METAIRIE, La. – New Orleans Saints acting head coach Joe Vitt learned late Wednesday afternoon when his suspension would begin and that helped the organization figure out when its interim to the interim would start.
Vitt's last non-suspension day will be Sept. 2; a day later, Aaron Kromer will take over as interim head coach for the first six games of the seaseon.
The Saints’ final preseason game is Aug. 30. NFL rosters must be cut down to 53 players on Aug. 31 and a practice squad must be announced on Sept. 1. The first regular season game is Sept. 9.
That's one reason Vitt put the team into regular season mode this week.
The team cut training camp off this week, moving into regular season mode ahead of Saturday’s preseason game against Houston.
“I like our mindset going into this week,” quarterback Drew Brees said. “With the circumstances of, at this point, Joe Vitt not being with us starting in about a week and a half, I think it is appropriate that we all get into a regular season mindset and routine. I think that will be good for us.”
While the Saints haven’t chosen a six-week successor to Vitt – he said the decision is up to general manager Mickey Loomis and owner Tom Benson – getting new coaches and players used to the routine early seemed like a good idea.
“We’re showing them what the protocol is and what we’re going to do in the regular season,” Vitt said. “With a new defensive staff, we’re running new computer reports. We want to make sure we have the kinks out of that before we start the regular season.”