New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma has heard what an anonymous teammate said about defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, and he's not a happy camper. According to a report by The Times-Picayune's Larry Holder, the Saints linebacker ripped the anonymous teammate who called out Spagnuolo on Tuesday:
When asked by NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune for reaction to the player's comments, Vilma said Wednesday morning, "No. I'm bothered you reported it. We're not the Jets who run to the media for everything."
Vilma, of course, is referring to the constant leaks and rumors this season with the New York Jets, which mostly pertained to embattled quarterback Tim Tebow. Still, while unhappy, Vilma didn't exactly refute the comments of his anonymous teammate.
"That's not the question or the point," said Vilma when asked if his teammate was correct (per The Times-Picayune). "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."
On Tuesday, Holder had reported that an anonymous player said the Saints were being "politically correct" when answering questions about Spagnuolo this season. The player later called the New Orleans defensive coordinator "a control freak" and said Spagnuolo paled in comparison to Gregg Williams.
The player's harsh words come just a few days after the Saints wrapped up a 2012 campaign that saw them struggle mightily on the defensive end.
New Orleans went a disappointing 7-9 on the season and became the first team to ever allow 7,000-plus yards in a single season. The yardage mark broke the previous all-time high by nearly 300 yards, and the Saints also finished 31st in the NFL in points allowed (28.4 per game).
While those statistics are alarming, it should be noted that the Bountygate scandal loomed over New Orleans' season. Spagnuolo never truly got the chance to work with head coach Sean Payton, and the team as a whole underperformed—not just the defense.
Now that the scandal has been put in the past, it seems like in-fighting will be the next controversy for the Saints. There's a long offseason ahead, but it looks like Payton's first task on the job will be fixing a huge rift in the locker room.