Joe Vitt's attorney says Gregg Williams was a 'rogue' operator
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell heard appeals from Saints coach Sean Payton, general manager Mickey Loomis, linebackers coach Joe Vitt and the organization as a whole today in New York.
They were appealing punishments handed down following the investigation into the team’s bounty program on the day audio recordings of ex-defensive coordinator Gregg Williams became public.
The appeal process lasted about 90 minutes, according to NFL.com, and afterward David Cornwell, who is serving as Vitt’s lawyer, said that Williams was a “rogue” operator and that the audio recordings were one prime example of that.
Vitt was suspended for six games and the league cited the fact that he, Payton and Loomis knew what was going on. It’s possible the league discovered these men were not forthcoming with information during the investigation process also.
Cornwell released a statement afterward:
“Coach Joe Vitt and I met today with Commissioner Goodell, Jeff Pash, Adolpho Birch, and NFL security for about an hour and a half," Cornwell said. "Coach Vitt wanted to meet face to face with the Commissioner to take full responsibility for certain matters while taking the opportunity to make clear that despite inflammatory language and irresponsible conduct, New Orleans Saints' coaches did not coach and Saints' players did not play to injure their opponents. We thought the discussion was productive and informative -- so, we achieved our objective."
The best guess is that Goodell will rule on the appeals sometime early next week. It’s unlikely that punishments will be reduced following the appeal. Stay tuned.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune