The last thing Aaron Kromer is going to do this week is spend time thinking about what he learned as the New Orleans Saints’ interim coach.
In charge of a team that is seeking only its second win of the season, Kromer isn’t thinking about what happened during his six-game stint that could help him if and when he gets another chance to be a head coach down the road.
Nor will he be thinking about the game ball he received from defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo after the Saints broke into the win column with a 31-24 victory over the San Diego Chargers in their most recent outing on Oct. 7.
The only thing Kromer is thinking about is getting another win Sunday against the Tampa Bay Bucs before turning the reins back over to interim coach Joe Vitt, who returns Monday after serving a six-game suspension for his role in the bounty scandal.
“I can’t think about those things,” Kromer said of his time running the Saints. “All I can think about is finding a way to beat Tampa Bay and getting this team ready as a group — as coordinators, and players, and everybody, back on track after a week off.
“That’s as far as we can look ahead. “It sounds simple and it sounds simple-minded, but that’s football. What is the task at hand?”
It’s no secret Kromer would like to be an NFL head coach one day, but he said his experiences from the past six weeks will be irrelevant if that time ever comes.
He has at least been in the conversation and was scheduled to interview with the St. Louis Rams last winter before they hired Jeff Fisher. Kromer also got a call from the Indianapolis Colts.
“What I’ve learned or not learned, I don’t know how important that is,” Kromer said. “It’s important that we win games, and we win this week against Tampa Bay.
“How do we find a way to win the game? That’s the only thing you can think about, or you’ll get distracted.”
There’s been enough of that for the Saints this season. After a tumultuous offseason, they started the regular season with four straight losses before stopping the bleeding against the Chargers.
To a man, the Saints say the 0-4 start wasn’t Kromer’s fault.
“I’ve been impressed with the way Aaron has handled things,” said Spagnuolo. “Let me tell you something, that job, the shoes that he stepped into, it’s not easy. I don’t know who could’ve stepped in and done a better job because it wasn’t an easy thing with everything going on.”
“I know we’ve tried to rally around Aaron. I was very happy for him last week that he, as an interim head coach, had a win under his belt. I know that feeling, so I was happy for him.”
“He’s dealt with adversity well,” said cornerback Jabari Greer.
“It was a situation he didn’t ask for, but he’s responded to it well. He’s leading us in the direction we need to be going — that’s straightforward, keeping us focused.”