Joe Vitt can’t coach, but he is going to try to help make some people better.
The suspended Saints interim coach is leaving Monday for Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he’s going to work with wounded veterans.
“If I can’t be around my players, maybe I can be around these ‘wounded warriors,’ and help them with their rehab,” Vitt said, via Mike Triplett of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “I’m extremely fired up about this. I’m going to leave my cell phone at home, I’m going to check into Walter Reed Hospital, and I’m going to stay as long as they want me.
“I’m fired up about that opportunity to help these guys. And I hope at the end of the day I’m of some use to them.”
Vitt hasn’t been off an NFL sideline in the fall since he started working for the Baltimore Colts in 1979, and wants to work with the veterans however he can. He can’t return to the Saints until after their Oct. 21 game at Tampa Bay. He has some plans about talking about game-planning and helping with rehab, but mostly he’s planning on showing up and helping as needed.
“I think it’s going to take me three or four days to really get the lay of the land, see what I can do to help. Then once I get into the groove, I may stay up there ’til the better part of the suspension is over,” Vitt said. “I’m in. Our players know what that means. If you’re in, you’re in. I’m not just going to dip my toe in the water. But I’m nervous as hell. I don’t know what to expect.”
It’s hard to find many positives out of the Saints suspensions, but credit to Vitt for finding one.