At the request of Drew Brees, the NFL has given suspended New Orleans coach Sean Payton, assistant head coach Joe Vitt and general manager Mickey Loomis permission to be at Sunday night’s game against San Diego.
But at least one of the three reportedly will decline. Vitt told Mike Triplett he does not plan to attend. Vitt is serving a six-game suspension. He ran the team throughout training camp and the preseason and is scheduled to again fill Payton’s role once his suspension is over.
"I do not under no circumstances want to be a distraction," Vitt told Triplett. "I'm not with the team right now, and I'll live by the letter of the suspension. The focus has got to be on the team, preparing hard and winning this game, first and foremost, then we hope to get the record.’’
Brees will be attempting to break Johnny Unitas’ streak of 47 straight games with a touchdown pass against the Chargers. Vitt said he has tons of respect for Brees and also was an admirer of Unitas, but doesn’t feel it would do any good to show up at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
"There's nothing I can do there that's gonna help them win this game,’’ Vitt said. “And I don't want to be a distraction."
It remains unclear if Payton and Loomis will attend.