Vilma on anonymous teammate: “We’re not the Jets”

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The Jets object vehemently to being described as a circus.

But if you need more confirmation of the status, the Saints (who just endured a year of bounty scandal and the worst defense of all time) point at them and laugh.

Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma scolded an anonymous teammate (and the reporter who printed the remarks critical of defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo) by saying: “We’re not the Jets.”

The whole thing started with a report by Larry Holder of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, who quoted an anonymous defensive player ripping Spagnuolo professionally and personally, saying he should be fired. The Saints allowed more yards than any team in NFL history this year, Spagnuolo’s first with the team.

Vilma began on Twitter, saying, “don’t give me ‘anonymous source’ bs” and “say who said it.”

Reached by Holder and asked for his reply, Vilma held back.

“No. I’m bothered you reported it,” Vilma said. “We’re not the Jets who run to the media for everything.”

Asked if the player was wrong, Vilma said: “That’s not the question or the point. If he’s man enough to tell you, he should be man enough to put his name on it. And you should do the same.”

No, Holder should not say his name, not if he ever wants a player to talk to or trust him again, which he does.

Whether the player does is up to him.

As a reporter, the decision on how much leeway to give anonymous sources is a struggle. Generally speaking, the line is drawn between information-gathering and ripping someone without repercussions. It’s easy to find someone to rip a co-worker, harder to decide how much weight that opinion carries and whether it’s newsworthy enough to justify the leap of faith you’re asking a reader to make.

Clearly, there’s some degree of dissatisfaction on the part of the player, who didn’t want to take the blame for record-breaking badness. So the guy did what people do, he deflected. How widespread the opinion is remains to be seen.

It obviously points to an issue the Saints need to address, and when he comes back, head coach Sean Payton will either address it by getting rid of Spagnuolo or a bunch of the players involved.

And if they really want to be the Jets, they don’t even have to worry about calling a press conference to explain it.

30 responses to “Vilma on anonymous teammate: “We’re not the Jets”

  1. “We’re not the Jets who run to the media for everything.”

    Great quote. Of all the things said about the Jets this year, that may be the most damning.

  2. What people like you don’t understand is that fans don’t want “inside” information from anonymous sources.

    It takes one who is personally and professionally flawed to advocate on behalf of such an obviously underhanded practice.

  3. No Vilma, you can call on the player to name himself, but the reporter has every right to withhold the ID. Otherwise, no one would ever come forward when something bad has to brought to light. Like forcing a concussed player to go back in the game, or steroid use, or encouraging people to injure others by paying them a bounty.

  4. No Vilma, you are certainly not the Jets. The Jets, despite being 1 ring short of a circus, actually can play defense…

  5. Really Vilma? You expect a member of the media to give up their source, that would be like reporting the whole story, that just doesn’t happen in THIS country.

  6. if a reporter reports from an anonymous source it’s not really a source and the recipients of such reports have no idea if they are real or fabrications. i myself put absolutely no credence in such reports.

  7. Would be more impressed with story if holder had gotten quotes from former Spags players who agreed with this player’s assessment of Spag’s autocratic style

  8. The Saints are laughing at the Jets like the Saints poop dont stick?
    1-) Bounty Scandal
    2-) Drug Scandal. (with Coaches involved no less!)
    Is that enough? Or do I have to provide more examples?

  9. The problem with anonymous sources is that there is no proof anything was said at all. In a business where page views are money, why wouldn’t a blogger make something up and claim to have anonymous sources? Why not?

  10. Anonymous sources aren’t “underhanded” or “not really a source”. They’re a basic tool of journalism that allows people to tell the truth without facing repercussions. It’s important. Unless, you know, you don’t care whether things like Watergate and the Pentagon Papers are ever discovered.

  11. “We’re not the Jets, man. We’re just a franchise that has spent the last year embroiled in a bounty scandal is all. And me, well, I was suspended, too, but at least we’re not the Jets. We’re actually in the playoffs. Oh, wait.”

  12. Pimpin’ aint easy unless you are Chuck Norris says:
    Jan 2, 2013 2:48 PM
    No Vilma, you are certainly not the Jets. The Jets, despite being 1 ring short of a circus, actually can play defense…

    ===================================

    And yet with a weaker strength of schedule, all of the coaching staff and front office, they managed 1 less victory than the team that fielded the worst Def ever.

    Think I would have kept my comment to myself but hey whatever works for you

  13. The Saints are laughing at the Jets like the Saints poop dont stick?
    1-) Bounty Scandal
    2-) Drug Scandal. (with Coaches involved no less!)
    Is that enough? Or do I have to provide more examples?
    ====================================

    You could provide proof. That would put you one step above Goodell and the NFL.

    While I’ve defended Vilma in the past, I do think that he’s potentially out of line here. If the player did come forward on the condition of remaining nameless, the reporter has an obligation to live up to that.

    That said, all too often, reporters do make up stories and hide behind the “unnamed source” tag.

  14. really2011 says:Jan 2, 2013 3:50 PM

    Pimpin’ aint easy unless you are Chuck Norris says:
    Jan 2, 2013 2:48 PM
    No Vilma, you are certainly not the Jets. The Jets, despite being 1 ring short of a circus, actually can play defense…

    ===================================

    And yet with a weaker strength of schedule, all of the coaching staff and front office, they managed 1 less victory than the team that fielded the worst Def ever.

    Think I would have kept my comment to myself but hey whatever works for you

    ==============================

    Well, aren’t you clever?!
    The Jets QB had more turnovers than any other in the NFL this season, their offense was so horrible they played several games without scoring more than 10 points total each, and they still managed to squeak out just one less win than The Saints and their vaulted QB, Drew Brees.

    Maybe you should have kept your comment to yourself as well, really2011??

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