When he returns to work, likely the day after Super Bowl XLVII, suspended New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton will have to start by filling in at least one hole in his coaching staff.
Multiple media outlets reported Wednesday that Saints offensive line coach/running game coordinator Aaron Kromer will join the staff of new Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman, whose hiring was announced Wednesday morning.
Kromer, who’ll be the Bears’ offensive coordinator/offensive line coach, and Trestman worked together with the Oakland Raiders from 2001-03 when Trestman was the offensive coordinator there.
Kromer, who posted a 2-4 record as the Saints interim coach when interim coach Joe Vitt was serving a bounty suspension for the first six games of the season, joined Payton’s staff in 2008.
After coaching running backs in 2008, Kromer took over the offensive line in 2009. In four seasons, he led a group that won the Madden Most Valuable Protectors Award that season and again in 2011 as the top offensive line.
In his time working with the offensive line, Kromer had two players — guards Jahri Evans and Carl Nicks — named first-team All-Pro with Evans earning that honor this season for the fourth straight time.
Kromer also had five Pro Bowl players — Evans, Nicks, center Jonathan Goodwin, and tackles Jermon Bushrod and Jon Stinchcomb — with nine invites between them from 2009-12.
During that time, the Saints were among the league leaders in fewest sacks allowed as they gave up just 96 — including 20 in 2009 when they won the Super Bowl — in 2,634 pass attempts. They also ranked sixth in the league in rushing in 2009 and 2011.
Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis did not respond to an email seeking confirmation of Kromer’s exit.
On Jan. 9, Loomis said all assistant coaches whose contracts had expired were offered new deals and added that he expected all those that weren’t under contract to remain with the team.
“I would be surprised if they went anyplace else,” Loomis said then, “but they have that right.”
Payton has often said that it’s a compliment when a member of his staff is considered for other jobs — especially head coaching jobs at the college or NFL levels.
Last month, Kromer was one of three finalists for the Boston College head coaching job that eventually went to Temple’s Steve Addazio. Also, Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr., whose contract also reportedly expired, interviewed for the Bears’ job that Trestman landed.