I'm guilty of buying into the "committee" approach while suspended Saints Coach Sean Payton serves his season long suspension. Now it is clear that approach did not work in week one. The Saints need one leader to hold players and other coaches accountable, be the voice of the franchise to the officials and motivate the team.
Aaron Kromer (above) and the Saints lost their season opener to the Redskins. I think we all thought the Saints would miss Payton's ability to call plays during the game, but we underestimated the undeniable swagger he brings to the sidelines. I didn't see that Sunday against Washington. I didn't see the confidence that was so common place in year past.
What's more? Aaron Kromer didn't distinguish himself as "the guy." He's in an awkward situation as the interim guy that will eventually go back to being the offensive line coach when Joe Vitt returns from his 6 game suspension to retake the interim head coaching duties. How does Kromer separate himself from his peers on the current staff? How does he establish that he's in charge?
The Saints were flagged for 12 men on the field in a critical juncture of the game against Washington. The penalty gave the Redskins a set of fresh downs, ate more precious time off the clock, and led to 3 points. Payton would have asserted himself to the special team's coordinator (Greg McMahon). Kromer can't necessarily do that considering he's technically on the same level as the assistant coaches. Kromer has consistently said the coaching staff will handle things with a "group" effort.
Group efforts are good, and needed with teams, but you always need that "alpha male." You must have the guy that is the clear cut leader of the team. The Saints simply don't have that right now. Kromer's 'I'm doing what Sean Payton would do' approach needs to change. He can't do what Sean Payton does, not many can. Kromer has to separate himself from the rest of the coaches and become the unquestioned leader in Payton's and Vitt's absence.
Leadership by committee doesn't work in business, the military or football. Sure the players have to execute, but without a definitive leader and plan it's difficult to carry out the mission.
(Photo by Chris Bennett)