The Saints won’t use “We Miss Sean Payton” as the reason for their 0 and 3 start. I will! Sure, the defense is woefully inept, the offense sporadic, and the special teams not so special. Could Sean Payton make a difference in a 0 and 3 team? Absolutely. I’m not certain the Saints would be 3 and 0, but at the very least 1 and 2. It was no more evident the Saints don’t have a leader at the head coaching position than in Sunday’s 27 to 24 loss to the Chiefs. In the fourth quarter defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo called back to back time outs (against NFL rules) and the Saints were flagged with a delay of game penalty. It’s really not the fault of Aaron Kromer, or Steve Spagnuolo or even the players to be honest. Let’s talk about the team’s approach to leading without the head coach.
“This is Sean’s team”…we’ve all heard that mantra, right? “We’re following the plan Sean Payton laid out for us.” If that’s the case, the Saints need to deviate from that plan quickly. The plan wasn’t to be 0 and 3 against otherwise winless teams. The Chiefs, Redskins, and Panthers each have one win and are a combined 0 and 6 against the rest of the NFL. Coach Kromer can’t put his own stamp on the Saints because of this “It’s Sean’s team” approach. That logic is flawed. For the next 13 games it’s not Sean Patyon’s team. It’s respectable to honor the guy who means so much to an organization. However, General Patton didn’t fight his battles in the same manner as General Douglas MacArthur. Patton ran his command like Patton. Kromer or Vitt have to run the Saints like it’s “Aaron’s team” or “Joe’s team.” The approach is simply ill-conceived, and their unwillingness to deviate from that original plan is going to cost the Saints.
The players won’t publicly say it, but the Payton-less Saints are rudderless. They are without precision command. Sure, the players have to execute. But the premise that it’s “on them” is flawed as well. How good can we expect the execution to be without a solid directive from a leader who is ultimately accountable? In the Marines we never went into an operation with the idea of just taking the hill because we’re trained to take the hill. We took the hill with a precise, detailed strategy. The execution was flawless. When you have a leader who can execute the plan, you’re deadly. Right now Saints simply execute the plan, without precision. Leadership by committee NEVER works. You need the “alpha male”…(or in some cases “alpha female”) every group has one. The approach the Saints brain trust has this season…an interim for the interim is wrong. It’s not Sean’s team (for the time being), its Aaron Kromer’s team for the next three games. Until that approach changes, you can plan on gloomy Monday’s in the Big Easy. Buckle up! It’s going to be a long season.
With this D, Saints will struggle to win 4 games this year...Of course it would help if we had a coach with an actual pulse on the sideline. Kromer is in over his head and has dramatically lessened his chance to be a future head coach in this league.