On the same day that Saints coach Sean Payton appealed his one-year suspension, Saints assistant head coach/linebackers coach Joe Vitt did the same.
Vitt is represented by David Cornwell, who also serves as executive director of the NFL Coaches Association.
“Vitt and I discussed our concern that his appeal be consistent with the association’s view that coaches also coach sportsmanship and fair play,” Cornwell said by email. “Based on these discussions, I am confident that Joe’s appeal and his long history in the NFL are consistent with our belief that there is no place at any level of football for bounties that target players.”
Vitt was suspended six games for his role in the team’s three-year bounty system, a punishment that was imposed also for multiple instances of lying to NFL investigators about the use of bounties.
If his suspension is overturned, Vitt could become a candidate to serve as the interim head coach. But with the appeal being heard by the same person who imposed it, a reduction would serve only to make Commissioner Roger Goodell seem wishy-washy.
In 2010, Vitt’s name emerged in a lawsuit filed by former Saints director of security Geoff Santini, who alleged that Vitt was caught on videotape stealing Vicodin from the team’s in-house supply of medications. The case was referred to arbitration, and it’s unknown whether the league ever took any specific action against Vitt.