton fired, you say he is pulling strings to make sure he gets his job back, you hoping Brees sits out the season. One question; WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?????? The Who Dat Express is headed to the Super Bowl, and there is nothing you can do about it!!!!!

  15. mogogo1 says: Apr 12, 2012 6:05 PM

    So, in their quest to assure continuity while Payton is gone, they’re going to yo-yo from Vitt, to somebody else for a third of the season, then back to Vitt again? It’s like they’re intentially trying to keep anybody from being in charge.

  16. usmutts says: Apr 12, 2012 6:06 PM

    My theory:

    1. Payton’s next head coaching effort with be in the 2013 season in Dallas where he currently lives and formerly was an assistant with his pal Parcells.

    2. Brees will not sign a long term deal with the Saints, considering that his close friend Payton will miss the entire 2012 season and has his eye on Dallas, but will sign the franchise tender ( it’s pretty dang good money, after all ), and spend the 2012 season trying to stay out of harm’s way and avoid injury, after which Jerry Jones will give him whatever he wants, thus reuniting him with Payton in 2013. Cowboys go on to win the Super Bowl.

    3. (But here’s the worst part). Romo lands in New Orleans. In the last game of the 2013 season Romo has the Saints on the Falcons 8 yard line, 4 points down with 30 seconds on the clock, needing a win to make the playoffs. Saints come to the line in a shotgun. The snap is perfect but Romo lifts his eyes too soon to look downfield and the ball hits him in the face and bounces away crazily. Instead of falling on it Romo tries to pick it up with one hand and is hammered. Falcons recover and run out the clock. Saints can’t stop the clock because Romo has already wasted two timeouts in the third quarter when he couldn’t gets the plays off in time. Falcons go to the playoffs. Romo goes to the pro bowl.

  17. drednot says: Apr 12, 2012 6:24 PM

    knowerofallthings says:Apr 12, 2012 5:12 PM

    Makes no sense whatsoever to put a temp in place before another temp. Makes me wonder about who’s calling the shots
    *******************************************

    I couldn’t agree more!

    This interim before the interim fails every logic test known to man!

  18. jharmon64 says: Apr 12, 2012 6:35 PM

    Dumb move. Put a guy in charge that’s not going to be around.

  19. senky3 says: Apr 12, 2012 6:50 PM

    where was the who dat express last year? it is amazing the the 9′rs beat you and brees. how could that happen? listening to you fans on these boards and how the saints will kick everyones butt just slays me. YOU DIDN’T and you won’t

  20. xxwhodatxx says: Apr 12, 2012 6:53 PM

    love the haters. I Can’t wait for the season to start. WHO DAT!!

  21. kungfubillysims says: Apr 12, 2012 6:55 PM

    Who dat bring total disgrace to themselves and the whole National Football League?

  22. packattack1967 says: Apr 12, 2012 6:57 PM

    and VITTthe 23rd pick in the 3rd round the New Orleans Saints select…

  23. drdrumlord says: Apr 12, 2012 7:12 PM

    After Brees demands an explanation for this, they will hire Tonya Harding as the interim coach for the first 6 months

  24. jimr10 says: Apr 12, 2012 7:16 PM

    As arrogant as Sean Payton is.. i am wondering how he will circumvent the no contact rule..

  25. docboss says: Apr 12, 2012 7:26 PM

    Who can forget the Vitt era in STL (4-7)?Watch the Vicodin! Weasels should all go to U of Miami.

  26. kungfubillysims says: Apr 12, 2012 7:30 PM

    I love how you guys are so delusional that:
    1-you really don’t see anything wrong with the horrible things your team did or the subsequent attempt to cover those things up
    2-you really think that you’re going to go to the super bowl or that you’re even going to make a deep run in the playoffs.
    It would be true Karma if Brees decided he didn’t want to surround himself with all of your negativity and decided to bolt. I don’t expect this to happen but man it would be exactly what you all deserve.
    I ask all of you to remember the outrageous predictions you’re making right now so when they don’t end up coming true you won’t be mad at me for rubbing it in your faces.

  27. imjinbrdgr says: Apr 12, 2012 7:35 PM

    WHAT A TRAIN WRECK!!! This season for the Saints will make Katrina look like cool ocean breeze. What the Hell do you the rest of the staff thinks about this. Of course they wont’ say anything but what does it say when they pick a guy as Head coach who will miss 1/3 of the season. You know there are guys on that staff who would love to have the opportunity to be a Head coach for a year. It says a lot about how they feel about them when they give it to a guy who is SUSPENDED!!!.

    CAN YOU SAY AINTS!!!!!

  28. soldiersaint77 says: Apr 12, 2012 7:44 PM

    Senky3,

    By your reasoning unless your a Giants fan, your team sucked too then. Only one team gets the trophy and it wasn’t the niners. 13-3 in the NFL in my opinion is kicking butt.

  29. stevenfbrackett says: Apr 12, 2012 7:53 PM

    Naming Vitt as the interim coach is nothing but a giant “Up Yours!” to the league and everyone else who cares about the rules, fair play and sportsmanship. Does the Saint’s ignorance and arrogance know any bounds at all?

  30. soldiersaint77 says: Apr 12, 2012 8:01 PM

    Kungfu,

    1. Most of the fans have admitted it was wrong, just overblown and it happens in many places.

    2. Yea it is really crazy to expect that a team that went 13-3, broke numerous offensive records and only lost a guard and our third wideout while picking up a good guard, a good DT, and two good linebackers to have as good a shot as anybody to win it all.

    Oh and they have a chip on their shoulder. As long as Brees is healthy you and your whiny brethren will we crying about the Saints running up the score and stats again this year.

    And unlike you I’ll man up and take my medicine if they don’t.

  31. drdrumlord says: Apr 12, 2012 8:01 PM

    Delusional is an under statement. If you want stats duringthe bounty years, they are there. Google it. Also Google “intent” regarding criminal law. It doesnt matter if they were miserable failures at carrying out the bounties. All there has to be is intent. The smoking gun is anyone that contributed to the bounty pool. If anyone expected to be paid for a bounty hit, they are guilty.

  32. maxbelmont says: Apr 12, 2012 8:08 PM

    I wonder how they are going to treat player cuts. Peyton can’t have any imput. Peyton better have faith in Vitt’s judgement of talent.

  33. voodoo4409 says: Apr 12, 2012 8:11 PM

    Fellow Who Dats – we will be laughing at the Saints haters when we raise our second Lombardi this season….jealous haters won’t change their mind, so who cares….stay classy Saints haters….

  34. timsmooth says: Apr 12, 2012 8:29 PM

    It’s funny reading the post from you haters.lol You want Payton fired, you say he is pulling strings to make sure he gets his job back, you hoping Brees sits out the season. One question; WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?????? If we are the AINTS then it shouldn’t be a problem to whip the SAINTS butts. Ahhh but were not we are the SUPER BOWL winning SAINTS WORLD CHAMPIONS! So when the season starts & we whip your teams azz I wanna hear the same talk of a 7-9 season from you loosers.

  35. jdoub732 says: Apr 12, 2012 8:44 PM

    We love all the hater that’s just gonna make us play herder

  36. rolldat09 says: Apr 12, 2012 8:46 PM

    Saints fans united! Dats what im talking about. All haters will stand in line to bow to the Fleur Di List…So you better tuck all your b.s. comments under your losing team hat…That is all….

  37. tci6743 says: Apr 12, 2012 9:07 PM

    Bounty this. Bounty that. Saints will win SB in New Orleans.
    Ya heard!

  38. phillyfanmatt says: Apr 12, 2012 9:27 PM

    It’s Fleur De Lis you simpleton.

  39. saints25 says: Apr 12, 2012 9:28 PM

    Well i see all the haters are still talking scared.There will be no pity this year coming from these Saints fans an Players. When the Saints start hanging 70 burger on your teams ass dont come begging for mercy from the Who Dat Nation!!! Because its not going to happen…just saying

  40. kodakinvegas says: Apr 12, 2012 9:36 PM

    I thought it was all a “put on” but I am NOW thoroughly convinced that NOLA Aints fans really are ATypical stupid. You’re proud of a disgrace, would rather lie than tell or accept the truth, reward and dignify unsportsmanlike behavior and literally make total fools of yourselves nationally with some kind of ” Who dat”
    BS. Who cares, you don’t know diddly and certainly relegate yourselves to eccentricity. You bad mouth people who once stuck their hands out to save your wallowing city and you speak with utter arrogance coupled with disregard. America will not forget the way you have conducted your wretched selves. You’ve made many of us regret having extended our hands, hearts and cash to you. Shame on you. Not that you would care, but SHAME on you anyway. Goodell should have forfeited your entire 2012 season and your disgraced SB Title / Trophy. Cowards. Simply cowards. You are the rectum of America, how fittingly you sit at the base of the Missippi.

  41. mdd913 says: Apr 12, 2012 9:41 PM

    blah blah blah no class blah blah blah Katrina blah blah blah you got what you deserved blah blah blah scumbags blah blah blah death penalty blah blah blah ruining football blah blah blah asterisk blah blah blah blah blah

  42. latopia says: Apr 12, 2012 10:10 PM

    Benson to Goodell: “We’re going with Joe.”

    Goodell to Benson: “You wanna try that again?”

  43. ackattack22 says: Apr 12, 2012 10:11 PM

    So the Aints promoted a suspended, cheating assistant coach to take the place of their suspended, cheating head coach. Brilliant!

  44. dutty15 says: Apr 12, 2012 10:22 PM

    They are going to hire parcells somewhere and then promote him to HC so they dont violate the rooney rule. Of course that would be a little far-fetched. Almost as far-fetched as a three-year bounty system that continued for two years after the NFL investigated it and found nothing.

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

    jdoub732 says: Apr 12, 2012 8:44 PM

    We love all the hater that’s just gonna make us play herder
    ____________________________

    Is that French for harder?

  46. thefiesty1 says: Apr 12, 2012 11:22 PM

    What a mess. Benson should have appointed himself as head coach? Couldn’t be much worse than the situation in Dallas with Jones in charge of everything and puppets thinking they are in charge.

  47. vtopa says: Apr 12, 2012 11:44 PM

    Of course that would be a little far-fetched. Almost as far-fetched as a three-year bounty system that continued for two years after the NFL investigated it and found nothing.
    ——————————————-
    Seriously (eyes rolling)? Come ON dude. You’re better than that, aren’t you? At least TRY to have some modicum of impartiality. This Saints bashing on PFT is starting to get unseemly.

  48. rabbdogg says: Apr 13, 2012 4:12 AM

    sean payton says…”hi haters”

  49. cowboycjn says: Apr 13, 2012 10:49 AM

    someidiotfromouthereintheprojects says:
    Apr 12, 2012 5:36 PM
    if vitt has to head coach then who will monitor the oxy inventory?
    – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -
    We are gonna let your teams coaching staff come watch it. You are about as funny as a hemorrhoid, probably look like one too.

  50. cowboycjn says: Apr 13, 2012 10:53 AM

    gotampabay52 says:
    Apr 12, 2012 5:18 PM
    Stupid payton will be in contact with the saints its so hard now a days to total stop all contact with othe coaches and players this is a joke I root for vodoo and karma against the saints screw your who dat if you all could speak right screw the saints
    – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – — – - – - – - -
    Look whos talking about speaking right! In Tampa you are probably speaking a Cuban dielect. Heck might as well make south florida a providence of Cuba – half breeds. Oh don’t worry we will have a communications collar on Sean and everytime he speaks it will be recorded – what a sensless sharing of useless ideas.
    Lets see what you are gonna say when Tampa is at the bottom of the division and the Saints are the champs again.

  51. seenoland54 says: Apr 13, 2012 10:54 AM

    Let’s see, head coach suspended so he is replaced by a coach that is being…suspended? Ya boy Saints, keep that integrity thing rolling. Probably just trying to get the full suspension schedule so they can have al;l the criminals take turns running the “mob”.

  52. cowboycjn says: Apr 13, 2012 10:56 AM

    jxegh says:
    Apr 12, 2012 5:45 PM
    With Vitt still there, the bounty system can stay intact. But on the down low of course.
    – - – - – - – – - – - – - – – - – - – - –
    Yep, just like your team does. We have learned to do like the other teams and just don’t be so bold and open about the program all other teams are doing. Like every other team is so clean and wouldn’t think of having a pay for performance program. Grow up kid.

  53. rolldat09 says: Apr 13, 2012 2:27 PM

    Hey phillyfanmat, thanks for pointing out the way auto correct butchered the “de” in Fleur de Lis on my post. See if you can catch this typo: Suck my kock!!…repost when you get it.

  54. kungfubillysims says: Apr 13, 2012 9:35 PM

    wow you busters I forgot about how your coach was an oxy head too

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