Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 4/24/12

NEW ORLEANS - 2009: Mickey Loomis of the New Orleans Saints poses for his 2009 NFL headshot at photo day in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by NFL Photos)

Joe Vitt, who has been given the role of leading the New Orleans Saints into the 2012 season, expressed regret for some of the things he said with regard to his role in the bounty scandal, but he insisted the players never crossed the line with their actions.

On Tuesday, in his first meeting with the media since being named Sean Payton's replacement as Saints head coach this season, Vitt not only addressed the bounty scandal, but showed support for general manager Mickey Loomis, ridiculing a report that Loomis had used an electronic device to listen to opposing coaches on game days, calling the report "irresponsible.".

Vitt will act as head coach through the offseason, but will be suspended for the first six games of the 2012 for his punishment as part of the bounty scandal. He addressed the bounty issue at the outset.

"Number one, at no time did any of our players ever cross the white line with the intention of hurting another player," he said. "Now that being said, I'm serving a six-game suspension for the spoken word, not the clinched fist. I'm on board with the Commissioner 100 percent on player safety.

When asked to clarify what he meant by being punished for the spoken word, Vitt said, "We never taught any of our players that when they crossed the white line to injure another player. I regret the words that were spoken at meetings. Again, I want to say this one last time and (the) players in our league already know this, what you do on the field speaks so well that there is no need to hear what you have to say. The body of work that our players have on the field has spoken well."

He acknowledged that he will be more careful in the way he phrases things when addressing players.

"(For) me (it's) probably tougher than anybody, because some of you guys have heard me talk," said Vitt, who will continue to coach linebackers as well. "The spoken word is important, how you talk to players and the expectations of the players that you have for them has to be different and should be different. I take full responsibility for that and I have to get better at that."

Nonetheless, Vitt emphasized that the team is not crumbling from the damaging off-field publicity and distractions.

"Understand one thing, we are not down," he said. "We have 41 wins over the last three years and we have a great building full of players, we have a great scouting staff, we have a great administration, we have a great owner and we are looking forward to the start of the season. Again, the excuses are out there for us not to perform, but we are all held accountable for our jobs and that's the truth. We will be held accountable. To answer your question, I don't feel like we're down."

Vitt was also unequivocal in his support of Loomis regarding the allegations reported by ESPN on Monday that Loomis re-wired an electronic communication system at the Superdome so he could listen in on opposing coaches' conversations during a game.

Vitt said he's worked with Loomis for 17 years and understands his core beliefs, and he doesn't believe Loomis did the things alleged in the report.

"Anybody that ever wants to question Mickey's integrity on something like this, I mean this is juvenile," Vitt said. "This is so bad with what's being reported. It's irresponsible. I don't want to hurt anybody's feelings here, but I don't have the time to read and see the reports. We're working 12 to 14 hours a day here, so I'm not completely abreast in what's taking place or what's been said. I just know it's not true."

Vitt dismissed the idea of transferring information via a wire tap.

"It's ludicrous. It's impossible," he said. "I've never heard of it before. That's something from Star Wars. When I first heard about something being wire-tapped, I didn't even know what they were talking about. And then to associate Mickey with that, it's irresponsible and it's a shame."

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