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New Orleans Saints and NFL: Top News and Video Clips

The above audio was released just hours before New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis, head coach Sean Payton, and assistant head coach Joe Vitt were to appear before NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to appeal their suspensions for perceived involvement in Gregg William’s bounty program.

When Steve Spagnuolo was asked to discuss the personnel of the Saints’ defense back in January, he wisely called an audible. Just days on the job, he told Times-Picayune colleague James Varney that he hadn’t had time to properly evaluate the team’s personnel to talk about the unit he would soon be coordinating. “It would be unfair for me to even say,” he said. ” … I certainly wouldn’t look backwards and draw any opinion on anyone’s season.”

With appeal hearings to be held on Thursday regarding the penalties imposed so far against the Saints, coach Sean Payton, G.M. Mickey Loomis, and assistant head coach/linebackers coach Joe Vitt, the Louisiana Senate has chimed in on the situation. According to Ed Anderson of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the Committee on Senate and Governmental Affairs passed a resolution urging the NFL to reconsider the punishment.

Saints general manager Mickey Loomis and assistant coach Joe Vitt have arrived at NFL headquarters, where their suspension appeals in the New Orleans bounty case will be heard by Commissioner Roger Goodell. Loomis and Vitt were at the league offices Thursday morning, with coach Sean Payton to arrive later in the day for his appeal. Goodell suspended Payton for all of next season for his role in the bounty system. Loomis was suspended for eight games and Vitt for six. The Saints were fined $500,000 and docked two second-round draft picks.

The “bounty” scandal took another dark turn with the release of an audio recording featuring former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams making clear allusions to inflicting physical harm on members of the 49ers before an NFC divisional playoffs matchup in January. Documentary filmmaker Sean Pamphilon, who procured and eventually released the audio, put out a statement Thursday explaining his decision to go public with the recording.

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