New Orleans Saints interim coach Joe Vitt: “We’re not gonna back down”
New Orleans Saints interim coach Joe Vitt said that he and the Saints players suspended for their alleged roles in the bounty scheme run by former New Orleans defensive coordinator Gregg Williams will continue to fight to prove their innocence, reports The Times-Picayune‘s Mike Triplett.
“We’re gonna keep fighting the fight. We’re not gonna back down,” Vitt said.
Vitt was suspended six games for his alleged involvement in the bounty program. Saints head coach Sean Payton was suspended for the entire season. On Wednesday, Vitt offered to take a lie detector test to prove his innocence. He expanded on a statement he released to the media in his comments to Triplett.
“I stated from Day 1 to investigators – and I hope they took good notes – our players have done nothing wrong. Nothing wrong,” Vitt said. “Our players never crossed the white lines with an intent to injure anybody.”
In information released to the media on Monday, Vitt was tied to a bounty allegedly placed on Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre in the 2010 NFC Championship game. One document showed Vitt’s name next to $5,000 in a “QB out pool,” suggesting he contributed that amount of money to a pool to injure Favre severely enough he couldn’t continue playing.
Vitt said he has never contributed to any such pool and was never shown that document.
“I never heard that,” Vitt told Triplett. “And that’s exactly what I told investigators and told the commissioner. I never heard a player ever talk about putting Favre out of the game or injuring another player.”
…”There’s gotta be some concerns from the league’s standpoint and anybody’s standpoint about the authenticity of any of these documents. I think that’s a huge concern,” Vitt said. “It looks like that document has been falsified or tampered with. What kind of credibility do they have if they take documents like that and show it to players?”
On Thursday morning, Scott Fujita, one of the players suspended for his involvement in the program, tweeted in support of Vitt.
I can say with 100% certainty that Joe Vitt never contributed ANY money to ANYTHING, and that the supposed "Minny ledger" is inaccurate—
Scott Fujita (@scottfujita99) June 21, 2012