When the Jets announced new head coach Adam Gase’s full coaching staff, we noted that the presence of senior defensive assistant Joe Vitt and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams could make things interesting, considering that Vitt and Williams were both involved in Bountygate as assistant coaches in New Orleans, and Vitt said during the NFL’s investigation that Williams had lied about the bounty case.
Larry Holder of The Athletic has published what Vitt told the NFL’s investigators, and it really is remarkable that these two men will now be working together.
When Vitt was being questioned in the NFL investigation, he was asked about Williams’ claim that Williams wanted to stop the Saints’ bounty program and Vitt kept it going. Vitt’s response was that Williams was full of it, adding, “There’s a lot of lying going on right now.”
Vitt had been on the Saints’ staff for three years before Williams arrived, and Vitt recalled being shocked by Williams’ antics when Williams joined the staff.
“And the first time we brought Gregg Williams, we said, ‘Jesus Christ, this guy is nuts,'” Vitt said. “You know, I mean, talking about himself, talking about his accomplishments, talking about his money, talking about how he should — you know, the guy had a pretty bad track record in being a pretty good defensive coordinator. And really, he was in Jacksonville with Jack Del Rio at the time, you know, which was, you know, like sticking your nose in a fan. I mean, it’s just miserable down there anyway. . . . He wanted a ton of money.”
Vitt also suggested that Williams was being treated for mental illness, and that his failure to take his medicine affected his ability to do his job.
“Gregg, during the course of a day, or Gregg during the course of a week, by the way he talks to people and by the way his voice sounds and by the tone of his voice and the tone of his intent, you know, I would have to go up and remind him, ask him, did he take his medication,” Vitt said. “Because he’s always telling me he’s on anger medicine, and I can always tell whatever the medication is that he’s not on it, he’s belligerent, you know, to people, and so I always have to remind him that you’ve got to take your medication.”
When Vitt was told that Williams had suggested that Vitt was personally involved in offering cash to Saints players to injure opponents, Vitt called that “a big lie” and added, “I guess I need to take him to court.”
Now Vitt and Williams aren’t in court together, but they are on the Jets’ staff together. Gase may find himself in the middle of some uncomfortable issues between his top two defensive assistants. If Vitt and Williams do have any dispute that Gase needs to settle, Vitt has a key advantage: Gase is married to Vitt’s daughter.