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Jonathan Bachman, File, Associated Press
FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2011, file photo, New Orleans Saints assistant coach Joe Vitt walks the sideline during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in New Orleans. The Saints named Vitt their interim coach on Thursday, April 12, 2012, despite the fact that he will miss a third of the season for his role in New Orleans' bounty system.

NEW ORLEANS — Saints quarterback Drew Brees says Joe Vitt was the "obvious choice" to take over as interim coach while Sean Payton spends the 2012 season serving a suspension for his role in the club's bounty system.

Vitt also was suspended for six games, but Brees says Vitt is one of the most respected coaches he has ever been around.

Brees told The Associated Press Friday Vitt's ability to lead the team in an uncertain time is undeniable in the Saints' locker room. The quarterback says he believes he speaks for the entire team in saying Vitt, who is the assistant head coach and linebackers coach, is the best choice.

The 57-year-old Vitt has worked in the NFL since 1979 and joined the Saints as part of Payton's first staff in 2006.