Saints OL coach Kromer takes over for interim Vitt for season's first six weeks

Aaron Kromer will take over for Joe Vitt. (US Presswire)

With Sean Payton gone for all of 2012 and with Saints interim coach Joe Vitt scheduled for a six-game suspension beginning in Week 1 of the regular season, we’ve wondered who will be the interim to the interim.

Now, the team has announced that Vitt’s interim is New Orleans offensive line coach Aaron Kromer.

“This was a difficult decision because we have several coaches on our staff that would do a great job in this role,” said general manager Mickey Loomis, who is suspended for the first half of the season. “Ultimately, I wanted to have the least amount of change with both the offensive and defensive staffs, and maintain the most continuity with the program that has been in place for the last six years.”

The Saints pointed out that Loomis “was deliberate in making his decision” and that he spoke with Vitt and other members in the organization. Of course, this also means Steve Spagnuolo won’t have to temporarily give up his defensive coordinator duties to replace Vitt, and the same goes for offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael.

“Aaron has been with us since 2008, he has coached with Sean both in college and here at the Saints. He is very familiar with our team and with the methods we have been successful with. He will do a great job,” Loomis said in the team statement.

Kromer originally joined the organization in 2008 where he initially served as the running backs coach. Three years ago, he was moved to the offensive line where he has helped develop a solid core to help protect Drew Brees.

Jahri Evans, Carl Nicks, Jermon Bushrod, Jonathan Goodwin and Jon Stinchcomb have made the Pro Bowl with Kromer in charge of the unit. Last season, the team allowed only 24 sacks, the second-fewest in the league, although Brees and his ability to make rushing defenders miss while getting the ball out of the pocket quickly certainly deserves credit as well.

“I appreciate the confidence that Mr. Benson and Mickey have in me to handle this duty while Coach Vitt and Coach Payton are not with us,” Kromer said. “Coach Payton has laid a successful foundation here and our jobs are to make sure we keep moving in that direction.”

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