After the final preseason game, Saints interim head coach Joe Vitt will begin his six-game suspension. So are the Saints any closer to naming the interim interim coach?
“No,” Vitt told the media on Friday. “Again, we’ve played one preseason game.”
Someone then asked an excellent follow-up question: “Would you want to give the coach that will take over the chance to get a couple of games under his belt during the preseason?”
Vitt answered the question without answering the question.
“Again, we’re in the process of evaluating this football team,” Vitt said. “We’re in the process of making sure that we’re putting the right people in the right places and getting the proper number of reps. When the time comes for Mickey [Loomis] and Mr. Benson to call me in and even ask my opinion on such a move, but that time has not come yet. That hasn’t been on the agenda for the last couple of days and I don’t really see it in the next couple of days as we move forward going into our last week of training camp.”
Still, at some point someone needs to figure out who’ll take over. For the possible candidates (presumably, offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr., defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, and offensive line coach Aaron Kromer), the unsettled question eventually will become a distraction for them. Indeed, whoever will be the interim to the interim for seven weeks (five games, the bye, and the sixth game) needs to plan for that adjustment to his day-to-day life, especially since the first game is only four weeks away.
That said, don’t be surprised if the decision already has been made and communicated to the interim interim coach, with the team keeping it under wraps as long as possible so that the players won’t be confused about who’s in charge.
For that same reason, we fully expect Vitt to continue to be the head coach through the preseason — and for the interim interim to clearly and unmistakably hand the keys back to Vitt once his suspension ends.