New Orleans Saints DC Steve Spagnuolo

Are you kidding me?!

It seems that what happens in the locker room doesn’t necessarily stay in the locker room. I for one am disappointed by this. According to a report by Larry Holder of the Times-Picayune, an anonymous Saints player decided to attack defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo in the press. You just don’t do that.

The player complained about Spagnuolo’s personality, a lack of willingness to listen to anyone else’s ideas and the complexity of his scheme. They also compared their current coordinator to his predecessor Gregg Williams both in personality and complexity of scheme.

This story irritates me on a number of levels. First and foremost are the anonymous public statements. I would expect this of other teams like the Jets. This is the move of tacky, classless and undisciplined individuals, traits I would not even begin to associate with players in a Sean Payton locker room. Just because he’s not in the building at the moment is no excuse to start acting out in the same manner as some of the more classless organizations in the league. If you have an issue with your coordinator, fine. Take it to Sean. If you can’t wait for him to get back in a few weeks, then you take your issue to Joe Vitt. You take your issue to Mickey Loomis. You do NOT take your issue to the media. You keep your dirty laundry in-house.

Second, if you just can’t help yourself and simply must embarrass your boss and your team in public, at least have the guts to put your name on your comments. If you have the courage to say what you think about your boss and have their work and their career called into question have the courage to put your name out there so that your work and your career can be judged right alongside theirs. If the problem truly lies with your boss and not yourself then you should have no hesitation about having your work honestly evaluated by the public. Refusing to put your name to your comments says that you are not sure of your own work.

As for the love of all things Gregg Williams, how did that work out for you over the two seasons before Spagnuolo arrived? I seem to remember that easy going guy’s simpler scheme being a huge part of the reason the team got bounced from the playoffs in both 2010 and 2011. There’s a reason the team never discussed a contract extension with him. I remember watching that simpler scheme get burned repeatedly. That simple defense got destroyed twice by Alex Smith of all people in the final minutes of the divisional playoffs. Take that in for a moment…..Alex Smith. That simple defense was very much a high risk-high reward. More often than not, the high reward did not materialize. And finally, I have seen more goal line stands this year under this scheme than I recall seeing in all three years under Williams. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. No matter how many yards a team may rack up, there is only one yard that truly matters: the one that ends in the end zone. If an opponent doesn’t get that last yard to get into the end zone, do the other 99 on the field matter other than on a stat sheet?

I have loved the black & gold as far back as I can remember. I have always been proud of them even in the darkest of days. That’s why this is so hard for me to stomach. This organization has fought hard over many years, far longer than any player or coach has been with this team, to get the reputation, the respect and the stature that they have finally achieved in recent years. When one player decides to pull something as bush-league as venting to the media about their issues with a coach, they put themselves beneath the entire organization and all that it now represents for that moment in time.

If there is something that needs to be said to the media, the team has Greg Bensel to handle it. That’s his job.

You are a player. Do your job.