December 13, 2012

Saints' ex-assistant tried to halt bounty system

Transcripts from the appeal hearings portray the coaches in a bitter disagreement.

The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

Joe Vitt
click image to enlarge

Joe Vitt, the Saints’ interim head coach, offered to take a lie detector test to dispute comments by his fellow coaches.

The Associated Press

Gregg Williams
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Gregg Williams, the Saints’ former defensive coordinator, said he tried to stop the bounty system but was overruled by Joe Vitt.

The Associated Press

Williams described player pledges to the pool as "nominal" and said they rarely kept the money they earned, either putting it back in the pool or offering it as tips to equipment personnel. In the case of the large amounts pledged during the playoffs, Williams described it as "air" or "funny money" or "banter," adding that he never actually saw any cash collected or distributed and had no idea what would have happened to the money if Cerullo collected it.

Cerullo said hits for cash started with Williams telling the staff that "Sean kind of put him in charge of bringing back a swagger to the defense so he wanted to brainstorm with us as coaches what we thought we could do. At one point in one of those meetings, Joe Vitt suggested (his previous teams) had a pay-for-play, pay-for-incentive program that the guys kind of bought into and kind of had fun with, and, you know, that was his suggestion. At that point, Gregg also admitted that other places he was at, they had the same type of thing. And at that point, Gregg kind of ran with it."

Cerullo described pregame meetings during the playoffs, when the Saints faced quarterback Kurt Warner of the Arizona Cardinals and then Favre.

He said Vitt told players Warner "should have been retired" and "we're going to end the career tomorrow of Kurt Warner." Cerullo also quoted Vitt as saying of Favre: "That old man should have retired when I was there. Is he retiring, isn't he retiring -- that whole (thing) is over, you know, tomorrow. We'll end the career tomorrow. We'll force him to retire. "

 

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