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Payton, Loomis, Vitt will attend Chargers-Saints game

Redskins Saints Football AP

When is a suspension not a suspension?  When the NFL says it isn’t.

A week after the NFL inexplicably unshunned Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, allowing him to attend the game between Seattle and St. Louis, the league has granted permission to suspended Saints coach Sean Payton, suspended Saints G.M. Mickey Loomis, and suspended Saints interim head coach Joe Vitt to attend Sunday night’s game between San Diego and New Orleans.

According to Larry Holder of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, quarterback Drew Brees sought and received permission for the three men to attend what should be a historic night.  With touchdown passes in 47 straight games, Brees can move to 48 and break his current tie with John Unitas.

“Drew Brees requested permission for Sean Payton, Mickey Loomis, and Joe Vitt to attend Sunday night’s game in which Drew will attempt to set the record of 48 straight games with a touchdown pass,” the league said in a statement.  “Commissioner Goodell has granted that permission.  Coaches Payton and Vitt and Mickey Loomis will be permitted to watch the game in a private area of the stadium and will have no contact with the team.”

Payton previously said he didn’t want to attend the game.

The black light of justice likely would reveal extensive lawyer fingerprints on this decision.  It was horribly misguided to let Williams attend a game, especially after he gave a sworn statement implicating Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma as offering $10,000 to anyone who knocked former Vikings quarterback Brett Favre out of the 2009 NFC title game.  To erase the appearance of preferential treatment, the NFL had to extend a similar courtesy to the other folks who have been suspended.

It’s possible, if not probable, that Brees made the request not because he wants them there, but because he knows in his capacity as a member of the NFLPA Executive Committee that a rejection would have helped the cause of the players who face re-issued bounty suspensions, particularly Vilma.

Even with permission granted, the handling of Williams’ situation justifies suspicion regarding some sort of a quid pro quo, and it means that if/when Williams testifies at an appeal hearing before Commissioner Roger Goodell, Williams will face a withering cross examination that will give new meaning to one of his favorite terms:  Kill the head.

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47 Responses to “Payton, Loomis, Vitt will attend Chargers-Saints game”
  1. drgreenstreak says: Oct 3, 2012 8:51 PM

    Drew (I’m gonna need an explanation) Brees. Now begs for conspirators to be allowed in a luxury box to watch him, Drew Brees set a record.

    Hey Drew! How about you screw your head on straight and worry about winning your first game of the season. The Chargers aren’t just going to hand you the game. Hell, I’m now hoping they prevent you from throwing that TD pass.
    Maybe you’ll get it when you actually win a game.

  2. northshorejag says: Oct 3, 2012 8:51 PM

    These are exactly the times not lessen the punishment. These moments are what they risked when they blew off the rules and the investigation

  3. hor2012 says: Oct 3, 2012 8:51 PM

    I’m a Saints fan but this can’t be good for a team that needs to focus on getting a win. Maybe it’s best to just have Payton stay away for the entire year unless Big Daddy Goodel his have second thoughts about suspending Payton for the year.

  4. gotampabay52 says: Oct 3, 2012 8:54 PM

    This is bs i hope Brees gets his head knocked off and it rolls sideways bs hate the saints and everything about them

  5. asseenonokra says: Oct 3, 2012 8:54 PM

    Drew Dat!

  6. steelers4385 says: Oct 3, 2012 8:57 PM

    Ive watched better episodes of general hospital when i was 12 with my grandma than this drama.

  7. patfic15 says: Oct 3, 2012 8:57 PM

    Hahahaha Drew Brees needs an explanation hahahsh….I just couldn’t think of anything more clever. Tiki is flabbergasted…. that’s a clown question Bro….who killed Kenny?…..

    PS. Its old and tired…let it die.

  8. fmwarner says: Oct 3, 2012 8:58 PM

    I’m fairly certain that throwing a touchdown pass will aid his team’s chances to win the game, so I don’t know why anyone is worried about Brees focusing on the record.

  9. cwmorga says: Oct 3, 2012 9:03 PM

    @northshorejag says: Oct 3, 2012 8:51 PM

    These are exactly the times not lessen the punishment. These moments are what they risked when they blew off the rules and the investigation
    ——————–

    Please. Everyone except for the Saints haters realizes at this point that eviscerating the Saints was a sham to help the NFL in the upcoming concussion lawsuits. You got what you wanted. The NFL is doing what most teams in the NFL couldn’t do…defeat the Saints. Get over it.

    PS I’m not sure why a Jags fan would care. Unlike the Saints, the Jags have no excuse for their ineptitude. At least leave the glory to the teams that have a legit shot to benefit from Goodell’s hypocrisy.

  10. captatl says: Oct 3, 2012 9:10 PM

    Floria seems to not understand what the truth means. Williams told the truth and cooperated. Payton, Loomis, and Vitt got together and conspired to lie to investigators, and coached playres to lie. They attempted to….. and I quote a man with NO character, to “get our ducks in a row”. It is as simple as that.

  11. gtodriver says: Oct 3, 2012 9:13 PM

    fmwarner says:

    “I’m fairly certain that throwing a touchdown pass will aid his team’s chances to win the game, so I don’t know why anyone is worried about Brees focusing on the record.”

    Drew’s focus should be on winning the game – not setting a personal record.

    Who dat nation proclaimed that having Vilma and Smith at the season opener would give the team a huge emotional lift.

    How’d that work out for you…

    Vitt, Loomis and Payton are just another distraction to the never ending circus that is the 2012 NO Saints.

  12. mrpowers88 says: Oct 3, 2012 9:18 PM

    Hey everyone!! I’m Drew Brees and I’m about to do or say something that you should see or hear!!

    Funny that an interim-to-the-interim head coach can acknowledge that the team hasn’t handled distractions well, but the team leader who was supposed to be the main reason they would pull through the adversity has to pull this stunt- and yes, this is a stunt.

    The Saints are 0-4. I was going to give them a solid chance of winning this week, but seeing as Brees is still focusing more on meaninglessly sticking it to Goodell- instead of, you know, winning games- I see even more embarrassment being heaped on the Saints as this season continues- beginning with another loss this week.

  13. gtodriver says: Oct 3, 2012 9:20 PM

    cwmorga says:

    “The NFL is doing what most teams in the NFL couldn’t do…defeat the Saints.”

    You do realize that the Saints franchise has NEVER won 2 division championships in a row, don’t you?

    You do realize that the Saints franchise has one of the worst W/L records in the NFL, don’t you?

    You do realize that most teams in the NFL have winning records head to head against the Saints, don’t you?

    The Saints only have winning head to head records with 8 out of the 31 other teams in the NFL.

    The Saints are LOSERS!

  14. biggestsaintsfanever says: Oct 3, 2012 9:22 PM

    captatl says:Oct 3, 2012 9:10 PM

    Floria seems to not understand what the truth means. Williams told the truth and cooperated. Payton, Loomis, and Vitt got together and conspired to lie to investigators, and coached playres to lie. They attempted to….. and I quote a man with NO character, to “get our ducks in a row”. It is as simple as that.
    ================================== So according to you, saying what the commish wanted to hear is cooperating. Don’t think webster would agree

  15. cwwgk says: Oct 3, 2012 9:24 PM

    Implicit in the suggestion that Williams’ attendance at the game last week was part of a quid pro quo arrangement he had with the league, is the presumption Williams is helping the league advance some other goal. That makes no sense.

    Williams’ recent declaration generated absolutely no new information. Its contents had already been incorporated into the allegations made by the league against the Saints last spring.

    Bottom line, Williams operated a program wherein one of the incentives was achieved if, and only if, an opposing player was injured. Whether or not the injury was the result of a clean hit was irrelevant.

    Payton and Loomis made the same admission. Payton and Williams also got caught trying to obstruct the league’s investigation.

    They broke the rules. They’re at the league’s mercy. Goodell is simply exercising his discretion. Nothing more. Sometimes smoke is just steam.

  16. captatl says: Oct 3, 2012 9:26 PM

    Apparently 87.5% of the readers have a tough time with the truth and facts as well. 1 thumb up and 7 down for the math challenged. Im sure that will change when read by rational educated readers.

  17. northshorejag says: Oct 3, 2012 9:28 PM

    cwmorga says:
    Oct 3, 2012 9:03 PM
    @northshorejag says: Oct 3, 2012 8:51 PM

    These are exactly the times not lessen the punishment. These moments are what they risked when they blew off the rules and the investigation
    ——————–

    Please. Everyone except for the Saints haters realizes at this point that eviscerating the Saints was a sham to help the NFL in the upcoming concussion lawsuits. You got what you wanted. The NFL is doing what most teams in the NFL couldn’t do…defeat the Saints. Get over it.

    PS I’m not sure why a Jags fan would care. Unlike the Saints, the Jags have no excuse for their ineptitude. At least leave the glory to the teams that have a legit shot to benefit from Goodell’s hypocrisy.
    ——
    Yes, I understand the NFL’s motivation. My point is Payton, Loomis and Benson are not players are have the most to lost due to the concussion lawsuits (as do the fans) and they condoned it and covered it up. Its their punishment. And they are the reason your 0-4. not God El.

    As to being a Jags fan. Yea, we’re down now, but give me a break unless you’ve been a saints fan for just the last five years, don’t talk about ineptitude. The Superdome had more fans for the Sugar Bowl than the entire Saints season for four decades. Oh yeah, you the Aaron Brooks era

  18. malicious80 says: Oct 3, 2012 9:31 PM

    This is a team sport, Brees leads the league in pass yards, completions and is top 5 in most other categories, the lack of wins has to do with defense, not him. The Packers had the #1 pass defense, yet Brees sliced it up with ease and lost when Sproles drops the pass to stall drive and Hartley misses the re-kick after penalty, otherwise the Saints beat Packers in Lambeau against the Packers best game performance of the year!

  19. mrlaloosh says: Oct 3, 2012 9:32 PM

    Wow, Jaguar & Bucaneer fans spewing hate. Good job fellas. Now ask mommy to make u a pp&j. Tomorrow is a school day.

  20. bathroomben7 says: Oct 3, 2012 9:41 PM

    Of course that dirty liar Drew Brees is focused on a personal record when the Saints are 0-4. I think that surprises no one.

  21. cuda1234 says: Oct 3, 2012 9:46 PM

    When did Brees become Tebow? He claims to be a humble, team-first guy while bringing attention to a personal achievement in the midst of a winless season!

  22. dicecoldsr says: Oct 3, 2012 9:48 PM

    What happens if he dont throw one? They get season tickets?

  23. daknight93 says: Oct 3, 2012 9:52 PM

    @capatatl…typical ignorant falcon fan…floria does understand what the truth means….no one.conspired to lie to investigators…the truth is there was no bounty program in new orleans. Where is the 50k pages of evidence? Look captatl. You have no right.to judge. The saints. Falcon players get arrested and no. One saysantthing. Judge your own team and stop hating!

  24. delhommed says: Oct 3, 2012 9:56 PM

    Screw Brees and the classless Saints! Hope he doesn’t get the record or W.

  25. ripster65 says: Oct 3, 2012 9:57 PM

    One could go as far to say that the punishments doled out have all but eliminated the possibility off what could’ve been a potentially HUGE home field Super Bowl advantage. If allegations are true, the Saints may have cost themselves that very rare shot for an NFL team to host a Super Bowl.

  26. aintasinner says: Oct 3, 2012 10:01 PM

    Amazing how soooo many fans have all the “facts”. They “know” that everyone accused in Bountygate is guilty. Yet an arbitration panel found just cause to vacate the player suspensions and a federal judge has said she will find in favor of Vilma and the other players if it goes to court w/o a settlement. You guys with the evidence need to turn it over to the NFL because they apparently don’t actually have any!

  27. scrummymustard says: Oct 3, 2012 10:01 PM

    @CAPTATL

    you really do not know what you are talking about. Williams also ‘lied’ to investigators and didn’t tell the “truth” until recently to save his own ass.

    Get your head out of your @ss. It’s fine to hate the saints, I understand, I mean you are a falcons fan no? but lets not put your head in the sand and believe only what you want to believe.

  28. chad504boy says: Oct 3, 2012 10:09 PM

    Good luck Drew, who dat nation is proud. Pft nation is mad!

  29. bangbangbilly says: Oct 3, 2012 10:16 PM

    These guys are gunna be sitting in the stands with cards like the Oregon ducks with bounties on who to hit when and where

  30. Packernet says: Oct 3, 2012 10:16 PM

    Saints are 0-4. Goodell has already won.

  31. realfann says: Oct 3, 2012 10:17 PM

    So you are saying the inexplicable NFL decision to lift the Williams ban has, in fact, an explanation.

    Got it.

  32. vegasvinnie says: Oct 3, 2012 10:26 PM

    gtodriver says:
    Oct 3, 2012 9:20 PM
    cwmorga says:

    “The NFL is doing what most teams in the NFL couldn’t do…defeat the Saints.”

    You do realize that the Saints franchise has NEVER won 2 division championships in a row, don’t you?

    You do realize that the Saints franchise has one of the worst W/L records in the NFL, don’t you?

    You do realize that most teams in the NFL have winning records head to head against the Saints, don’t you?

    The Saints only have winning head to head records with 8 out of the 31 other teams in the NFL.

    The Saints are LOSERS!
    ===================================

    For a majority of their history, yes.

    Since their current regime took over, not so much.

    Exactly what do you have against the Saints, anyway? Did someone wearing black and gold slash your blow up doll or something?

  33. losangeleschargers17 says: Oct 3, 2012 10:32 PM

    Who gives a crap about some stupid record……. Chargers>Saints. Rivers>Brees.

  34. dannymac17 says: Oct 3, 2012 10:34 PM

    every thumb down in this article comment section is mainly from Saints* fans wanting to support a couple convicted cheaters.

  35. cwwgk says: Oct 3, 2012 10:44 PM

    @aintasinner: the appeal panel reversed the suspensions on a technicality, not for substantive reasons. As for Judge Berrigan, she agreed with Goodell that Vilma admitted in her courtroom to participating in a bounty program:

    “it seems to me that there is a confluence here that what Mr. Goodell says Mr. Vilma did was in effect admitted at the hearing a couple weeks ago.”

  36. xxwhodatxx says: Oct 3, 2012 11:00 PM

    Two names for the haters, Josh Freeman and Blaine Gabbert. Now please shut up.

  37. geniusfan says: Oct 3, 2012 11:13 PM

    “Hahahaha Drew Brees needs an explanation hahahsh….I just couldn’t think of anything more clever. Tiki is flabbergasted…. that’s a clown question Bro….who killed Kenny?…..

    PS. Its old and tired…let it die.”

    People still talk about spygate. That was in 2007 it’s been over five years.

    Get used to it Saints fans the trolls won’t ever let you live this down.

  38. nflhof says: Oct 4, 2012 12:38 AM

    So does this news mean the Chargers are moving to LA?

  39. NoHomeTeam says: Oct 4, 2012 12:56 AM

    Used to really like Drew Brees.
    Thought he got jobbed by the Chargers.
    Love the city of New Orleans.
    Have been to a game there and found the fans to be gracious and enthusiastic.

    That said, I really find myself hoping that somehow the Chargers can prevent this record from being broken.

    And I dislike the Sandy Eggo Norvals

  40. losangeleschargers17 says: Oct 4, 2012 2:09 AM

    It’s not about the chargers moving so much as its not worth 100+ bucks to watch a game at Qualcomm stadium(concrete mess from the 60′s). We demand a high quality stadium that matches the excellent lifestyle that some of us in socal enjoy. All the low class people are raiders fans anyways, so who cares what they think.

  41. truthserum4u says: Oct 4, 2012 2:59 AM

    aintasinner says:Oct 3, 2012 10:01 PM

    Amazing how soooo many fans have all the “facts”. They “know” that everyone accused in Bountygate is guilty. Yet an arbitration panel found just cause to vacate the player suspensions and a federal judge has said she will find in favor of Vilma and the other players if it goes to court w/o a settlement. You guys with the evidence need to turn it over to the NFL because they apparently don’t actually have any!

    ————————————–

    As cwwgk stated, the appeal panel reversed the suspension on a technicality. Mainly they said it wasn’t clear whether the decision handed down by Goodell was due to a cap violation (not under his jurisdiction) or an off the field, in the best interest of the game violation (under his jurisdiction) or combination of both. Nothing more than that.

    Judge Berrigan on the otherhand did NOT say she will find in favor of Vilma. She said she would like to because she didn’t think the power given to Goodell was particularly fair. But she didn’t know if the law would allow her to find in favor of Vilma. (Many lawyers have said it will only get over turned in the appeals process if she does find for Vilma anyways)

    I’m a Viking fan who does believe Vilma offered the 10 grand, but I think it was more of a rile the troops sort of thing. Although that too can be a dangerous thing.

    Having said that, I don’t get the venom towards Brees for wanting people who helped him attain his success to be there for an important career moment. People do this sort of thing all the time when it comes to records. Despite his “I want an explanation” comment, this is a long standing, revered record, and Brees has earned this moment. Come game time his focus will be on winning.

  42. discosucs2005 says: Oct 4, 2012 6:08 AM

    @fmwarner

    As an SF Giants fan during the Barry Bonds record chasing seasons, it does make a difference when a player is going for a record.

    If Brees is looking for the record breaking TD late in a close game he might force a throw in the end zone.

  43. gtodriver says: Oct 4, 2012 7:08 AM

    vegasvinnie says:

    “For a majority of their history, yes.

    Since their current regime took over, not so much.

    Exactly what do you have against the Saints, anyway? Did someone wearing black and gold slash your blow up doll or something?”

    So we agree, that for the majority of their history they are losers.

    Payton has never led a team to back to back division championships.

    His best 3 seasons are all tainted by the bounty program.

    I don’t consider a three consecutive winning seasons while operating a bounty program much of a legacy.

    I have nothing against the Saints owner. It’s the coaching staff, GM and players that participated in or allowed the bounty program.

    malicious80 says:

    “This is a team sport, Brees leads the league in pass yards, completions and is top 5 in most other categories, the lack of wins has to do with defense, not him.”

    Yeah, Drew’s 5 INT’s had nothing to do with those first three losses.

    Was it the defense that threw not just 1, but 2 4th quarter INT’s against Washington in the season opener.

    Was it was the defense that threw the INT for a TD in the first quarter against Carolina, and then another INT on the last drive?

    Was it the defense that threw the INT against the Chiefs that led to a KC points. Was it also the defense that was sacked in the endzone for a safety. Was it the defense that went 3 and out in the opening possession in OT…

    Your defense is bad – but Brees hasn’t helped them much this season

  44. mdpgc says: Oct 4, 2012 9:00 AM

    @dannymac17

    Every thumb down is not from a Saints fan. I’m a Redskins fan and i just gave you a thumbs down.

    Is it not football, people. The object is to stop the opposing offense from scoring. We have all been taught that defense wins ballgames. The Saints were playing football. Apparently, the Redskins were also accused of having a bounty system in place, and why, because the defense was coached by Gregg Williams. The NFL is only going after the Saints, because players have turned up in recent years with illnesses that have been attributed to concussions suffered while playing.

    Again people, it called football, injuries happens, they know the risks. You pay players a lot of money to know the risks!

  45. clssylssy says: Oct 4, 2012 9:37 AM

    Great article and kudos to you Mike Florio! Most fans are so ignorant that are willing to drink the kool-aid being handed out by the NFL and don’t realize that Mike has a law degree and beyond being a sportswriter is an intelligent person who has a real accurate perspective and is not on the payroll of the NFL nor is an avenue for spreading the hateful propoganda put forth by Roger Goodell. The NFL is up to it’s ears in problems, not the least of which is the concussion lawsuit that is gathering momentum everyday while the credibility of the NFL is waining.
    So far, there has been no credible evidence presented…even Terry Bradshaw wants to see full disclosure and the NFL to prove their allegations (that’s actually what they are since they have not been proven) against the Saints players and coaches. This was a class move by Brees who is probably the best QB in the league, and respected by his player peers throughout the NFL. Good luck to the Saints, Congratulations Drew and Thank you Mike Florio!

  46. phrancheyez says: Oct 4, 2012 9:51 AM

    @gtodriver

    Dude you really don’t like the Saints, do you? What exactly did they do to you? Did they leave you orphaned at a young age? Did they kill your puppy? Every Saints related thread on PFT, you say the same thing, and I quote,

    “Who dat nation proclaimed that having Vilma and Smith at the season opener would give the team a huge emotional lift.

    How’d that work out for you…”

    I’ve seen this from you 3 times. Just because your team isn’t as good as the Saints, and the only way anyone could stop the Saints from going to the Super Bowl in their own city was to falsify claims and unjustly suspend innocent people who are integral pieces of their success doesn’t mean they suck. It just means that your team sucks, and needed the Saints punishments to have a chance at being better than them.

    Personally, I think all the hatred towards the Saints is hilarious. You see people hate on the Saints all the time…just like you see them hate on the Steelers, the Patriots, the Packers, etc. Why? Because they’re the best teams, and you need outside-of-the-game help to beat them. So keep hating..it means we’re doing something right.

  47. phrancheyez says: Oct 4, 2012 9:58 AM

    @losangeleschargers17

    Rivers > Brees, huh? What playoff games has Rivers won? What Super Bowl has he been to? Where does he keep his Super Bowl ring? Where are his records for Accuracy and Yards? When was his offense considered the top 3 in the league for years upon years? What is his record over the past 6 years? Do you want me to keep going? How many consecutive games has he thrown a touchdown? Where was his voice when the Players were locked out, vigilantly fighting for his peers? How much money did his spend to start his own training camp for his team when they were locked out? What sometimes-unrecoverable injury did he recover from to do all of the above? Do you really want me to keep going??

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