Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints quarterback, sent an e-mail to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, asking him to allow suspended coaches Sean Payton, Mickey Loomis and Joe Vitt to attend Sunday night’s game in the Superdome when Brees seeks a league record.
And Goodell grated the QB his wish.
“I am excited for our team and for them,” Brees said in a text message, referring to Payton, Loomis and Vitt, all of whom came to the Saints in 2006, when the free-agent passer joined the franchise. “It adds another element to what we hope to be a very special night.”
With a scoring pass in his 48th consecutive game Sunday night, Brees can break Johnny Unitas’ NFL record. Interestingly enough, he will be seeking the milestone against the San Diego Chargers, the team that drafted him as a second-round pick out of Purdue and allowed him to leave as a free gent.
Payton and Loomis signed Brees as their quarterback even though he was recovering from a serious injury to his throwing shoulder. At the time, Brees’ future was so uncertain that the Miami Dolphins were the only other team pursuing the eventual Super Bowl champion quarterback and league MVP.
Payton was suspended for the season as a result of the Saints’ bounty scandal, while Loomis was banned for the first eight games. Vitt received a six-game suspension. None of the coaches can have contact with the team at the game.
There is precedent with Brees pursuing the idea of having them attend. The league granted Payton permission to attend former offensive lineman Willie Roaf’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony this summer. Also, last weekend banned-indefinitely coach Gregg Williams was allowed to attend a game where his son coached for the St. Louis Rams in their game against the Seattle Seahawks. Williams’ son serves as the Rams’ linebackers coach.
Maybe having Peyton in the building will turn around the Saints, who are off to an 0-4 start.