Not having Sean Payton on the sideline has been one of the New Orleans Saints’ biggest problems this season. Perhaps having their coach somewhere in the SuperDome, albeit it in a hermetically sealed suite, will help them win their first game.
Payton, suspended and barred from having contact with his players for the season because of Bountygate, will be able to attend the Saints’ game against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday night after quarterback Drew Brees put in a request with the NFL. General Manager Mickey Loomis and linebackers coach Joe Vitt — all suspended for varying lengths of time — will be allow to attend as well on what is a significant night for Brees personally. He will be trying to break Johnny Unitas’s record of 47 consecutive games with a touchdown pass.
“I am excited for our team and for them,” Brees said in a text message to ESPN’s Ed Werder. “It adds another element to what we hope to be a very special night.”
Another Bountygate perp, Gregg Williams, will be allowed to attend a game as well. The Saints’ former defensive coordinator, who was banned indefinitely from the NFL, can to go the St. Louis Rams’ game this weekend as a fan. Williams, who joined Jeff Fisher’s St. Louis staff, was given permission this one time, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told NFL.com. Williams, whose son Blake coaches the Rams’ linebackers, cannot have contact with the team and future attendance will be decided on a “case-by-case basis,” Aiello said.