Since Larry Holder of the Times-Picayune/NOLA.com broke the story about the anonymous New Orleans Saints player who said that defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo should fired, the social media networks have been buzzing and Saints linebackers Jonathan Vilma and Curtis Lofton weighed in on the issue.
Vilma and Lofton both told NOLA.com in a follow up interview that if the player felt that strongly about Spagnuolo then they should have said their name in the initial interview.
Vilma was adamant that along with the player, Holder should reveal who it is. Apparently when asked if he was bothered by the comments Vilma said,
“No. I’m bothered you reported it. We’re not the Jets who run to the media for everything. 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.”
Of course as stated in an earlier article, Holder agreed to give the player anonymity when the interview was done so breaking that trust would have been wrong for him to do so.
Lofton said that the player that made these comments was a “coward” for not giving their name. Lofton also defended Spagnuolo and his scheme. The anonymous player ripped the new defensive scheme for not being as simple as former coordinator Gregg Williams.
“It was his first year putting it in, and everything we went through, yeah I’m a firm believer in the system,” Lofton said. “I think it’s a complicated system, but at the same time it has an answer for everything an offense does. We will be successful in the future.”
He also said that there has to be “accountability on both parts” and it can’t be just the system alone. Lofton also said that Spagnuolo “definitely cares about us as a coach would care for you.”
Lofton also told WWL-TV Sports that Spagnuolo “has been great about hearing players out, coming to a neutral ground in any disagreement they might have had.” This contradicts the anonymous player saying that Spagnuolo wouldn’t budge on things and treated “people like crap.”
This seems what it’s boiling down to is a major frustration by members of Williams’ old regieme of players who felt like with everything happening to the Saints, it would have been better to go with a simple scheme to make the work easier.
However, while that scheme worked one year in 2009, the subsquent years saw the Saints defense drop from being #8 in ’09 to the mid-twenties in 2010 and 2011. Oh let’s not forget it was that same scheme that cost the Saints to miss the playoffs those two years as well. Marshawn Lynch, Vernon Davis anyone?