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Vitt braces for “scuds,” presumably from Park Avenue

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Saints interim coach Joe Vitt met with the media on Thursday, facing for the first time publicly the allegation that former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, the architect of the bounty program, wanted to stop using it — but that he didn’t because Vitt objected.

Vitt denied it strongly and colorfully.  Here’s the full text of his response.

“Yesterday I was asked that question and I said specifically I wasn’t going to answer a question yesterday, because we knew that the scuds were going to come,” Vitt said.  “We knew that there was going to be a leakage of information and it was like clockwork, like 60 Minutes, the thing ticking.  But we knew that this was going to come out and here it comes.  It’s here and it’s a shame.

“Number one, in my testimony, I was never asked that question, whether or not I wanted to keep a bounty program going.  I was never asked that question.  I was told that accusation was made and I volunteered at the time in front of Commissioner Tagliabue to take a lie detector test that afternoon to deny that allegation.  So, if anybody’s keeping a scorecard here, let’s take a look at this.  I said back in April in my first interview with the press and the media that at no point in time did our players cross the white line with the intent of injuring, maiming or ending the career of another player.  That never took place. I testified before a federal judge with my hand on the bible.

“Now what’s going to happen now?  All participants in all these accusations are going to go to a federal court and they’re going to go to a judge and from top to bottom she’s going to hear testimony and the penalty for perjury with her is going to be jail time.  So let’s stop.  That’s the scorecard right now.  Our players have already been cleared by three bodies of work; Judge Berrigan, a panel of three judges and Commissioner [Paul] Tagliabue. Myself, Sean [Payton] and Mickey [Loomis] did not have that right.  Now until the day I die and I think I’ll be able to find six pallbearers, I’m going to defend the intent of our football players.  I am going to defend the integrity of this organization and the high moral standards that our owner hold us all to and that’s just the truth.  With that I think that I’ve covered all bases.”

Oh, he covered them.  Later, he again mentioned the concept of “scuds,” twice.

“[T]onight there’s probably going to be another scud that’s going to be launched over the bow and tomorrow our response will be quick and exactly like we’re doing today,” Vitt said.  “These can go back and forth or we can go back to football or we can keep talking about this every day. . . . Like I said, we’ll hunker down and wait for the scud to come in tonight, something to discredit me.”

These “scuds” to which Vitt is referring presumably are calculated leaks of information from the league office, which he apparently believes (accurately or inaccurately) is trying to discredit Vitt based on his testimony from the bounty hearing.

If Vitt is accurate, it means that the league office both leaked the transcripts of testimony from Williams and Vitt to the Associated Press, and that the league office suggested that the AP focus on Williams’ contention that he wanted to quit the bounty program, but that Vitt said no.

Regardless of how the AP got the transcripts and how the AP decided to focus on Williams’ contention regarding Vitt, it remains more than a little ludicrous to think that Williams continued with the bounty program because a man he outranked told him to do it.  Williams hardly seems like a guy who does anything other than what he wants to do, especially if he concludes that what he is doing is wrong.

Vitt thinks the next “scud” could come as soon as tonight.  Whether it’s as inevitable as the arrival of darkness or as unlikely as a visit from the Great Pumpkin, we’ll be keeping an eye out for it, too.

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59 Responses to “Vitt braces for “scuds,” presumably from Park Avenue”
  1. lawyermalloy says: Dec 13, 2012 4:04 PM

    Grant his wish, let him take a lie detector!

  2. Mr. Wright 212 says: Dec 13, 2012 4:04 PM

    I believe Williams.

  3. caseyanthonymunoz says: Dec 13, 2012 4:08 PM

    What a moron. This organization just doesn’t get it.

  4. superputman says: Dec 13, 2012 4:08 PM

    I’m tired of bounty-gate.

    When does the next ‘gate’ open for the media to flood through and prop open?

  5. mrfoozball says: Dec 13, 2012 4:10 PM

    It seems to me that Williams is willing to say whatever he can to get a job in the NFL again. I really think he lost all credibility with his locker room rant about “killing the head”.

  6. profootballwalk says: Dec 13, 2012 4:10 PM

    The players were not ‘cleared’ – that’s a lie. Tagliabue said that the players who WERE involved in the bounties should have been warned before being suspended. This is the same reason corporations have written behavior policies – so they can show a judge that employees knew what would get them in trouble, with no excuses. Only Fujita was ‘cleared’ in any way.

  7. uglynora says: Dec 13, 2012 4:12 PM

    You can’t hide now Roger! You’ve been called out, done in, pushed under the bus and run over. Your turn.
    On another note, I REALLY hope the NFL leaks something else tonight, because I would pay to see Joe Vitt’s response.

  8. omegalh says: Dec 13, 2012 4:14 PM

    Who’s more radioactive to other coaches? Mangini or Williams? Yikes.

  9. teedraper says: Dec 13, 2012 4:14 PM

    Standing ovation for Coach Vitt!

  10. chatham10 says: Dec 13, 2012 4:14 PM

    I guess the only person who is not telling the truth is the Comm.

  11. musicman495 says: Dec 13, 2012 4:18 PM

    Mr. Wright 212 says: Dec 13, 2012 4:04 PM

    I believe Williams.
    ——————
    I’ll believe Williams over Vitt when Williams testifies under oath in federal court (like Vitt), when he faces the press and answers every question (like Vitt), and when he offers to take a lie detector test (like Vitt).

    As Goodell and the league, I will never believe a thing they say again as long as Goodell is in charge.

  12. kappy32 says: Dec 13, 2012 4:19 PM

    This is really weird. It’s not about semantics or interpretations. It’s either that Greg Williams is clinically insane & has been imagining things, or everyone on the Saints are lying. The way Payton took his suspension, without a peep, makes me believe the latter is true. I truly believe the Saints are trying to play us all for fools & it’s offensive.

  13. coltzfan166 says: Dec 13, 2012 4:20 PM

    I do believe Vitt. Not Gregg Williams.

  14. dprouse says: Dec 13, 2012 4:21 PM

    Instead of standing in and taking his punishment like a man, Gregg Williams tries to throw a fellow coach under the bus to save himself. What a weasel.

  15. brenenostler says: Dec 13, 2012 4:22 PM

    This will never end.

  16. patfanken says: Dec 13, 2012 4:25 PM

    Yeah, there was no Bounty schedule. Goodell did all this just because he was having a bad day. Right I get it now. :rolleyes:

  17. tommysaint1 says: Dec 13, 2012 4:27 PM

    got to love Joe Vitt!

    Come on Rog, Drew called you out for your back peddling, Vitt called you out for your leaked “information”. All you can say was “I was right” and hold back anything official that tells the truth.

    Greg Williams testimony is laughable. gwill you poor poor man, all you wanted to do was coach and you cowardly kissed the ring of the commish and said whatever you wanted to say. You should of stuck to the truth like Vilma. You might never of coached but at least people would still view you as a man. Now you aren’t going to coach again and you are goodell’s lil pet. Sit boy! Sit! haha

  18. chattanola says: Dec 13, 2012 4:28 PM

    It is entirely believable that “the League” leaked that portion of the testimony because they have a history of operating that way. But, for the life of me, I can’t imagine why they just won’t let this go.

    After reading Vitt’s response, it appears that semantics are still getting in the way of sorting all of this out.

    There was no intent to injure but in football, injuries happen from hitting hard and fast…regardless of the players’ intent. Goodell is trying to prove intent to injure? Good luck with that.

  19. thejuddstir says: Dec 13, 2012 4:32 PM

    Vitt, Vilma and the saints have been playing semantics since this investigation was set in motion…….and obviously some fools don’t understand the meaning of semantics. Even Tagliaboue made mention of the semantics that the saints organization has implemented in trying cover the entire issue. For saints fans it means “pay to injure or cart off” became “pay for performance”, but that’s bayou brainpower for you.

  20. richndc says: Dec 13, 2012 4:35 PM

    So sick of this. This is worse than the damn presidential election. I don’t have a side in this, I am not a Saints fan nor do I hate them, and don’t care one way or the other about Goodell. The people who do already have their strong opinion and disregard anything that does not support it, whether it has merit or not. It’s a disgrace to the NFL, the actions by both ‘sides’ are ridiculous and schoolyard. Enough already!

  21. effjohntaylornorelation says: Dec 13, 2012 4:36 PM

    It’s funny that the scum is talking about scuds. Hehehe

  22. drgreenstreak says: Dec 13, 2012 4:36 PM

    “…high moral standards”

    Cheech & Chong have “high” moral standards.

    Joe Vitt has a mafia standard which says, “Say and do whatever puts the problem on somebody else”. If they act like they don’t believe it, compare them to Charlie Manson. Talk about scuds flying at you.

    Joe Vitt is the bottom feeder of coaches. Sean Payton is at home throwing-up every time Vitt speaks.

  23. rams1999 says: Dec 13, 2012 4:40 PM

    “Hand on Bible “. What does putting your hand on a man-made book that more people these days are discrediting, and for good reason, have to with Vitt stating what he says is the truth? Both him and Williams are in it. Now they just blaming each other. The whole team was aware and that’s that!

  24. eatitfanboy says: Dec 13, 2012 4:53 PM

    Vitt was the assistant head coach. Williams was the defensive coordinator. Explain to me again how Williams outranked Vitt?

  25. bowsi says: Dec 13, 2012 4:56 PM

    Vitt as the assistant Head Coach out ranks Williams the DC especially if the orders are coming straight from Peyton who has yet to say anything.

  26. udjets says: Dec 13, 2012 5:00 PM

    @chattanola

    No intent to injure? Might want to read Tags response again. He explicitly started there was enough evidence to prove this.

    What bothers me most about this ruling is that people seem to think the players were clean. They were not. There should be shame, not elation. They got off on union semantics. There was no procedure in place for these actions and no graduated punishment was offered.

  27. thejuddstir says: Dec 13, 2012 5:00 PM

    Vitt better be careful about wanting to put his hand on the bible…….it could burn!

  28. packhawk04 says: Dec 13, 2012 5:01 PM

    Im just glad football survived while vitt was gone. After all, it survived without chuck knoll and don shula, so he was pretty sure it would survive without him, but he was still scared it wouldnt.

  29. thejohnsmith1122 says: Dec 13, 2012 5:01 PM

    Everyone in the Saints should just keep their mouth shut going forward. Just be happy there are no more suspensions and keep walking.

    Also, who cares if Vitt is willing to take a lie detector test. It’s not submissable in court, why should it here? Anyone can threaten to take a lie detector test. Sad thing is Vitt probably truely believes he didn’t do anything wrong.

  30. mrfoozball says: Dec 13, 2012 5:02 PM

    To all the Saints haters: ‘People who live
    in glass houses should not throw
    stones’.
    Instead of ridiculing and mocking the organization, you all should be thankful that Vitt, Vilma, Brees, and the entire organization are brave enough for opposing Goodell. Why? Because if they didn’t, your team will be next. Football would then be played with no contact allowed. I really doubt that you would like that to happen, or do you?

  31. rushmatic says: Dec 13, 2012 5:04 PM

    How much longer is Goodell going to be allowed to make a mockery of this billion dollar business?

  32. usmutts says: Dec 13, 2012 5:04 PM

    As I read recently in another forum, the NFL does not have a bounty problem, but a Goodell problem.

    There are some people who, due to an inherent flaw, are simply ill equipped to handle the reins of power with which they’ve been entrusted. Though such a person may have the training, the skills, the knowledge, the intelligence, and the learning, there’s something about the cloak of power, when combined with that one character flaw, that makes them think like Napoleon rather than Ghandi, like a petty bureaucrat rather than Lincoln.

    It’s a kind of illness in a way, and it’s going to get worse.

  33. foreverlsu says: Dec 13, 2012 5:04 PM

    profootballwalk says:Dec 13, 2012 4:10 PM

    The players were not ‘cleared’ – that’s a lie. Tagliabue said that the players who WERE involved in the bounties should have been warned before being suspended.
    _________________

    Despite what Tagliabue said, he simply did NOT have enough evidence to suspend the players accused of said actions.

  34. meldrel says: Dec 13, 2012 5:09 PM

    bowsi says:
    Vitt as the assistant Head Coach out ranks Williams the DC especially if the orders are coming straight from Peyton who has yet to say anything.

    eaitfanboy says:
    Vitt was the assistant head coach. Williams was the defensive coordinator. Explain to me again how Williams outranked Vitt?

    —————————————-
    So you need an explanation?

    Vitt was linebacker coach at the time.

  35. harrisonhits2 says: Dec 13, 2012 5:10 PM

    No your players weren’t “cleared”, it was simply determined that suspending them for an extended time was a much more severe penalty than had been applied in similar events in the past by the league.

    Your guys, like you, are guilty. You should not be allowed to coach at any level.

  36. namelessfacelessfan says: Dec 13, 2012 5:15 PM

    Vitt has already testified under oath (at risk of perjury) in a federal court.

    Vitt has also offered to take a lie detector.

    The league’s two main ‘witnesses’, Williams and Cerullo, have done neither of these things.

    Add to this fact that Cerullo has already been shown to have lied:

    From Cerullo’s affadavit filed in May:
    “I personally collected the money that Mr. Vilma left on a table at the front of the room and subsequently gave it to Mr. Williams for safekeeping.”

    Compared this to what the AP says about his testimony in the leaked portion of the transcripts:
    “Cerullo testified that league investigators misrepresented what he told them, and that, during the playoffs following the 2009 regular season, he kept track of large playoff pledges on note pads but didn’t collect the money.”

    If you ask me, the benefit of the doubt goes to the man who has already sworn under oath and who is willing to take a lie detector.

  37. teedraper says: Dec 13, 2012 5:17 PM

    rams1999,

    Bc it’s the book of truth you moron

  38. bucfandango says: Dec 13, 2012 5:22 PM

    If it looks like a duck and quacks….

  39. bucfandango says: Dec 13, 2012 5:23 PM

    The only bad press is no press

  40. addmack24 says: Dec 13, 2012 5:31 PM

    Vitt is the assistant head coach, but Greg Williams was given autonomy over the defense. do you remember him saying that he had a FU clause in his contract. This means that he had complete control over the defense. Vitt does out rank him in the overall scheme of things but when it came to the defense Williams had the final say. Vitt I believe is telling it how it was, there was a program but they didn’t cross the line and try to hurt players. I am still waiting on a list of players that the Saints hurt why has this not been revealed? Also if the system was in place for 3 years why are the only targets being mentioned from 2009 in the playoffs. There has been too much exageration on the part of the NFL and I’m not saying the Saints are innocent of all wrong doing but they definately are innocent of what they are being accused of by the NFL.

  41. deep64blue says: Dec 13, 2012 5:43 PM

    Head Coach -> Asst Head Coach -> Co-ordinators why do you find that concept so difficult to understand????

  42. udjets says: Dec 13, 2012 5:44 PM

    @teedraper

    Such a vitriolic response from one that I get the feeling would follow said book. Most people in the world could swear on any book and have the same meaning.

  43. skolvikes says: Dec 13, 2012 5:47 PM

    @teedraper

    Such a vitriolic response from one that I get the feeling would follow said book. Most people in the world could swear on any book and have the same meaning.

    —-

    Pretty sure they don’t use any book in federal courts, they use the bible.

  44. northeastkiller says: Dec 13, 2012 5:55 PM

    GW had complete autonomy over the defense written into his contract that he walked around for 3 years bragging was an “FU clause.”

    Players from every stop GW has made in his professional career have said to reporters the same system existed when he was there, including in Buffalo where GW was the head coach.

    The Niners tape in which GW sounds for the world to hear like a lunatic and not in ANY way like someone who had his arm twisted by Vitt to continue with the system.

    Just three items that show GW is a desperate lying fool trying to get reinstated by any means necessary. The AP should be ashamed of itself for writing that article that mentioned none of the above in portraying GW as some sort of reluctant participant and questioned none of his statements.

  45. udjets says: Dec 13, 2012 6:05 PM

    @skolvikes

    My point is, that it is an invalid argument. The book is only a book, except to those that feel the need to make it something more. A list is still going to lie whether it’s bible or the illiad. Nothing makes one any more truthful than the other.

  46. surly1n1nd1anapol1s says: Dec 13, 2012 6:12 PM

    I would think this jerk would avoid martial metaphors. He’s not a warrior, his players are not soldiers, and he certainly no hero.

  47. mrlaloosh says: Dec 13, 2012 6:14 PM

    All you haters need to get a life. You all drank the “Goodell ” kook-aid. Some of you are really mentally impaired. Try thinking for yourself and figure out the truth. It’s really not that hard.

  48. thesmedman says: Dec 13, 2012 6:19 PM

    I’m not sure there isn’t culpability on all sides, but this thing has been handled so extremely poorly, to the detriment of the NFL’s reputation, that I do think the owners need to meet and potentially fire Goodell for cause, and potentially others in the league office who are obviously in the leaking game. This is NOT GOOD for the NFL and action must be taken NOW.

    Put Tagliabue in there on a temporary basis and do a search firm for a permanent replacement.

  49. tincansailor981 says: Dec 13, 2012 7:07 PM

    I know the Saints regret ever hiring Greggggggg Williams now. The defense never got better under his leadership and his blitz on every down mentality cost the Saints a chance at the NFC Championship in 2011. I am convinced he was the catalyst behind all this bounty mess and he’s just making it worse with all his lying and attempts to cover his own butt. Weasel.

  50. chattanola says: Dec 13, 2012 7:11 PM

    @udjets

    Vitt is willing to swear on a Bible that there was never intent to injure.

    Goodell and his “investigation” set out to prove the opposite.

    Tagliabue is there to pull Goodell’s chestnuts out of the fire, so of course he’s going to agree with RG’s “findings”.

    As Vitt says “at no point in time did our players cross the white line with the intent of injuring, maiming or ending the career of another player”

    Alls I’m sayin’ is that it is impossible to determine what was/is going on in the mind of the players yet Goodell seems hell bent on trying. It’s a fool’s errand.

  51. yooperman says: Dec 13, 2012 7:12 PM

    Where is Benson on all of this? Also what happen to the investagation he paid for? If it cleared the players and coaches, don’t you think it would have been released?

  52. namelessfacelessfan says: Dec 13, 2012 7:28 PM

    yooperman says:
    Dec 13, 2012 7:12 PM
    “Where is Benson on all of this? Also what happen to the investagation he paid for? If it cleared the players and coaches, don’t you think it would have been released?”

    -The same thing can be said about the transcripts from Tags hearing. If they only confirmed the NFL’s allegations, don’t you think they would have been quickly released in their entirety instead of the little cherry picked snippets the NFL chooses to leak?

    Why hide the transcripts?

  53. lafayettesaint says: Dec 13, 2012 7:59 PM

    If the Commissioner is so sure of his 50,000 pages of evidence, why doesn’t he just release ALL of it?

  54. nathanbetz91 says: Dec 13, 2012 8:12 PM

    Greg Williams is pathetic hes in trouble so he just wants someone else to go down with him even if they are innocent.

  55. eatitfanboy says: Dec 13, 2012 8:33 PM

    meldrel says:

    So you need an explanation?

    Vitt was linebacker coach at the time.
    —–

    Wrong. Joe Vitt was the Assistant Head Coach/linebackers coach.

    Everyone knows that Vitt was Payton’s right hand man since he got there 3 years BEFORE Williams did.

    Well, at least I thought everyone knew that.

  56. uglynora says: Dec 13, 2012 8:56 PM

    Joe Vitt was suspended 6 games because he was the linebackers coach. Assistant Head Coach is a title only to give a valued assistant a higher than average salary. Gregg Williams was suspended indefinitely, in part because he was the highest-ranking coach involved, in-part because he outranks Joe Vitt and in part because of karma. Weasels never win. Ask any Minnesota fan.

  57. skolvikes says: Dec 13, 2012 9:05 PM

    udjets says: Dec 13, 2012 6:05 PM

    @skolvikes

    My point is, that it is an invalid argument. The book is only a book, except to those that feel the need to make it something more. A list is still going to lie whether it’s bible or the illiad. Nothing makes one any more truthful than the other.

    —-

    You’re entirely missing the point. It’s not about what the book is or isn’t. Him stating that he swore with his hand on the bible means that he gave his testimony while under oath in federal court.

    To lie under oath is to commit perjury which carries a penalty of jail time. Many people put their hand on the bible while taking said oath, thus the saying you heard from Vitt.

  58. brentsingleton1978 says: Dec 13, 2012 9:40 PM

    I think they are all liars and every coach on the saint roster since this bounty thing started should be kicked out of the NFL for life. Thats the only way this is ever going to go away.

  59. namelessfacelessfan says: Dec 13, 2012 9:41 PM

    It’s laughable that G.Williams is now trying to distance himself from his own P4P programs that he ran at seemingly every stop in his career:

    (can’t post direct links, you’ll have to google)

    From The Washington Post, Published: March 3, 2012:
    “Washington Redskins offered bounties for big hits under former assistant coach Gregg Williams:
    Four of the Redskins players described an informal system under which Williams doled out thousands of dollars to Redskins defenders who measured up to his standards for rugged play, including for what one described as “kill shots” that sent opposing teams’ stars to the sideline.

    “You got compensated more for a kill shot than you did other hits,” said one former Redskins player, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

    The former coach, who was an assistant to Williams, said the defensive coordinator would reveal the amount of bounty money available to players as “a little extra incentive.” He said Williams would set the amounts in meetings before big games.”

    —-
    Sporting News, published Sunday, Mar 4, 2012:
    “Former Buffalo Bills players say Gregg Williams had bounty system there, too:

    Four former members of the Buffalo Bills have told The Buffalo News that there was a bounty system in place during the tenure of former coach Gregg Williams.

    Former safety Cory Wire and three other defensive players, who wished to remain anonymous, told the newspaper that a bounty system was in place. Two of the players said cash bonuses were in place for “knockout shots” that sent opponents out of games.

    “There was financial compensation,” Wire told the newspaper.”
    ———————————

    ProFootballTalk, posted by Mike Florio on March 2, 2012:
    “Dungy: Titans had a bounty on Peyton Manning-
    Tony Dungy of NBC’s Football Night in America tells PFT that he believes the Titans had put a bounty on Manning.

    “I know they had them in Tennessee,” Dungy said via text.

    Williams worked for the Oilers/Titans through 2000 under coach Jeff Fisher. Dungy became coach of the Colts in 2002, when a realignment of the divisions put the Colts and Titans in the newly-created AFC South, pitting the two teams against each other twice per season.”

    —————-

    This is GW’s system all the way.

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