The NFL reinstated Sean Payton as head coach of the Saints today, which means Joe Vitt can officially move aside from his role as interim head coach and give the job back to Payton.
But Vitt can’t completely move on: In comments to the New Orleans Times-Picayune shortly after Payton was reinstated, Vitt said he’ll never forget, and he strongly suggested that he believes the NFL wronged him, Payton and the Saints.
“Listen man, it’s going to be kind of emotional,” Vitt said at the Senior Bowl. “He is my friend. . . . Will I forgive? Yeah, I guess I will forgive. But I will never forget what we’ve gone through and what this team has gone through with the sanctions and the penalties they’ve imposed upon us.”
Vitt’s comments indicate that he believes the penalties the NFL imposed on the Saints were unfair. But if Payton does, as he said in his statement today, “take full responsibility” for the Saints’ bounty program, then what was unfair about suspending him for the season? Vitt doesn’t say.
It’s obvious that the players and coaches on the Saints will never be on the same page as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell about the handling of the bounty program. And even as they say they’re moving on, they’re never going to forget that they think they were wronged.