The New Orleans Saints are enjoying the bye week practice wise but that doesn't mean they are out of the news. The NFL reaffirmed the bounty penalties back on Tuesday and on Thursday Saints quarterback Drew Brees in a radio interview on ESPN Radio’s “Mike and Mike in the morning called Goodell’s investigation a “sham.”
Brees was particularly bothered by the letters sent to each of the four players that have been disciplined. "It's interesting because it seems now that Fujita is being suspended for contributing to a program outside the so-called Gregg Williams bounty program that gave money for forced fumbles and sacks," said Brees.” "So now Fujita is being suspended for something completely different than what he was accused of originally."
"In Vilma's letter, it basically says no matter if pledges were disclosed or not, up for consideration or not, or paid or not, any actions or rhetoric that encourages injuring or disabling opposing players warrants discipline," Brees said. "In that case, I think that just about every coach and player in the league might be a little scared right now for anything they have said. It seems like these punishments have been handed down based upon speculation and rhetoric."
Brees has been pretty outspoken about how he disagrees with the penalties to not only the players but to head coach Sean Payton, linebackers coach Joe Vitt and general manager Mickey Loomis. Thursday he made it pretty clear about how he feels the bounty investigation has affected him. "We've acknowledged for the most part that this whole bounty thing is just a big sham," Brees said. "And so the fact that our coaches are suspended for part of the year or the entire year is pretty ridiculous."
Players have been given until the end of business hours on Friday to file an appeal of the latest ruling.
Brees was also a topic of conversation on New York sports talk radio WFAN when the hosts chatted with Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw. The four-time Super Bowl champ basically could care less about the recent record Brees broke. Sunday night, Brees passed the great Johnny Unitas for the throwing a touchdown pass in 48 consecutive games, a record that spanned four and a half seasons.
That wasn’t all that had Bradshaw uneasy as he wasn't pleased the NFL approved Brees’ request to allow Payton, Vitt and Loomis to attend the record breaking night. “I was a little upset that he went to the NFL to get Payton and everybody back to watch him break a record,” Bradshaw said. “I’m like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ I never would have gone and asked for them back … I thought it was disrespectful to the San Diego Chargers. So break it go ahead. Hell, you’re throwing it 50 times a game … I’m just against stuff like that. I just don’t believe in doing stuff like that.”
"In my opinion, Mickey Loomis, Sean Payton and Joe Vitt were as big a part of this night as anyone, so certainly the opportunity to be in the building or be a part of it was important to me," Brees responded on Thursday to Bradshaw’s comment about the inappropriateness of having the three men in attendance. "Those are all the guys that brought me to New Orleans, brought all of us to New Orleans to help build the foundation of what we've been able to create there. I thought it was very appropriate that they were there."
One thing is for sure. There are no off weeks or days when it comes to the New Orleans Saints right now is there?