Joe Vitt: I’ll forgive, but I’ll never forget what the NFL imposed on us

AP

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.

97 responses to “Joe Vitt: I’ll forgive, but I’ll never forget what the NFL imposed on us

  1. Poor saints, got away with breaking the rules for 3 years, but they still feel like the victim. What a bunch of scumbags

  2. Screw you Vitt.

    If you’re upset, be upset that you guys were given fair warning to stop and didn’t. be a man and accept responsibility for your actions.

  3. ha what is there to “forgive”? There are punishments in place to sanction the actions that you not only knowingly took part in, but didn’t stop when the league warned you to do so. These guys are still playing victim in this, somehow.

  4. So tired of these guys crying. The sanctions had nothing to do with that historically bad Defense. Suck it up and take some responsibility.

  5. Give it up already, the biggest blown out story of the NFL. Bunch of crybabies, you got caught, reprimanded and now move on. Do you really think anybody cares that you won’t forget!?! OOHH you won’t forget… At least ya got that goin’ for ya!

  6. I’ll never forget what I heard on that Greg Williams tape the night before the Niners playoffs game.

  7. Jeez, just let it go. The NFL told the Saints to shut it down, it was not done. You cannot say the Saints were not given a chance. Boo hoo, cry me a river.

  8. Kind of sad when you see some coaches man up, admit the truth, and accept responsibility for the bounties; then you see people like Vitt, Brees, Vilma etc. still pretend like they did nothing wrong.

  9. I also think Payton accepts full responsibilty for Greg Williams’ crap because he has to if he wants to coach. He has his share of responsibility, but not full responsibility.

  10. The Saint were the laughing stock for 40 years and then won one superbowl.

    Saints fans need to get off their high horses. You earned your superbowl congrats but it’s not like that makes your franchise prestigious or historic as most long time NFL fans will still view the Saints as the joke team with the fans with paper bags over their heads.

  11. I think the punishment was unfair. He should have been suspended from coaching the team in games and practice. Completely shutting him out of the team offices hurt the Saints for 2 years at least.

  12. Just because someone “takes full responsibility” for something doesn’t mean they agree with the penalties imposed. I can take full responsibility for jaywalking, but that doesn’t mean I agree with a one-year jail sentence for it.

  13. And Favre, Warner, Gore and the players your team put the bounties on will forgive but not forget either.

  14. Love seeing the comments and yet no one agreed with Vilmas defamation suit. Seems like theyve been heavily Defamed. Trumped up charges of pay to injure with no evidence. And no injuries. Simply Amazing.

  15. sooooo…..you won’t forget the punishment that you received for running a bounty program that aimed to injure other players.

    um, I think that is the intended result. you will remember that it will eventually hurt you if you try and injure other players to win. it’s a pavlov miracle!!!!!!!!!

  16. Joe Vitt…Jonathan Vilma….talk about a case of living in denial. These boys need help because as the years go bye and they finally come to grips with how they are being “remembered”, it will eventually tear their hearts out.

  17. The Saints were advised that the league office knew about the Bounty program. They were warned to stop it immediately or face consequences. When it continued and the Commish approached them a second time, the Saints then lied about it.

    Now, what are they complaining about? Just move on and stop playing the victim card.

  18. Forgive? You were the ones in the wrong. Jeez. Some people just don’t get it. Forget? You’ve forgotten already.

  19. Wasn’t it Vitt, along with Peyton, who were stealing Vicodin from the medical supply closet; and then fired the whistle blower, a former FBI agent, over it…

    Weren’t these guys warned on multiple occasions to stop, and didn’t?

    I like watching the Saints, but seriously, is this guy delusional? They got everything they deserved, it’s a pretty dirty organization…

  20. Joe Vitt is just another idiot that thinks he did nothing wrong well he is lucky that he still has a job. If I did what he did in my profession I would be in jail.

  21. Love seeing the comments and yet no one agreed with Vilmas defamation suit. Seems like theyve been heavily Defamed. Trumped up charges of pay to injure with no evidence. And no injuries. Simply Amazing.
    ———

    So if someone attempts to rob a bank and fails, there is no crime commited?? Dont confuse their inability to execute with their innocence.

  22. Thank God this is America – where even Joe Vitt is entitled to his opinion along with all of you Saints Haters.

    All those poor players that were maimed for life by the Saints…I bet they are still really upset <-sarcasm

  23. What’s funny is that the Saints won the Super Bowl while using this bounty program. There should be an asterisk beside their name in the record books and one engraved on their trophy.

  24. @ johnclaytonsponytail

    You clearly haven’t heard the Gregg Williams audio. At this point, the only people that don’t believe there was a bounty system are Saints fans.

  25. At least the Saints did something wrong…maybe the punishment doesn’t fit the crime. But what about the Redskins and Cowboys? All they did was go by the letter of the law and yet the NFL (including the Saints) came down like a ton of bricks on them.

  26. “no evidence” except of course, Sean Payton’s and Greg William’s CONFESSIONS. How much more evidence do you need? If they didn’t do it, why did they confess? In all the Vilma blather, people keep forgetting about the CONFESSIONS.

  27. dgcaz says:
    Jan 22, 2013 1:24 PM
    Wasn’t it Vitt, along with Peyton, who were stealing Vicodin from the medical supply closet; and then fired the whistle blower, a former FBI agent, over it…

    Weren’t these guys warned on multiple occasions to stop, and didn’t?

    I like watching the Saints, but seriously, is this guy delusional? They got everything they deserved, it’s a pretty dirty organization…
    ===========================
    This reaction is exactly why Goodell deserves the shaft as commish…

  28. therealtrenches says:
    “Bruce Arians parlayed his interim gig into a head coaching job.
    How about you, Joe?”

    Great point. Arians inherited the worst team in the NFL last year with a rookie QB….and he takes them to the playoffs. Vitt inherits a Super Bowl contender with a pro bowl QB…and he guides them to a losing season.

  29. Next time don’t offer money to hurt other teams players, just do it for the salary you’re already receiving. Just like the Steelers and the Ravens.

  30. Sean Payton “took full responsibility” with a gun to his head, the commish had the power to keep Sean unemployed indefinitely if Sean did not agree to say whatever the commish asked. Sean’s million dollar salary was zero if not reinstated and his mortgage payments would not have been made and he could have been on the street. Also, all these guys the Saints injured during those 3 years, they don’t exist, the Saints were one of the softest defenses in the NFL those years and never seriously injured a big skill position player at all. It just didn’t happen.

  31. truthfactory says:
    Jan 22, 2013 1:25 PM
    Love seeing the comments and yet no one agreed with Vilmas defamation suit. Seems like theyve been heavily Defamed. Trumped up charges of pay to injure with no evidence. And no injuries. Simply Amazing.
    ———

    So if someone attempts to rob a bank and fails, there is no crime commited?? Dont confuse their inability to execute with their innocence.

    Apples and Oranges my friend. Cant even put them in the same sentence much less chapter. Look at the stats. 3rd least penalized and least injuries. That says it all right there. Im curious on why was it OK in the past and not now? Go ahead. Ill wait.

  32. skoodsports says:
    Jan 22, 2013 12:57 PM
    I’m sure the players that your team injured will never forgive or forget.

    Name one. That’s all you have to do is name one player the Saints injured. Bret Farve was hit late. Kurt Warner threw and interception and was attempting to make the tackle when he got jacked up. So, name the player the Saints mamed. I’m waiting.
    I’ve made the choice that as long as they’re people out there that going to make statements like yours, I’m going to be here to respond. So, I’m waiting give me one name during the time this was going on that was hurt and I’ll quit responding to fools like you.
    I’ll be waiting

  33. No one cares what you think Mr Vitt. Obviously something happened and you know it did, Sean Peyton has apologized so grow up and hand back the job that you sucked at anyway.

  34. @ davikes

    They didn’t technically “confess.” But the apologies imply that there was a bounty system. But yes, they wouldn’t have issues those long apologies if there wasn’t a bounty system. They would’ve denied it from the beginning. I don’t why that’s so hard for Saints fans to understand.

  35. I think that’s the measure of a good punishment if it’s strong enough you never forget! So, never forget and be sure nobody on a team you’re on repeats these same offenses.

  36. @skoodsports What players we injured? We caused the least injuries and had one of the lowest personal foul records during the years we supposedly had a bounty system. It was pay for performance and if you got penalized for hurting someone you in fact LOST money!

  37. Patriots fans have a similar view of Spygate.

    Goodell acted and still acts like filming play calling is illegal and does not occur.

    Why then, Roger, do all coordinators continue to cover their mouths when calling in plays even today?

    The truth is that the Patriots violated a new 2006 rule in 2007 – but Roger wanted to posture as if signal filming/stealing was the exception, not the rule – thus he imposed a heavy fine and loss of a draft pick.

    Today, even idiotic NFL players seem to be unaware NFL rules allow for signal filming from approved locations. Rams players and fans even suggest that the Patriots 2001, 2003 & 2004 titles are tainted because they violated a 2006 rule.

    Saints players and fans will always have a needless black eye over this fabricated scandal thanks to Goodell.

  38. Joe Vitt has always been a defensive minded cry baby. I remember him crying his way out of Kansas City when he wasn’t offered the HC position. This guy needs to man up and move on!!

  39. skoodsports says:
    Jan 22, 2013 12:57 PM
    “I’m sure the players that your team injured will never forgive or forget.”
    —————————————–
    Who ?

  40. skoodsports says:
    Jan 22, 2013 12:57 PM
    I’m sure the players that your team injured will never forgive or forget.

    —————————————————-

    Care to name them? Please, I’m dying to see this list.

    I mean, after all you should be able to back up a statement such as this? Oh, right, this is the internet, where anyone can say anything without backing it up.

    My bad.

  41. If you read Payton and Gregs statement, neither confessed to a “Bounty” program. They confessed to a a Pay for Performance pool. Several coaches and players have also testified under oath with penalty of the law that there was no bounty program. The NFL and its media outlets are in full PR damage control mode so if the saints did infact run a bounty then why not release the full Tags hearing transcripts?

  42. bgrab1 says:
    Jan 22, 2013 3:07 PM
    If you read Payton and Gregs statement, neither confessed to a “Bounty” program. They confessed to a a Pay for Performance pool. Several coaches and players have also testified under oath with penalty of the law that there was no bounty program. The NFL and its media outlets are in full PR damage control mode so if the saints did infact run a bounty then why not release the full Tags hearing transcripts?

    —————————————————-

    Don’t bother my friend, they only hear and see what they want. They do not have the intelligence to see through it all. Let them have their ignorance.

  43. This guy needs to shut up. Ugh. They cheated and they still complain about it. Sickens me they have a super bowl ring too.

  44. There were no players injured because of a bounty system because there wasn’t one. There was a pay for performance pool for big clean hits that these guys get salaries for anyhow. Don’t you find it at least a little suspicious that the NFL is unwilling to release the transcripts from the Tags hearing? If the NFL was in the right they would have every motivation from a PR standpoint to get it out especially with the Superbowl being played in New Orleans. The facts are the Saints were a crappy defense even when the pay for performance was in place and they were also one of the least penalized and rendered the fewest injuries of any NFL defense. Yeah thats some Bounty right there. Vitt is speaking the truth. New Orleans was falsely judged in the media and by Goodell. Motives? Concussion lawsuits or maybe the small fact that New Orleans ruined the would be Farve verses Manning epic meeting they were hoping for in Miami.

  45. skoodsports says:
    Jan 22, 2013 12:57 PM
    I’m sure the players that your team injured will never forgive or forget.

    ————————————————–
    Name one!!!!! All talk, and no facts.

  46. getadealdonealready says:
    Jan 22, 2013 2:06 PM
    That’s funny because as a Vikings fan I will never forgive or forget. Enjoy your tainted title.

    ————————————————–
    Cry me a River, maybe if the Vikings didn’t fumble the ball 6000 times, you might have won that game. Losers

  47. In his latest statement Payton does not admit to allowing any “bounties” or to any other specific wrongdoing. I don’t know if his statement was cleared in advance by the NFL, but if it was, it suggests the league now concedes it went overboard when it went public with its allegations against him last March.

  48. All you people’s are talking something you don’t know anything about Sean Payton wouldn’t have said what he said if a NFLCA would have been in place. So Sean Payton didn’t have anyone to back him, like the NFLPA is there for the players. This why Roger Goodell did what he to the others, for all of you that think they did the crime you’ll could be wrong just because something is in place doesn’t mean its in working condition. All of you people’s talking but Roger Goodell made the decision call to suspend these people’s, its the same way Roger Goodell must try and make things right before he enter into the WHODAT’S NATION. Roger Goodell knows what the environment like in the City, he knows the Saints fanbase don’t play when it come to their team.

  49. I still think it’s funny that everyone says they never admitted to a bounty. But everyone fails to forget that The judge who heard the players case said in her brief that pay for performance equates to a bounty.

  50. Being a south Mississippi native and a Southern Miss grad, I had lots of mixed feelings when the Saints and Vikings played in the NFC championship game. I was very angry because the Saints were obviously trying to hurt Farve –not simply trying to sack him or pressure him into a turnover. But the refs largely turned a blind eye. Should there have been severe consequences? Absolutely. But refs are supposed to step in and keep things from getting out of control. To the extent the Saints were intentionally trying to hurt players, the refs should have been punished too. In the big picture, the punishment for the Saints was not commensurate with what they were allowed to do by refs and the league. If there was a true bounty where there were players deliberately being injured, why no severe fines for the offending players on a game by game basis as happens on a regular basis? And while a ref may not always be able to prevent a deliberate injury attempt, they can certainly call personal foul injuries and eject players.

  51. As a Saints fan, I’m sick of hearing about this. Yes, it’s pretty obvious the team was running a bounty program. And yes, most other teams used to run them as well, difference is, we got caught. I thought the penalty was a little harsh (based on what NE got for taping other teams walkthroughs and practices) but I understand why Goodell had to impose it based on the league’s litigation at the time. However, if someone really believes this team should have an asterisk next to its SB victory, they are either speaking with hyperbole or really do not understand football. If you think an extra 5-10k to a player making >1 mill a year gives some sort of competitive advantage or incentive to actually play to their full potential, then you’re just a moron.

  52. skoodsports says: Jan 22, 2013 12:57 PM

    I’m sure the players that your team injured will never forgive or forget.
    —————————–
    Uh, that would be zero. Tagliabue even said the players were not suspended for any on the field actions.

  53. For those of you Saints Haters, take a moment from your fandom blinders and consider these points:

    (1) Basic Due Process was denied in the investigation and execution of penalties on the team, staff, and players…

    (2) The “evidence” has never been made public; only a fixed lottery-style of predetermined journalist and nfl officials have been allowed behind the emerald curtain…

    (3) Compare the language the league used in its onslaught to the language it used when the justice system asked to examine the facts; they backed off faster than a guy drawing dead on a fixed deck…

    (4) You had multiple players, active and recently retired, who admitted to similar or worse efforts on the field for bounties and only the Saints were singled out…

    (5) While some of my Saints fans may not be so forgiving, do disclose which team your a fan so when the prison camp light gets on your team for alleged infractions and you’re not allowed due process or are being persecuted for allegations that you feel other teams are just as guily – allow those of us Saints fans that have class, and they outnumber the ones that don’t, the chance to empathize with your situation…

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