The New Orleans Saints named Joe Vitt as their interim head coach for the 2012 season, but Vitt has also been suspended for the first six regular season games for his role in the bounty scandal that got head coach Sean Payton suspended for the entire 2012 season.
So Vitt, a Saints assistant since Payton came to New Orleans in 2006, will be the head coach through training camp and the preseason, then duck out for six games, before returning again to head coaching duties. Saints general manager Mickey Loomis, who will also be suspended the first eight games of the regular season, said the team won’t decide who’ll be the interim interim head coach during Vitt’s suspension until after training camp begins.
Loomis said selecting Vitt was all about continuity. “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,” the Saints GM explained.
Owner Tom Benson is keeping to the same script. “This is about our program, and the continued success of our program,” says Benson. “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 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.”