Published November 20, 2014
Joe Vitt wanted to focus on football. But with so many other issues swirling around the New Orleans Saints these days, he had to work to keep the discussion on that track.
The interim Saints head coach said Tuesday the team was working "tirelessly" to get ready for next season and wanted to assure the fans that players would be ready despite so many distractions.
"We will go full-bore ahead," Vitt said.
Vitt, an assistant head coach and linebackers coach, assumed the day-to-day duties of suspended head coach Sean Payton last week but will have to serve his own six-game suspension once the regular season starts.
Payton, who drew a one-year suspension from the NFL for his role in the team's bounty program, isn't permitted to speak with team personnel or players during his ban.
Vitt said he hasn't spoken with Payton in a week and a half.
"It has been tough. It's the longest I've gone without talking to Sean in 10 years," said Vitt, who also said he wouldn't be able to answer questions about Payton because they haven't spoken.
"We will live by the law of the commissioner," said Vitt.
Vitt said the report that Saints general manager Mickey Loomis had the ability to eavesdrop on opposing coaching staffs was "juvenile."
He spoke at a press conference amid other reports that Louisiana State Police and the FBI were investigating the ESPN report that Loomis had an electronic device in his Superdome suite that was re-wired to give him the capability to eavesdrop on visiting coaching staffs for three seasons.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post, citing a source familiar with the situation, reported that the NFL would not take action on the matter until after the legal process had run its course.
On the bounty program, Vitt said the Saints never took the field intending to hurt players and said their body of work speaks to their accomplishments.
He hoped to move on from the suspensions, which also included an eight-game ban for Loomis and an indefinite suspension for former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.
"It is what it is," said Vitt, who is entering his seventh season with the Saints. "The commissioner's made his ruling."