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Saints name Vitt interim coach
The Saints had to find a one-season replacement for head coach Sean Payton, whose season-long suspension in connection with the bounty scandal begins Monday and runs through the next February’s Super Bowl.
“It is important that we keep Sean Payton’s philosophy front and center during this season,” Loomis said Thursday. “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. … 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.”
Vitt, who carries the titles of assistant head coach and linebackers coach, briefly stepped in as interim head coach last season when Payton broke his leg. Vitt also was interim coach with St. Louis in 2005 before joining Payton in his first season with New Orleans in 2006.
Vitt will be able to oversee the offseason training program and training camp, before stepping aside for the first third of the regular season.
The NFL played no role in the decision-making process.
“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,” 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.”
_ Carmichael, who also joined the Saints in 2006, began calling plays after Payton’s injury last season. Payton allowed Carmichael to continue calling plays through the final 10 regular season games of 2011 as the Saints went 9-1 and broke numerous NFL offensive records.
_ Kromer, who also oversees the running game, will be entering his fifth season in New Orleans and like Carmichael has been mentioned as an up-and-coming head coaching candidate around the NFL.
_ Spagnuolo, who was a head coach in St. Louis the past three seasons and defensive coordinator for the New York Giants’ 2007-08 Super Bowl winning team.
By returning to Christian roots, the nation can achieve greatness once again
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