Lost, to an extent, in the initial wave of reports regarding the lawsuit filed against the Saints alleging that former director of security Geoffrey Santini resigned after G.M. Mickey Loomis tried to cover up the theft and/or abuse of Vicodin is the potential role of assistant head coach/linebackers coach Joe Vitt.
A 55-year-old whose 30-year chain of NFL jobs dates back to the 1979 Baltimore Colts, Vitt spent 11 games as the interim head coach of the Rams in 2005, after a heart ailment knocked Mike Martz out of action. And Vitt — the unnamed senior staff member who was receiving large quantities of Vicodin due to a medical condition — supposedly appears on video removing Vicodin from the team’s drug locker.
Peter King of SI.com provides an excellent summary and interpretation of the situation in his Monday Morning Quarterback column, pointing out that G.M. Mickey Loomis allegedly directed Santini to not preserve the evidence before the surveillance system covered it up with new footage. Apparently, Santini defied Loomis and preserved the video — keeping (we’re told) a copy of the tape.
And if the tape shows Vitt taking Vicodin from the drug locker, Vitt has a big problem.
If the feds decide to investigate the matter aggressively, Vitt could at some point be confronted with hand-in-the-cookie-jar evidence of guilt, and then he’d be asked to provide any and all information he may have regarding the abuse, theft, or overprescription of Vicodin within the organization. Like any other investigation involving multiple players and layers, the feds would use the evidence against Vitt as leverage to troll for a bigger fish, or two.
Whether Vitt can help them catch a bigger fish, or two, remains to be seen. Regardless, it’s the kind of situation that necessarily will lead to frayed nerves and unwanted distractions as the team tries to rest up from its extended Super Bowl victory lap (which to some extent could still be continuing) and focus on trying to defend the first title in franchise history.