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Fleur-de-Links: December 13, 2012

Your daily collection of New Orleans Saints news and opinion. TODAY'S HEADLINE: Joe Vitt goes OFF in denying Gregg Williams bounty allegations! Will now prepare for more "scuds" from league office.

Sean Gardner


": . & will be on NFL Rush Zone on Nicktoons this Friday/8 pm CT! " don't miss it!

Great stuff from Joe Vitt on G. Williams allegations.

Sun Herald: Vitt on bounty report: Enough is enough

Jesus Christ did Pierce even read Tagliabue's report or just cuddle with Greg Aiello for an hour?

Vitt likens RB Martin to "third-period French" in his ability to make break tackles:

League says there's been no communication with suspended Coach Sean Payton on his reinstatement

Nothing like a little Friday night fight against evil cartoon forces on this Friday on Nicktoons at 9p ET!

McMahon on Morstead: "He's a heck of a kicker. We just have to do a better job of covering."

Rob Parker out-Stephen A Smithed and out-Skip Baylessed Skip Bayless and Stephen A Smith today

ST coach Greg McMahon said issue on kickokff coverage was lack of "lane integrity and leverage." Said it was disappointing.

Vitt on Akiem Hicks: "I think the guys who looked funny at us when we drafted him aren’t looking funny at us no more."

cc: RT Vitt: "We'll hunker down and wait for the scud to come tonight."

Vit (contd): "... I’ve got to do a better job preparing our football team. When we lose, we lose as a team. We don’t point fingers."

Vitt on Brees' struggles: "This is not Drew Brees. This is our football team. The only that has been a shortcoming on this team is me....

Vitt: Said Payton coming back will be big.

Vitt: "We'll hunker down and wait for the scud to come tonight."

Vitt: "The one great thing about this country is the truth is going to prevail."

Vitt: I've already served my time. Mickey has already served my time. I don't know what door on Park Ave to knock on to get my rep about.

Vitt: "What can I and the other coaches do? Do what we love to do and that’s coach to beat Tampa Bay."

Vitt said Jenkins (Knee), Strief (Ankle), Ivory (Hamstring), Collins (Toe), Brown (Knee) & White (Knee) did not practice today

Vitt on bounty transcript leakage: "We knew that the scuds were going to come. WE knew there would be a leakage of information"



Joe Vitt Interview 12/13/12

Vitt braces for "scuds," presumably from Park Avenue | ProFootballTalk
"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."

New Orleans Saints interim coach Joe Vitt fires back at Gregg Williams' accusations from bounty hearings |
"These (allegations) can go back and forth, or we can get back to football, or we can keep talking about this every day," Vitt said. "I've already served my time. Mickey has already served his time. And to be quite frank, I don't know what door to knock on on Park Avenue to get my reputation back. But again, I'm going to defend our players, I'm going to defend our organization and I'm going to defend our ownership." Vitt said there's no recourse he can take with the league saying what's happened to him and the organization is now history. But Vitt seemed more than eager to have his day in court, which could occur if Berrigan allows Vilma's defamation lawsuit against Goodell to move forward. "Now we'll all be before a federal judge," Vitt said. "It's coming. We'll all be before a federal judge. And the one great thing about this country is that the truth is going to prevail."

METAIRIE: Vitt on bounty report: Enough is enough | New Orleans Saints | The Sun Herald
Vitt denied report that he halted the end of pay-for-performance program. we knew the scuds were going to come. Vitt: "We knew there was going to be a leakage of information and it was like clockwork. Here it comes, it's here. And it's a shame."



The NFL Owes the New Orleans Saints an Apology - Yahoo! Voices -
The NFL owes each of these players an open public apology. Roger Goodell owes not only Saints fans, but all fans, players, coaches and media outlets apologies as well. It has become clear to this writer that Roger Goodell and the NFL used the media to sully the reputations of these players and blacken the eye of an organization that apparently has done no more wrong than at least 13 other teams in the NFL.

Smith, Hargrove accept Tagliabue’s decision, withdraw motion to vacate | ProFootballTalk
For three of the players whose suspension were overturned by former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, the bounty case is finally over. As to Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, who was fully exonerated by Tagliabue, there's nothing for Fujita to challenge in court.

Jared Allen: If I were commissioner I’d undo everything Goodell did | ProFootballTalk
Drew Brees says NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has "little to no credibility" with players. Vikings defensive end Jared Allen seems to agree with that.

League says there's been no communication with suspended New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton on his reinstatement |
Talks of Sean Payton's reinstatement have begun internally at NFL offices

NFL says Payton reinstatement talks have only been internal, not with coach | New Orleans
The NFL has had preliminary talks internally about reinstating suspended New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, a league spokesman said Thursday.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's invulnerable authority takes a hit with overturned suspensions - ESPN Dallas
No longer is Goodell alpha and omega when it comes to doling out punishment. These days, the sun no longer rises and sets on his judgments.

Forecast: NFL accomplished nothing with bounty investigation? | New Orleans
Ralph Malbrough / Contributing Writer
Here is a question I haven't seen anybody ask regarding the 2012 Saints Bounty Scandal, "What exactly has the NFL accomplished?" besides completely destroying the product a fan base has been selling out the Mercedes Benz Superdome for seven straight years to watch

Cleanup on Aisle 9… - Who Dat Social Club
What happened was simply this: Goodell couldn’t advance the ball, so Tagliabue came on the field and punted. If that’s too hard to understand, you need to write about decoupage.

DeMaurice Smith derides 'sloppy' NFL bounty investigation -
"Frankly, I'm still disappointed in the National Football League and certainly disappointed in the way they conducted an investigation, because I now know, having read and seen all the testimony, that there certainly was no evidence that the bounties existed."

Roger Goodell begins reinstatement talks with New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton - ESPN
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has begun preliminary dialogue through the league office with suspended New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton regarding his eventual reinstatement.

Brees on Roger Goodell: ‘Little to no credibility’ | Saints | The Advocate — Baton Rouge, LA
METAIRIE — The overturning of the players’ suspensions in the New Orleans Saints’ bounty scandal on Tuesday did little to slow down the tal…



Six injured New Orleans Saints miss Thursday's practice |
Strief, Jenkins and Collins among the injured

Vitt stands up for players; Saints injury list stays the same
"This is not Drew Brees. This is our football team," said Saints acting head coach Joe Vitt about the struggles of this star quarterback. "The only one that has been a shortcoming on this team is me. I've got to do a better job preparing our football team. When we lose, we lose as a team. We don't point fingers."

Bucs notes: Pass rush hopes to disrupt Saints QB Brees |
Coming off a dynamic six-sack effort, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense is gearing up for one of the NFL's ultimate challenges.

Saints’ Vitt says team must stop pressing to limit turnovers | Black and Gold

Enemy Lines: Saints Not Scared to Run the Ball
Pierre Thomas and the Saints have run the ball much more effectively in the second half of the season than the first, but now they face the NFL's top-ranked rush defense

Saints’ Vitt on Bucs RB Martin: ‘He’s dropping guys like third-period French’ | New Orleans
When the Saints last played Tampa Bay, there was little mention of running back Doug Martin.



Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham on Nicktoons
QB Drew Brees and TE Jimmy Graham are going into overtime this Friday (Dec. 14) in NFL Rush Zone on Nicktoons at 8 pm CT and Saturday (Dec. 15) at 6 am CT.

Brees foundation suing organizer for pocketing thousands of dollars | New Orleans
Saints quarterback Drew Brees and his foundation are suing one of the former organizers of his celebrity golf tournament.

Hall of Famer William Roaf to Appear at Saints Hall of Fame on Sunday

Roaf will be at the hall from 10 am – 11:15 am on Sunday

New Orleans Saints take Algiers students on Christmas shopping spree in Metairie |

IRVING, Texas: NFL owners discuss expanding playoff field - Football Wires -
The Dallas Cowboys still are in playoff contention for the six-team NFC field, but they will need help. In the near future, though, their 7-6 record might be good enough for a team to control its own destiny.