Offensive Line Coach/Running Game
Entering his fifth season with the Saints, Aaron Kromer brings 22 years of coaching experience to the coaching staff, the majority of it developing and tutoring offensive linemen. He’s also responsible for the design and blocking schemes of the rushing attack.
After initially tutoring the Saints running backs in 2008, Kromer has tutored the Saints offensive line the past three seasons. The former college offensive lineman has developed the skills of seven Pro Bowl blockers during his time in the NFL, including three in 2011. Known for his teaching skills and attention to detail, five Saints blockers have been selected to the Pro Bowl under Kromer’s tutelage. The line has allowed just 70 sacks over the past three seasons, the third-lowest total in the NFL. In both 2009 and 2011, the New Orleans offensive line has been honored with the Madden Most Valuable Protectors Award, awarded annually to the best offensive line in the NFL.
After tutoring an offensive line in which all five players had started 22 consecutive regular season games, Kromer played a vital role in the development of two first-time starters in T Zach Strief and C Brian de la Puente in 2011. The line allowed just 24 sacks, tied for the second-fewest in the NFL, and played an instrumental role in blocking for an offense that set the league’s single-season yardage record as well as several other NFL marks, with a resurgent run game ranked sixth in the league, grinding out 132.9 yards per game, their most productive season since 1987. The guard tandem of Jahri Evans and Carl Nicks were selected as Pro Bowl starters and voted Associated Press All-Pro, while T Jermon Bushrod was selected to his first Pro Bowl. It marked the second time in three years that three of Kromer’s linemen were selected to the NFL’s All-Star Game.
The offensive line allowed only 26 sacks in 2010, the fifth-lowest total in the NFL. Evans and Nicks were selected to the Pro Bowl, marking Nicks’ first appearance.
In his first season in his new position in 2009, a trio of Kromer’s linemen were selected to the Pro Bowl, each for the first time: Evans, C Jonathan Goodwin and T Jon Stinchcomb. Thanks in part to the line’s strong performance, New Orleans was ranked first in the NFL both in total yards per game (403.8) and points scored (510). Churning out 131.6 yards per game on the ground, the New Orleans running game was ranked sixth in the league. The offensive line surrendered only 20 sacks, the NFL’s fourth-lowest total.
Kromer’s achievements in leading the running backs in 2008 were many. RB Pierre Thomas emerged as a top threat over the last half of the season, rushing for 625 yards, hauling in 31 passes and scoring 12 touchdowns. As a unit, the running back corps combined for 2,472 yards from scrimmage and 28 TDs.
Kromer came to New Orleans after a three-year stint with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, including the final two as senior assistant/offensive line coach. In two of Kromer’s three seasons at Tampa Bay, the Buccaneers captured the NFC South division title. In 2007, he worked with an offensive line that cleared the way for the Buccaneers to rush for 1,872 yards and average nearly 327 yards of offense per game, as G Arron Sears earned All-Rookie honors. In 2006, despite the unit losing a total of 23 starts from injuries, Kromer contributed to the preparation of a pair of rookie starters weekly and Tampa Bay cracked the 1,500-yard rushing milestone.
He was a senior assistant for the Buccaneers in 2005, working primarily with the offensive line. Tampa Bay surpassed the 100-yard rushing plateau in 10 contests, and Kromer helped polish the skills of All-Rookie selection G Dan Buenning. Following the season, he was selected by former Bucs coach Jon Gruden to attend the NFL’s Coaches Career Development Symposium.
Kromer arrived in Tampa Bay after spending four seasons with Oakland as offensive line coach from 2002-04 and assistant offensive line coach in 2001, where he was a part of two AFC West Champion squads. The Raiders’ offensive front was the foundation of a unit that led the NFL in total offense in 2002 – the same season the club advanced to Super Bowl XXXVII.
While in Oakland, Kromer tutored Pro Bowl selections T Lincoln Kennedy (2001-02) and C Barrett Robbins (2002) and also coached 2004 All-Rookie selection T Robert Gallery. Prior to joining the Raiders – his first NFL assignment–he served as offensive line coach at Northwestern from 1999- 2000, with the Wildcats leading the Big Ten in total offense his final season.
He had previously spent nine seasons (1990-98) at Miami University (Ohio), his alma mater, where Kromer gained a wealth of experience and perspective while holding several assignments. He coached the offensive line in 1998, after previously working with the tight ends/H-Backs, defensive line and special teams. Kromer was a graduate assistant at the school from 1990-91.
Kromer lettered at Miami at offensive tackle from 1987-89 and served as a captain his last two seasons – one of only four players in the history of the program to serve as a two-time captain. He was a recipient of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete Award and graduated with a degree in education. Kromer earned his master’s degree in education administration in 1991.
Kromer and his wife, Dawn, have a son, Zachary, and a daughter, Brooke.
PLAYING CAREER: Miami (Ohio), 1986-89.
COACHING CAREER: Miami (Ohio), 1990-98; Northwestern
1999-2000; Oakland Raiders 2001-04; Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2005-07;
New Orleans Saints 2008-.
Bio as posted at NewOrleansSaints.com