Falcons have no ‘Bounty Gate’ sympathy for the Saints





FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons players, who were around during the team’s infamous 2007 season, have no sympathy for the New Orleans Saints, who are trying to battle through their Bounty Gate season.

In 2007, the Falcons’ season was over before it started under first-year coach Bobby Petrino. They would see quarterback Michael Vick go to jail on federal dogfighting charges and his job handed to Joey Harrington.

With three games left, Petrino would toss his hands in the air and leave for a college job at Arkansas. It was the most bizarre of NFL seasons, until this year.

With the NFL emphasizing player safety, the Saints were found to have a pay-for-play bounty program, and harsh penalties were imposed that included player, coach and executive suspensions and fines.

Coach Sean Payton was suspended for a year, and general manager Mickey Loomis returned Tuesday from his eight-game suspension. Former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was suspended indefinitely. Linebacker Jonathan Vilma is playing while he appeals his suspension.

“You just have to deal with it,” said Falcons defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux, who was with the team in 2007. “Every season isn’t perfect; 2007 was probably one of the worst seasons that we’ve had around here.”

The Saints opened this season losing their first four games. They have won three of their past four to pull to 3-5 at the halfway point.

In 2007, the Falcons finished 4-12.

“We just had to deal with the adversity that came around that year,” Babineaux said. “We managed to make it through that and from there on; there’s been nothing but forward progress.”

It may be tough to quantify what losing Payton has meant to the Saints, who have won the NFC South title in two of the past three seasons and won the Super Bowl after the 2009 season.

“I don’t know how (tough) it’s been,” White said. “He did a lot of play-calling with the offense. It may affect them on offense.”

Falcons left guard Justin Blalock was a rookie during the 2007 season. He endured a rude welcome to the NFL.

“We’ve had a couple of tough seasons around here as well,” Blalock said. “It’s really tough to say what’s going on. You have to put it out of your mind. You have to worry about things that are in the realm of your control.

“You just go out, play and try to have fun.”

Falcons running back Michael Turner wasn’t around for all of the fun in 2007.

“Hopefully, I’ll never have to feel that way or have to think about it,” Turner said about losing a head coach. “It’s something that we can’t control.”

Just when the Saints were starting to see a bit of normalcy, it was recently reported that Payton’s contract could be voided.

Now, the Saints have a new distraction. Will Payton return after he serves out his suspension?

“The only thing I can promise you is this, is that our football team and our football players love Sean Payton,” interim coach Joe Vitt said. “Sean loves this team and these players. This city loves Sean, and Sean loves this city. I anticipate and I would bet my life that Sean is going to be here for a long time to come.

“At some point in time, we’re going to have that stability, and our head coach will return to our football team.”

In the meantime, while the Saints are fighting to reach that state, Vitt plans to make sure that everyone gets evaluated properly.

“Quite frankly, this is a production business,” Vitt said. “I’ve got to do my job. Our coaches have to do their jobs. Our players have to do their jobs. That’s what we’re going to be paid for, and that’s what we are going to be judge by.”

The Saints still have their high-powered offense that is led by quarterback Drew Brees. They have averaged 27.3 point per game, which ranks eighth in the league.

But the defense had been abysmal. The unit has given up 471.3 yards per game, which ranks last (32nd).

“I’m proud of the job that our players have done so far, sticking through some tough times,” Vitt said.

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45 comments Add your comment

Shane

November 8th, 2012
12:33 am

Really?

November 8th, 2012
1:33 am

That is bad news for the taint’s. They live off of pity and we all know how well the taint’s have done now that the NFL revoked their pity card.

Jasmin

November 8th, 2012
1:33 am

Not really worried about N.O. can’t wait until the game is played, won & OVER! #FALCONS WIN!

Who DAt!!!!!!

November 8th, 2012
3:00 am

Great Falconi

November 8th, 2012
3:23 am

Let’s beat these fools to sleep.

SawThat1nce

November 8th, 2012
5:29 am

DOL, you write an article about a team, and then you have that team’s name filtered in the comment section?
What is wrong with you?

4BsihTneeS

November 8th, 2012
8:23 am

FOUND TO HAVE A pay for PLAY bounty progam?!

It has yet to be proven. And that’s why Vilma is still playing and will play the entire season.

urstupit

November 8th, 2012
9:53 am

It hasn’t been proven? … do you think they would suspend a coach for a year if they didn’t know something?

urstupit!

tanithfirst

November 8th, 2012
10:22 am

talk is cheap, lets wait until sunday post game comments! we will see how real the birds are!

Hindu Elvis Pimp

November 8th, 2012
10:26 am

Why must you place the word “gate” after bounty? Do you think we don’t understand what transpired if you don’t place the word “gate” after bounty?

TDnoclue

November 8th, 2012
10:46 am

TDnoclue

November 8th, 2012
10:47 am

$aints Stink.

SawThat1nce

November 8th, 2012
10:56 am

Because the Taints ‘hits for hire’, or ‘hits for a reward’ program, was a conspiracy.
Adding gate to the end of the word ‘bounty’, makes it synonymous with a conspiracy such as ‘Watergate’.
You do know what Watergate was, right? If not, look it up, and perhaps you might better understand ‘things’.

Hindu Elvis Pimp

November 8th, 2012
11:09 am

You mean Watergate, in reference to the hotel/office complex where Nixon’s men broke in to an office looking for dirt on his opponents? Oh yeah….The next logical step in this is a secret bounty program in the NFL nearly 40 years later……

How obtuse of me.

Tree

November 8th, 2012
11:28 am

Sean Payton is no different than Petrino. Liar, cheater, poor ethics…a perfect fit for the Aints!

Hindu Elvis Pimp

November 8th, 2012
11:33 am

Why are random comments being deleted?

realfalconfan

November 8th, 2012
12:13 pm

realfalconfan

November 8th, 2012
12:05 pm
I think STB4 HAS CHANGE HIS NAME TO 4BsihTneeS if not they both need to get off our blog. We need to just got out there Sunday play so smash mouth football and come home with a victory. GO FALCONS!!! RISE UP….

JO JO DANCER

November 8th, 2012
12:33 pm

THE FAL-GALS WILL GO 16-1….MEANING THEY GET THEIR A$$$ED BOUNCHED IN JANUARY.SO WHAT ELSE IS NEW? SAME SHISH DIFFERENT YEAR

Jim

November 8th, 2012
1:20 pm

I didn`t read ANY of the players saying they didn`t have any sympathy for them-couldn`t you have worded it better in the head line instead of possibly supplying them with bulletin board material? I guarrentee you they will be pumped up for this game .Thanks.

RainMaker

November 8th, 2012
1:28 pm

Jim…ditto on that…I was about to say the same.

Really Ledbetter…why don’t you think about how your headlines might be used?

Whadda Ya Know?

November 8th, 2012
1:33 pm

You Aints trolls have the nerve to show up to this blog and talk ish? I guess you think you’re playing the same ole’ Falcons huh? Keep thinking that…we gon git in DAT a$$ come Sunday.

bigdawg

November 8th, 2012
1:34 pm

Is there a reason this column is still on Daylight Savings time?

Oh, beat the ‘aints! It’s paper-bag time, again!

warfalcon

November 8th, 2012
1:36 pm

Why do you AJC writers always write about the other team F[forget] them.ONE GAME AT A TIME,NO DOUBT so LETS GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!BIG PAY BACK,remember little brees ran up the score the last time we played them,he must leave the game early$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

bigdawg

November 8th, 2012
1:37 pm

Because DOL wants y’all to gripe about the headline! It got you to read and respond, didn’t it!?! You just don’t understand the media business!

Rise Up # 9

November 8th, 2012
1:49 pm

Enter your comments here

ideasbm

November 8th, 2012
1:55 pm

Anybody who does not know that Payton is up in a private press box, calling down the plays to a cohort who is passing them to the coach to signal out, is dumb. He is still running the offense and the NFL is too stupid to investigate. They would have never caught the cheating before except someone spilled the beans. Investigate and look around you sports reporters. Watch what is going on on the sidelines during a game. It is obvious.

hooper

November 8th, 2012
2:08 pm

DOL, I think the title of this blog is a little misleading. Actually, it almost seems like bulletin board baiting on your part. None of the quotes imply a lack of sympathy, but rather players understanding what controversy is all about through ther own recent experience.

stei

November 8th, 2012
2:11 pm

Failcons will get their a@@ handed to them on sunday. Get ready for a beatdown.

Eric C.

November 8th, 2012
2:26 pm

hooper, well said

stei, sure…if you say so

Eric C.

November 8th, 2012
2:27 pm

Any updates on Samuel?

Esquire

November 8th, 2012
2:32 pm

Who DAt!!!!!!
November 8th, 2012
3:00 am

Wana be like us!!!

http://youtu.be/_9R7Fe5g96c
***************************************
Don’t open it…………….it could be a virus. Comin’ from the cesspool that is new orleans you are bound to catch something.

Whadda Ya Know?

November 8th, 2012
2:34 pm

stei it’s ok to dream buddy.

4BsihTneeS

November 8th, 2012
2:36 pm

RUN up the score on them Coach Vitt!

Esquire

November 8th, 2012
2:37 pm

stei
November 8th, 2012
2:11 pm

Failcons will get their a@@ handed to them on sunday. Get ready for a beatdown.
******************************
Hey Dunce Hat, your defense CANNOT stop us. How is that a beatdown. ROFLMAO

Esquire

November 8th, 2012
2:50 pm

4BsihTneeS
November 8th, 2012
2:36 pm

RUN up the score on them Coach Vitt!

******************************************
Sure thang 6-11 Coach Vitt, run it up Baby!!!

Sales of Bounty paper towels are way up this week in Atlanta. Must have a few fans bringing some to the Mercedes-Benz Dome Sunday.

The Week 15 Curse « Football Dump

November 8th, 2012
3:00 pm

[...] White certainly seems to think so, “I think we got the pedigree to do it,” White told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “You know how we are on offense and defense and how we are as a team. This locker [...]

B-rad

November 8th, 2012
3:01 pm

Big fan D. Led, thanks for keeping us informed!! Just worried about our defensive leader Weatherspoon any word if he will be there Sunday??

Mike is Back

November 8th, 2012
3:33 pm

Great Blog DLed, why should the BIRDS have any sympathy for them friggin Aint’s…Brees didn’t show much sympathy for us…when he was running the score up chasing history last season.

THE BIRDS gotta forget about the 8 and 0 record…these are the friggin Aint’s…we owe…AND we gotta knock somebody TF Out…WORD UP!

RISE UP BIRDS…KNOCK THEM FRIGGIN AINT’S @SS OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!LOL

Answer This

November 8th, 2012
3:34 pm

You all know that the troll STB4 is sitting and waiting! Watch we make him wait longer!
Esquire do us the honors!
STRIKE UP THE BAND!

Mora less Petrino

November 8th, 2012
4:02 pm

Birds destroyed the Aints 62-7 in 1973. Biggest point spread ever in the history of the rivalry. Time for the Falcons to up it.

stei

November 8th, 2012
5:39 pm

1973 ???? Lol…..can you go to older times than that.

stei

November 8th, 2012
5:40 pm

Esquire,

Dance and sing all you want. We will bring you down to earth from your cloud 9.

RainMaker

November 8th, 2012
6:05 pm

stei….how to you pronounce that? Pig-stei?

Falcons will roll over the Tain’ts like a steamroller. Buzz off troll.

Mr.DIRTY BIRD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

November 8th, 2012
9:40 pm

Mr. DIRTY BIRD says want some get some roll baby roll (ROLL TIDE) style………………

blove

November 9th, 2012
11:12 am

U garbage a$$ fans . Ur team does good almost every year. When will y’all realize that ur team
Is a fraud. Crash and burn come playoff time . 16-0 really. Maybe 14-2 after we
Get throught with y’all a$$