The New Orleans Saints have chosen Aaron Kromer to be the interim coach in place of their interim coach.
Kromer, who serves as the team’s offensive line coach and running game coordinator, will lead the team while interim coach Joe Vitt sits out six games for his role in the “Bounty-gate” scandal in which Saints players and coaches are alleged to have offered monetary bounties as incentive to knock opposing players from games.
The NFL suspended New Orleans head coach Sean Payton in mid-April for the entire year as punishment for his actions in the scandal, leaving Vitt to guide the team during the offseason and into preseason. Vitt will be forced to step aside in Week 1 and not allowed to return to the sidelines until six games have passed.
General manager Mickey Loomis, who announced the decision on Wednesday, will also serve an eight-game suspension as his penalty. Four players have also been suspended for various lengths for their roles, the most notable being the year-long suspension handed to middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma.
The decision to tap Kromer as the choice to fill in while both Payton and Vitt sit out frees up offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo to focus exclusively on their responsibilities without interruption.
“This was a difficult decision because we have several coaches on our staff that would do a great job in this role,” Loomis told reporters in New Orleans. “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.”