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Appeal rulings could come Monday or Tuesday, player discipline this week

Payton_Loomis_76877300_244x183 Getty Images

The appeal hearings on the penalties imposed against various members of the Saints organization were held four days ago.  A ruling was possible, but not likely, on Friday.  A quick decision, however, would have created the impression that Commissioner Roger Goodell didn’t seriously consider the arguments presented by the four entities who made their cases on Thursday.

Regardless, the matter won’t hold for much longer.  Peter King of SI.com reports that a decision on the appeals is coming Monday or Tuesday, at the latest.  King also says he’d be surprised if Goodell doesn’t impose discipline on the players involved in the bounty scandal this week.

King also believes (correctly, we believe) that last week’s bombshell audio from former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams won’t persuade Goodell to blame the whole thing on a “rogue coach” and show lenience to Sean Payton, Mickey Loomis, Joe Vitt, or the Saints organization.

If Williams was talking this way after the NFL put the Saints on notice that the investigation had been reopened, two years after the Saints successfully lied to the league about the non-existence of a bounty system, what was Williams saying in earlier pre-game meetings?  What did he say the night before the Saints played the Cardinals and Kurt Warner in the NFC playoffs in 2009?  The night before the Saints played the Vikings and Brett Favre for the conference title?  The night before Saints played the Colts and Peyton Manning in Super Bowl XLIV?  (Williams, by the way, had explained publicly before Super Bowl XLIV that his team would be attempting to apply “remember me” hits to Manning; Williams used that same term in his pre-game speech regarding 49ers quarterback Alex Smith.)

Before the now-infamous bounty bowl against Brett Favre, Payton danced toward the line over which Williams did a cannonball in January.   “When you get older in life, you tend to get very careful, and a little more fearful,” Payton told the Saints on the eve of the team’s first-ever NFC championship win.  “You start thinking about your own mortality.  If it rains outside you might not go to the store, especially at night.  You figure you’ll just wait it out.  You might have somewhere to go and you tell yourself I don’t want to go there.  You don’t want to get in a wreck.

“If you keep hitting [Favre] he’ll make a mistake.  If we keep putting pressure on him he’ll start being careful, he’ll start doing anything he can to avoid getting hit and he’ll make a mistake.  I promise you, if we hit him for four quarters, he’ll turn into that old man who’s scared of the rain.”

Those words — which caused no concerns when first disclosed by Jeff Duncan of the New Orleans Times-Picayune — will now trigger feelings of discomfort, given Williams’ remarks before the Saints’ more recent game against the 49ers.  And given Williams’ remarks from January 2012, it’s not a huge leap of logic to assume that Payton painted with a broad brush, and that Williams applied a surgeon’s scalpel to the various and sundry parts of Favre’s body that had been banged up over the years.

The fact that no one from the organization sounded the alarm after Williams said what he said about the 49ers means that no one sounded the alarm after any of his other postseason pre-game speeches, which quite possibly were as bad as, if not worse than, the things Williams said before what could end up being the last game he ever works for an NFL team.

Thus, even if Williams was a “rogue coach,” enough other members of the organization knew or should have known about it, and they failed to do anything to get him under control.  Though it may not make things worse for Payton or Loomis or Vitt or the Saints organization, it won’t make things any better.

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43 Responses to “Appeal rulings could come Monday or Tuesday, player discipline this week”
  1. jackntorres says: Apr 9, 2012 9:40 AM

    If you are scared of the rain, then football isn’t for you.

  2. jf203 says: Apr 9, 2012 9:44 AM

    See you next year guys……

  3. eballa1 says: Apr 9, 2012 9:50 AM

    What do you want coaches to say before a big game?

    “OK, let’s go out there and not hit them too hard. Let’s set them down when we tackle them. Be careful around that old man’s ankles. Let’s not be violent out there. Don’t play too hard.”

  4. cakemixa says: Apr 9, 2012 9:50 AM

    I’m notsaying it won’t happen, but how exactly does King writing “I believe Goodell will rule on the suspension appeals today or Tuesday” mean he is “reporting” that it will happen?

  5. Gordon says: Apr 9, 2012 9:51 AM

    I love when you post that picture.

  6. thejuddstir says: Apr 9, 2012 9:51 AM

    The suspensions need to be doubled, the fines quadrupled. Bountygate will forever be the legacy of the Taints*, Goodell needs to make sure it never happens again or it would also become his legacy as Commissioner. Payton should actually get the “indefinite suspension” also as it is quite clear that he and Williams were one voice in this b.s.

  7. bigperm33 says: Apr 9, 2012 9:54 AM

    wait, goodell doesn’t want to drag this out some more. Why not put off ruling on the players until July, August? opening week? that way the nfl can achieve its apparent goal of allowing this story to continue to lead football coverage for weeks and months. i have never seen anyone so inept at making a decision – even bud selig can react faster than goodell. this was an nfl investigation – why was the information released so long before punishment was announced?

  8. Mike Florio says: Apr 9, 2012 9:55 AM

    When Peter “believes” things of this nature, he usually has a very good reason.

  9. cupcakes887 says: Apr 9, 2012 9:57 AM

    Remember when everyone was knocking those pictures of Favre after that game? Those bruises on the hamstring and ankle were awful. probably some of his worst ever if he took pictures…

  10. fballguy says: Apr 9, 2012 10:02 AM

    This is Payton’s second scandel and second cover up. He’s not a straight up guy. If Goodell reduces the suspension he loses a lot of credibility in my eyes.

  11. bwerickson82 says: Apr 9, 2012 10:02 AM

    I just love how Saints fans are making excuses for their team. “Coaches talk like that all the time.” No they don’t. I have heard the pump up speech. Hit them hard, play aggressive, all that stuff. Go 110% when they snap the ball, play play your assignment. I have never heard a coach say take out his ACL. Twist their ankles in the piles. What type of human are you to say something like this? The more Saint’s fans keep making excuses for them, the more I am losing respect for that organization. Pretty much now they are my most hated team, even if my favorite team isn’t in their division. Oh by the way, Who Dat? That’s the dumbest line I’ve ever heard. Who ever made the line up probably couldn’t speak right.

  12. purplepridehasadownside says: Apr 9, 2012 10:04 AM

    As a Vikings fan I have to say, this is getting old, noone knows how the outcome of the Saints/Vikings game would have been without the Saints D pounding on Favre, and it’s in the books now, so it doesn’t matter, hand down the fines/suspensions or whatever and let’s all MOVE ON!

  13. pftrocks says: Apr 9, 2012 10:12 AM

    Florio….U nailed it right here w Payton’s own words & his foolish Sargent Schultz excuse that he & the org were appealing with. It was bad move for Payton/Vitt to scapegoat Williams for actions they employed, the message to players is distrust both of them.

    The Saints R being demonized for common actions.. but some1 had to w this new era.
    Please call out some of these JACKASS players coaches acting stunned @ the audio when other teammates/players have stated the obvious…Ex: Irvin/Darren Woodsen….Dungy/Vikings DL coach, Carl Banks summed this stuff best.

  14. dvdman123 says: Apr 9, 2012 10:14 AM

    Wow folks just step for a moment and realize we are talking about football and NOT tennis here. It’s a rough sport and a lot of it is based on motivating players to hit hard. I still ask you where is the proof that the Saints actually followed through with this bounty system. I see a lot of smoke here but no fire.

  15. cjh77 says: Apr 9, 2012 10:15 AM

    Regardless of what the league does, how can Benson not fire both Loomis and Payton? Those guys blatantly ignored orders from their boss, while knowing that their actions were under scrutiny due to an investigation. Apparently Benson told them that the league was opening an investigation of these practices. Wow. And while they may have contributed to building a strong football team, their arrogance has hurt the franchise for years to come (suspensions, loss of draft picks, etc).

  16. jenniferxxx says: Apr 9, 2012 10:24 AM

    Is there anything the Saints could do that their fans wouldn’t excuse?

  17. sfsaintsfan says: Apr 9, 2012 10:27 AM

    The Saints were SOOOOOO Dirty against the 49’ers that the entire team, as a whole had……ZERO Penalties for the entire game. Not a single roughing the passer, not a single late hit, not a single blow to the head of a defenseless receiver. How many NFL Games do you see that? There were no penalties because the Saints Defense played a very clean game. They played like crap, but they were within the rules.

    Really, when does the lack of any result on the field really matter?

    Please stop bringing up old man Brett Favre. He couldn’t walk before the NFC Championship Game. There was one late hit and that guy was pushed into Favre.

    Again, I will keep writing this and you can keep deleting this, over the last three years, the Saints as a team were fined far less than the most in the NFL for illegal hits. The NFL looks at every play from every game, if the Saints were really “out for blood” don’t you think it would have showed up on the film?

    The NFL “knew” the Saints were engaged in a “pay for performance” program during the 2009 season. I am sure they looked at every play from every Saints game, and the Saints were 11th or so in the NFL in fines and penalties for illegal hits. Why so low, if they were out for blood? Maybe because the players knew what it was, a bunch of hot air? The NFL “knew” the Saints were possibly engaged in a “pay for performance” program after the 2009 season in 2010 and 2011. Again, the Saints were nowhere near the top when it came to illegal hits.

    I agree with penalizing the Saints for lying. There was no result on the field for the “bounty” program.

  18. clintonportisheadd says: Apr 9, 2012 10:32 AM

    Mike Florio says: Apr 9, 2012 9:55 AM

    When Peter “believes” things of this nature, he usually has a very good reason.

    —————————-

    The reason may be too “inside baseball” for most here but what he means is Peter King has the same role for Roger Goodell as Chris Mortenson of ESPN has for the Mannings/Tom Condon/CAA. And that is their position as the “preferred reporter” to leak things to when it suits their needs.

  19. djstat says: Apr 9, 2012 10:34 AM

    I do not think anyone would care about a coach saying “Hit em hard” or hit him so hard he cannot finish the game”. Its offering money to take a player out of the game or tell players to go for injuries like ACL’s that are at issue.

    As for Benson, he is a spineless jellyfish.

  20. medtxpack says: Apr 9, 2012 10:36 AM

    not trying to be a homer, but it would take a lot more than 4 qtrs of beating to scare Favre. that man is a beast on the football field and will play til he cant walk, like he did. The Saints gave him their best shot but he still walked off that field.

  21. dexterismyhero says: Apr 9, 2012 10:37 AM

    I love all the thumbs down from the NOLA fans here……Go stick some beads up your butts…………

  22. saints25 says: Apr 9, 2012 10:41 AM

    NFL has been investgating The Saints for 3 years? why didnt they know about this audio of GW? I dont agree with GW calling out players names for injury,but Also for all you flag football fans,the Saints didnt have ONE penalty in the 49er’s game,even though GW told them what he wanted them to do,They did not do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!..IMO ,the players Cant be punished,the NFL has no proof of Intent!!!!!!

  23. durno99 says: Apr 9, 2012 10:42 AM

    The Saints are a rogue team like a snake and cut it off at the head. How do you like that term now Saints?

  24. patsaintsbroncoscheat says: Apr 9, 2012 10:43 AM

    They should double the suspensions and ban Williams for life. Someone should probably give Williams a little more than a suspension as well, slap the crap outta them man titties!

  25. erictheclown says: Apr 9, 2012 10:59 AM

    cjh77 says:
    Apr 9, 2012 10:15 AM
    Regardless of what the league does, how can Benson not fire both Loomis and Payton?

    Beacause Benson Knew and the coaches “got the story straight” and are covering up for him.

    they are being rewarded for that.

    Also, Brees knew too!

  26. zn0rseman says: Apr 9, 2012 11:05 AM

    Personally, I feel the Saints got off extraordinarily easy.

    They implimented an illegal and outright dispicable bounty program designed to cause career ending injuries to ther players. They took and distributed money from a convicted racketeer tied to sports gambling, who they allowed from their sidelines and in their locker room. They gave this guy a Super Bowl ring! (Who knows if that guy had an impact on the horribly one-sided officiating.) That’s cheating on a level that make SpyGate look like a joke! Then they lied to the league repeatedly for years while investigation, and continued to cheat brazenly.

    I’m appaled at how light their punishment is. Payton should face the same ban that Williams did. There is no way that he not only knew, but approved of what Williams was doing. The same is also likely true for owner Tom Benson and assistant head coach, Joe Vitt.

    Frankly, the organization as a whole got off light. Two 2nd round picks??? That’s less than the Patriots got for far smaller infractions. You’re talking about a team (the Saints) who literally STOLE a Super Bowl, and got away with it. Where is the punishment? Where is the justice? As any Vikings fan if they’d give up two 2nd round picks for a Lombardi Trophy, and I can tell you what 100% of the answers will be.

    $0.02,

    –Z

  27. robf2010 says: Apr 9, 2012 11:12 AM

    “Regardless of what the league does, how can Benson not fire both Loomis and Payton?”

    Because they’re quite possibly protecting him and because they are both very good at their jobs. No matter how much these penalties set the team back (If they set them back at all), it won’t be as far back as they were when they arrived. The owner, the team, and the fans all support them.

  28. saintsfan1111 says: Apr 9, 2012 11:23 AM

    > Is there anything the Saints could do that their fans wouldn’t excuse?

    We are not excusing it, but we well know the league is making an example of our team cause of lawsuits. The media never put this out there…the league did. This thing is or was practiced league wide, and it’s hilarious that fans don’t think their own teams engaged in it.

  29. kronix7 says: Apr 9, 2012 11:26 AM

    Eballa1 what you don’t say is here’s 10 grand now take out a certain players knees. Your missing the whole point.

  30. captatl says: Apr 9, 2012 11:29 AM

    dvdman123 says:Apr 9, 2012 10:14 AM

    Wow folks just step for a moment and realize we are talking about football and NOT tennis here. It’s a rough sport and a lot of it is based on motivating players to hit hard. I still ask you where is the proof that the Saints actually followed through with this bounty system. I see a lot of smoke here but no fire.

    ———————————————————
    Proof? There is a photo above of the two men who admitted the program, and apologized. The 3rd person, GW has admitted and apologized as well. Joe Vitt has tap danced, but has not denied it existed, and you want PROOF. You cant be serious? PROOF? They have NEVER came out publically and denied that there was a scale for injury payout. So any reasonable person would acertain that by absense of denial, and in light of apologies, that the program did exist. You and I will never see the hard facts, or the interviews. But we dont need too. The parties involved KNOW they are guilty. Maybe you should call the League office and tell them you want them to send you the PROOF.

  31. kronix7 says: Apr 9, 2012 11:31 AM

    How is it that everybody else gets it but the Saints* fans?? I understand supporting your team to a certain extent but that’s ridiculous. Nobody did this to you, your franchise did this all by themselves.

  32. captatl says: Apr 9, 2012 11:42 AM

    sfsaintsfan says:Apr 9, 2012 10:27 AM

    The NFL “knew” the Saints were engaged in a “pay for performance” program during the 2009 season. I am sure they looked at every play from every Saints game, and the Saints were 11th or so in the NFL in fines and penalties for illegal hits. Why so low, if they were out for blood? Maybe because the players knew what it was, a bunch of hot air? The NFL “knew” the Saints were possibly engaged in a “pay for performance” program after the 2009 season in 2010 and 2011. Again, the Saints were nowhere near the top when it came to illegal hits.
    ———————————————————-
    Not sure where you get your info from, but it does not jive with the NFL’s info. Looks like homerism and grasping at hope. How about I give you a link to bring you back to reality, and paste a bit of that post to show your 11th or so is a bit off from top 5.

    4. In each of the 2009-2011 seasons, the Saints were one of the top five teams in the league in roughing the passer penalties. In 2009 and 2011, the Saints were also in the top five teams in unnecessary roughness penalties; in 2010, the Saints ranked sixth in the category. In the January 16, 2010 divisional playoff game against the Arizona Cardinals, Saints defensive players were assessed $15,000 in fines for fouls committed against opposing players. The following week, in the NFC Championship Game against the Minnesota Vikings, Saints defensive players were assessed $30,000 in fines for four separate illegal hits, several of which were directed against quarterback Brett Favre.
    Hmm. Believe the NFL or a Taint fan? I’m going with NFL. OK, your link……..

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d827c15b2/article/nfls-official-response-to-saints-bounty-program?module=HP11_hot_topics

    This stuff is not rocket science. The Saints were corrupt, had a chance to right the ship without consequence, and said F-IT. We are bigger than the league. Turns out they were not!

  33. kronix7 says: Apr 9, 2012 11:44 AM

    I’m not saying that it hasn’t been done before, seems like a trend with Williams. But to say every team does it is just an excuse and not a good one either. Nothing wrong will big hits but the Saints* were caught red handed. You have to deal with it, so deal with it. Stop making excuses about it.

  34. wewantflagfootball says: Apr 9, 2012 11:47 AM

    zn0rseman says: Apr 9, 2012 11:05 AM

    Personally, I feel the Saints got off extraordinarily easy.

    They implimented an illegal and outright dispicable bounty program designed to cause career ending injuries to ther players. They took and distributed money from a convicted racketeer tied to sports gambling, who they allowed from their sidelines and in their locker room. They gave this guy a Super Bowl ring! (Who knows if that guy had an impact on the horribly one-sided officiating.) That’s cheating on a level that make SpyGate look like a joke! Then they lied to the league repeatedly for years while investigation, and continued to cheat brazenly.

    I’m appaled at how light their punishment is. Payton should face the same ban that Williams did. There is no way that he not only knew, but approved of what Williams was doing. The same is also likely true for owner Tom Benson and assistant head coach, Joe Vitt.

    Frankly, the organization as a whole got off light. Two 2nd round picks??? That’s less than the Patriots got for far smaller infractions. You’re talking about a team (the Saints) who literally STOLE a Super Bowl, and got away with it. Where is the punishment? Where is the justice? As any Vikings fan if they’d give up two 2nd round picks for a Lombardi Trophy, and I can tell you what 100% of the answers will be.

    =================================
    You’re completely delusional. It’s useless trying to reason with a Vikings fan. You LOST the game because of 6 turnovers and a 12 men in the huddle penalty. Even Saints fans know how lucky we were to win that game but it wasn’t because of any bounty or hard hits on Brett, it was because the Vikings literally gift wrapped the game to us. Hey, we’ll take it. i’d rather be 1 – 0 in Super Bowls than 0 – 4.

  35. kronix7 says: Apr 9, 2012 11:50 AM

    They should move the Saints* to LA. Their fans don’t deserve an NFL team. That’s my opinion.

  36. cowboycjn says: Apr 9, 2012 11:53 AM

    jenniferxxx says:
    Apr 9, 2012 10:24 AM
    Is there anything the Saints could do that their fans wouldn’t excuse?
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    Nope! Saints fans know what was done was wrong, we understand the punishment, that doesn’t mean we agree with all that has taken place and we definately will not give up on our team.
    Like if you had a son that got in trouble with the law, do you give up on him or do you still love him?
    But then again some people in here have NO loyality to anything. If their team can’t win they pull for another team. Saints fans are the greatest, either love em or leave em’, we chose to love our team.

  37. swellbuilt says: Apr 9, 2012 11:54 AM

    sweep the leg

  38. cowboycjn says: Apr 9, 2012 11:58 AM

    kronix7 says:
    Apr 9, 2012 11:50 AM
    They should move the Saints* to LA. Their fans don’t deserve an NFL team. That’s my opinion.

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    And why the heck would we want to move the Saints to LA. The city that couldn’t keep the LA Rams, bunch of mixed bred mexicans that can’t support a team on their own.

    What does the fans not deserve you nut case? Fans didn’t do anything wrong – man you better go take your medicine, skipping a few doses shows in your ignorance.

  39. cwmorga says: Apr 9, 2012 12:35 PM

    cowboycjn says: Apr 9, 2012 11:58 AM

    What does the fans not deserve you nut case? Fans didn’t do anything wrong – man you better go take your medicine, skipping a few doses shows in your ignorance.
    ———————

    Kronix7 is a butthurt Colts fan. He squeals like a stuck pig in every Saints thread because he still hasn’t gotten over SB XLIV.

    He said in another thread that he thought the Colts would soon resemble the Ravens but with a better QB in Luck. I found that rather amusing.

  40. reesesteel23 says: Apr 9, 2012 1:09 PM

    At first I was glad to see them crack down on this, but now………….i dont even care anymore. So ready for the season to start….

  41. fcliffk says: Apr 9, 2012 1:16 PM

    1) Benson hasn’t fired Loomis and Payton because they are likely covering for him. Do you honestly believe that when an owner tells his GM to stop something because the team has been warned by the league, that the GM is going to ignore the owner? Loomis and Payton, complicit as they are in the Bountygate program, are also taking a bigger hit for Benson so that the team punishment would not be more severe.
    2) I wonder how many people remember that Payton willingly gave up part of his salary to hire Gregg Williams in the first place?
    3) If the NFL really wanted to punish the Saints, it would have made Benson lower the cost of the God-awful Superdome food…

  42. duece5 says: Apr 9, 2012 1:22 PM

    captatl says:Apr 9, 2012 11:42 AM

    sfsaintsfan says:Apr 9, 2012 10:27 AM

    The NFL “knew” the Saints were engaged in a “pay for performance” program during the 2009 season. I am sure they looked at every play from every Saints game, and the Saints were 11th or so in the NFL in fines and penalties for illegal hits. Why so low, if they were out for blood? Maybe because the players knew what it was, a bunch of hot air? The NFL “knew” the Saints were possibly engaged in a “pay for performance” program after the 2009 season in 2010 and 2011. Again, the Saints were nowhere near the top when it came to illegal hits.
    ———————————————————-
    Not sure where you get your info from, but it does not jive with the NFL’s info. Looks like homerism and grasping at hope. How about I give you a link to bring you back to reality, and paste a bit of that post to show your 11th or so is a bit off from top 5.

    4. In each of the 2009-2011 seasons, the Saints were one of the top five teams in the league in roughing the passer penalties. In 2009 and 2011, the Saints were also in the top five teams in unnecessary roughness penalties; in 2010, the Saints ranked sixth in the category. In the January 16, 2010 divisional playoff game against the Arizona Cardinals, Saints defensive players were assessed $15,000 in fines for fouls committed against opposing players. The following week, in the NFC Championship Game against the Minnesota Vikings, Saints defensive players were assessed $30,000 in fines for four separate illegal hits, several of which were directed against quarterback Brett Favre.
    Hmm. Believe the NFL or a Taint fan? I’m going with NFL. OK, your link……..

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d827c15b2/article/nfls-official-response-to-saints-bounty-program?module=HP11_hot_topics

    This stuff is not rocket science. The Saints were corrupt, had a chance to right the ship without consequence, and said F-IT. We are bigger than the league. Turns out they were not!

    duece5 says:

    captaatl…..couldn’t have said better or more clear myself!

    Well thought out with facts.

    The reality with saints fans is this: some are in the “everybody does it” mode, while others are in the “this is football” mode.

    The reality is that the saints, particularly Payton, have been in several bad situations. Payton had the cover-up with the painkillers, and now the BOUNTY Scandal— worst scandel in NFL history BECAUSE OF THE EGREGIOUS WAYS that Williams went about it. Take out his ACL….. really? Cut the head, go for the head if he has a concussion, forearm to the chin, on and on and on…..Payton was full aware who Williams WAS, how he did it, but Payton did nothing for 3 years, then got caught by the NFL, and now they are backtracking.

    The aints will be known as the ‘taints for the 2009 super bowl “win” by most other nfl fans.

    It is a disgrace, but most taints fans are too close to it to even admit it.

    They don’t have to, their coaches and GM already admitted to everything!!

  43. discosucs2005 says: Apr 9, 2012 5:02 PM

    Anyone else think it’s kinda funny that the Saints lost to the 49ers and it was 90% Gregg Williams fault?

    “Hey guys, lets just put Vernon Davis in man coverage all game. What could go wrong?”

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