Drew Brees Expects Sean Payton To Attend Saints’ Sunday Night Game
According to a CBSSports.com report, New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees expects suspended coach Sean Payton, general manager Mickey Loomis and linebackers coach Joe Vitt to honor his invitation to attend the Saints’ game Sunday night against San Diego.
In a story first reported by Fox 8 News in New Orleans on Wednesday, Brees asked for and received permission from the NFL for the suspended trio to watch his potential record-breaking performance at the Superdome. He tied Johnny Unitas’ 52-year-old record of 57 consecutive games with a touchdown pass last Sunday at Green Bay and will take sole possession with a scoring toss against the Chargers.
“I believe they are all going to come,” he said Thursday afternoon in the Saints locker room. “I haven’t had any contact with coach Payton or Mickey or Joe obviously, but I made that request in hopes that they would be able to be there. My assumption is they will be there.”
It appears at least one of the three may not attend. Vitt, who will return from his six-game suspension in three more weeks, told the New Orleans Times-Picayune on Thursday that he did not want to be a distraction and “would live by the letter of the suspension.”
Brees said he thought about inviting the trio on the flight back to New Orleans after the Saints’ loss to Green Bay on Sunday. On Monday, he emailed NFL commissioner Roger Goodell asking for permission.
Payton is suspended for the season. Loomis is suspended for the first eight games. Neither of them, along with Vitt, is allowed any contact with the team while they sit out, and they will not be able to talk to any New Orleans player or coach at Sunday night’s game.
Brees just wants them in the building.
“It would mean a lot, and that’s why I asked,” he said. “The fact is we have the opportunity to break the Johnny Unitas record, and I say ‘we’ because it is a team deal, and Joe Vitt is a part of that, Sean Payton is a part of that and Mickey Loomis is a part of that. I felt like they certainly deserved the opportunity to be there in attendance and share that moment with us.”
The Saints are 0-4 a year after finishing 13-3.
“We know we have a job to do, and it’s to win this game, it’s to prepare ourselves the best we can throughout this week,” Brees said. “None of those guys will be in the locker room. It’s not like we’re getting a pregame speech from anybody. … It felt like they deserved the opportunity to be here, and I appreciate the commissioner giving permission for them to do that.”