New Orleans Saints linebacker Nate Bussey attempted to express the mood of the locker room throughout the team's offseason adversity, saying that the players are drawing motivation from the punishments levied against the franchise for its involvement in a "bounty" program.
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"It seems like a lot people (are) trying to bring us down right now," Bussey told CBS Sports. "I think one of the reasons is because the Super Bowl is here in New Orleans this year and they don't want to see a great team like the New Orleans Saints be in their backyard to play an important game like that."
Four players were suspended as a result of the Saints' "bounty" program, in which players were given money for injuring opposing players or removing them from games. Linebacker Jonathan Vilma was suspended for one full season, while defensive end Anthony Hargrove was banned for eight games, Will Smith for four games and linebacker Scott Fujita for three games.
The NFL Players Association filed an appeal Friday against the NFL challenging Commissioner Roger Goodell's power in the case.
Goodell earlier suspended Saints coach Sean Payton for one year, general manager Mickey Loomis for eight games and assistant coach Joe Vitt for six games.