Time will tell if the musical chairs head coach routine was the right decision. One thing that’s been clear throughout this process is that this is still Sean Payton’s team. That was reinforced in making Joe Vitt, his right hand man, the interim head coach. The Saints will honor Payton’s legacy and continue to implement his philosophy in his absence. It’s basically being set up to keep it as close to the way Sean Payton wants it for his return in a year. Otherwise, they could have blown the whole thing up and started anew.
So from that aspect, Joe Vitt getting the call made sense. He’s a good leader, a fiery guy, and someone that Sean Payton trusts implicity. From everything I’ve read it seems like Vitt finishes Payton’s sentences. Had Vitt not been facing a suspension, this move was a no brainer and a foregone conclusion. But his 6 game absence complicated this significantly, and because of that the Saints failed to give the Saints structure in an already poorly structured season.
Humans are creatures of habit, and 20 year old football players are even moreso. They need their routines and structure around them to thrive and perform up to their potential. Not only is this season already confusing and odd with Sean Payton being gone for a year with the promise he’ll be back, but the Saints managed to make it more complicated by essentially naming two head coaches for separate points in the season. Again, I do feel Joe Vitt was the right person for the job IF he wasn’t looking at a 6 game suspension. Even if he was only going to miss 2 games, it would probably be the right move. But you’re talking about your plan B guy being at just over 60% capacity, and to me that just doesn’t make any sense. Having Joe Vitt for an entire season as the head coach is already a downgrade. Having him ~60% operational is even worse. In my estimation he just wasn’t available enough to do the job required, and that’s why the Saints should have barked up a different tree. Bill Parcells, Aaron Kromer, Pete Carmichael Jr… whatever. Anyone but Vitt. But this is Sean Payton’s dysfunctional situation, so why make it any more functional I guess?
All I know is the odds were stacked against the Saints in 2012 without their mastermind head coach. The “coaching carousel solution” they came up with just made their chances of succeeding that much more unlikely.