Thursday, 23 August 2012 10:43

Not Payton or Brees for New Orleans Saints but Vitt, Kromer and Vilma

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vilmaYou know it is a strange pre-season when the names you hear associated with New Orleans Saints news are not Drew Brees, Sean Payton but Joe Vitt, Aaron Kromer and Jonathan Vilma. 

But, that is the way of the bounty.


Offensive line/running game coach Aaron Kromer will serve as the Saints interim while interim head coach/assistant head coach Joe Vitt serves a six-game suspension for his role in the bounty drama.

Kromer will serve as the head coach for the Saints' final two preseason games. Kromer will officially take over for Vitt starting on Sept. 3 leading up to the Saints' opening regular-season game against Washington on Sept. 9 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.


"I appreciate the confidence that Mr. Benson and Mickey (Loomis) have in me to handle this duty while coach Vitt and coach Payton are not with us," said Kromer in a Saints news release.

"This was a difficult decision because we have several coaches on our staff that would do a great job in this role," said Loomis, the Saints GM. "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."

Kromer has interviewed for head-coaching jobs.


"The job our staff has done during Sean's absence has been remarkable," said Vitt. "We have great talent and depth on our coaching staff, but most importantly we have guys on this coaching staff that clearly understand the foundation of success that Sean has built on that foundation."

Kromer, 45, joined the Saints in 2008, after stints with the Raiders (2001-04) and the Buccaneers (2005-07). He coached at Miami (Ohio) and Northwestern before taking a job on Jon Gruden's staff in Oakland.


A source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that the NFL "definitely" offered an eight-game reduction in Saints linebacker Jon Vilma's fine while the league and Vilma were working out their differences on their own.

Earlier this month, a report emerged that the league had offered to cut Vilma's one-year suspension in half. The league denied that any such offer had been made.

The source said Vilma could have had the reduction in the suspension if he had wanted it. He apparently didn't want it.

According to PFT,  it's believed that the NFL's lawyers hope to insulate Commissioner Roger Goodell from ever having to testify. If that belief is accurate, and if Judge Helen G. Berrigan decides to convene a full-blown evidentiary hearing to resolve the conflict in the sworn statements of Goodell, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith, and Browns linebacker Scott Fujita on the question of whether Goodell was ready to discipline players when he disciplined non-players on Marh 21, the NFL could make an aggressive run at settling the entire case.

Jesuit-based Retif Oil won the American Legion World Series title with a 4-0 victory over Brooklawn, N. J. in the championship game at Shelby, N. C....Saints players who made The's  All NFC South Best for 2012 Team: QB, Drew Brees; RB, Darren Sharper; G, Jahri Evans; DE, Will Smith; S, Malcolm Jenkins; P, Thomas Morstead...Sproles (sore) will sit out the Saints' final two preseason games. He says the knee won't be a problem on opening day and they're just being cautious...

SOME hither, others yon: Saints suspended linebacker Jon Vilma has a subtle message for NFL commish Roger Goodell with signs in his restaurant that read "DO NOT SERVE THIS MAN" over Goodell's photo. Goodell isn't welcome  at Brother Jimmy's BBQ in Miami where Vilma is part-owner along with Panthers LB Jon Beacon and Broncos LB D. J. Williams. The signs are posted in the front window and the dining room. If the Commish gets a hankerin' for Swamp Water or Catalina Cola there are five locations in New York...

WR Adrian Arrington (knee surgery) hasn't even started running in a pool yet. He is hoping to get to the pool next week and then return to return to practice two weeks after that. Even if he sticks by this optimistic time table, he's going to miss at least Week 1.

He and Courtney Roby have been taking the No. 4 wideout reps

LSU ranks third in SEC recruiting in quantity, but first in quality. The Tigers have just 22 commitments, but are first in average (four-to-five star commitments) and 13 high end commitments. LSU doesn't have five-star commitment but has 10 four-star, 6 three-star and 1  2-star commitments...


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Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography. | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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