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Jonathan Vilma rips anonymous Saints player for calling out Steve Spagnuolo: ‘We’re not the Jets’

Steve-Spagnuolo-SaintsThe New Orleans Saints had one of the worst defenses in the NFL this season, which of course reflects poorly on defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. It was a hectic year in New Orleans between the bounty scandal and the suspension of head coach Sean Payton, so it’s tough to judge anyone based on the past 10 months.

At least one Saints player feels as though Spagnuolo is to blame for a disappointing 2012 season. In speaking with the The Times-Picayune on Tuesday, the anonymous player reportedly gave an emphatic “yes” when asked if Spagnuolo deserved to be fired after a season in which the Saints set an NFL record for yards allowed.

“Players have no say in anything,” the player said. “It was (a) complete opposite from before where it was a simple D that players had lot of control and say. We couldn’t suggest (expletive)…Nothing ever changed. It was his way only.

“Don’t even get me started on lack (of) ability to adjust during games. Bad, bad, bad.”

On Wednesday, linebacker Jonathan Vilma ripped the player for making such a bold statement but being too much of a coward to attach his name to it. He also took issue with the paper for running the story.

“No. I’m bothered you reported it,” he told The Times-Picayune. “We’re not the Jets who run to the media for everything.”

Vilma said his issue was with the player remaining anonymous, not with the opinion he shared.

“That’s not the question or the point,” he said. “If he’s man enough to tell you, he should be man enough to put his name on it. And you should do the same.”

Fellow linebacker Curtis Lofton defended Spagnuolo’s system on Wednesday but acknowledged that it is more complicated that the one Gregg Williams had in place before him. He also blasted the anonymous player for acting like a “coward.”

“You definitely should put your name on it, especially with those type of comments,” Lofton said. “Whoever said it is a coward. … I don’t agree with those comments. I feel like if something like that needs to be said, go directly to the coach and talk that out instead or airing in-house business through the media.”

Via The Star-Ledger

Jonathan Vilma calls out ESPN for planning secret ‘character study’ of him

ESPN was apparently planning to air what they called a “character study TV feature” on Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma this weekend, only it seems they didn’t want Vilma to know about it. Whoever was in charge of the project did a lousy job of keeping it under wraps. As part of the study, an ESPN feature producer named Barry Abrams reached out to one of Vilma’s former teammates with the Jets, retired linebacker Eric Barton. As you can see from the photo below that Vilma posted on his Twitter account Wednesday night, Barton decided to share the letter with his buddy.

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Jonathan Vilma’s restaurant has signs saying not to serve Roger Goodell (Picture)

Roger Goodell is probably one of those people that doesn’t have to call ahead to make reservations at a fancy restaurant. Goodell makes millions of dollars a year and is a celebrity among the sports community. One restaurant that we know for certain he wouldn’t need a reservation at is Brother Jimmy’s BBQ in Miami. The reason being? He’s not welcome there.

Brother Jimmy’s is owned by former Hurricanes Jonathan Vilma, Jon Beason and D.J. Williams. As you can see from the photo above that @ALLIN1PRO shared on Twitter, there are signs featuring Goodell’s mug hanging on the restaurant windows that read “DO NOT SERVE THIS MAN.”

Of course, Vilma despises Goodell for suspending him for a full year in the wake of the Saints bounty scandal. He has taken legal action against the NFL in an attempt to be reinstated, but to this point there is no indication that the decision will be reversed or softened in any way. At least keeping Goodell out of his restaurant is something Vilma can control.

H/T Game On!

Four Saints players suspended over bounties, Jonathan Vilma for entire year

The commissioner has spoken, once again. As expected, his voice was heard clearly across the NFL world. The NFL announced on Wednesday morning that four current and former Saints players have been suspended for their roles in the Saints bounty system. Jonathan Vilma has been banned for the entire 2012 season while defensive tackle Anthony Hargrove was given an eight-game suspension, defensive end Will Smith a four-game suspension, and linebacker Scott Fujita a three-game ban.

Fujita is now with the Browns and Hargrove is with the Packers. While many believe Gregg Williams should shoulder most — if not all — of the blame for running a bounty system, Goodell and company clearly do not agree. Vilma and Sean Payton will both miss all of 2012, and the NFL has suspended current and former Saints players, coaches, and officials a total of 61 regular-season games since the offseason began.

Vilma, who currently has a picture of the Sports Illustrated bounty scandal cover as his Twitter avatar, was believed to be far more than just a participant in the program. He once reportedly placed $10,000 on a locker room table and told his teammates it would go to anyone who could knock Brett Favre out of a 2010 playoff game. As we saw from Favre’s ankle injury a couple of seasons ago, the cash may have inspired his teammates.

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Jonathan Vilma and Peter King are beefing on Twitter

Jonathan Vilma and Peter King traded a few shots over Twitter Tuesday after King pointed out that the Saints were signing linebackers to prepare for potential bounty suspensions. The Sports Illustrated NFL writer singled out Vilma with this tweet:

King sent the message shortly after the Saints signed linebacker David Hawthorne. Vilma played dumb, responding to King “that u know how to type peoples names??” Vilma then called King a blogger, saying he was doing “reckless journalism.”

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Chris Rix on Miami Bounties: They Never Knocked Me Out of the Games

The Miami Hurricanes football program came under scrutiny Tuesday after Yahoo! Sports published an investigation alleging improper conduct between several players and a prominent booster. Nevin Shapiro, who is currently in jail for his role in a $930 million Ponzi scheme, says he provided 72 players with thousands of impermissible benefits from 2002-2010. Amongst the benefits Shapiro says he provided were “bounties” on opposing players. Specifically, Shapiro says Hurricanes players were offered $5,000 to knock former Florida quarterback Tim Tebow or former Florida State quarterback Chris Rix out of games.

Larry Brown Sports spoke with Rix Tuesday evening to hear his thoughts on the bounties.

“My first reaction was ‘wow,’ the former Seminoles quarterback told LBS. “It’s just sad to see.”

Rix, who currently runs the Champion Training Academy that mentors young quarterbacks, says he remembers Miami players coming after him hard but he thought it was due to the rivalry between the teams.

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