The 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