According to published reports by the Times-Picayune, the alleged New Orleans Saints bounty whistleblower may have been found. Former Saints coach Mike Cerullo has been named as the possible informant to the NFL. Who is Mike Cerullo and why would he have an axe to grind with New Orleans?
Central Connecticut State Blue Devils
Mike Cerullo's path to New Orleans began as a collegiate running back. From 1987-90, he played at Central Connecticut State. Not a star, he rushed for 348 career yards on 86 carries. Mike Cerullo also scored one TD on the ground and caught seven passes.
Mike Cerullo was an assistant at Syracuse in 2005 when Paul Pasqualoni's entire staff was fired. Cerullo used this setback as an opportunity to finally get a job in the NFL. In fact, he landed with a team in 2006 that is very familiar to Saints fans.
Although he got the NFL job he always wanted, Mike Cerullo was not happy in Atlanta. He found the locker room divisive and enlisted the help of Pasqualoni to get him out of Atlanta. Pasqualoni worked with Sean Payton when both mean coached with the Dallas Cowboys. Payton interviewed Mike Cerullo who got the job in New Orleans.
New Orleans Saints
From 2007-10, Mike Cerullo filled a number of roles with the New Orleans Saints. In fact, he coached on both the defensive and offensive sides of the ball. In Sean Payton's book "Home Team," Cerullo was officially listed as a Saints defensive quality control coach in 2009.
The rest of the Mike Cerullo feel-good story is anything but. Cerullo was fired from the Saints in 2010 and for some reason, he blamed his superiors in New Orleans for his inability to land another NFL coaching job. Today, Mike Cerullo works for the University of Connecticut football team as a program aide.
New Orleans Saints bounty whistleblower
I'd love to claim I have inside information on who the Saints whistleblower is but I don't. However, I have written on this topic extensively and I never believed it was a former Saints player. But if Mike Cerullo believed (correctly or otherwise) that he couldn't get another NFL job after serving in New Orleans, he may have felt he had nothing to lose.
This is an interesting topic for New Orleans Saints fans to muse over. But at this point, the Saints need to put all aspects of the bounty scandal behind them and get ready for the 2012 season.
Patrick Michael lives in New Orleans and has always been a big fan of the New Orleans Saints. Patrick's favorite Saints season was 2009 when New Orleans won Super Bowl 44.
"Staff Directory," uconnhuskies.com
"Former CCSU Football Player Mike Cerullo and the New Orleans Saints Win Super Bowl XLIV," ccsu.prestosports.com
"Who dat Saint?: New Orleans coaching assistant preps for Super Bowl," norwichbullletin.com
Ken Trahan, "Local Author Donnes Identifies Alleged Bounty Gate Whistle Blower," sportsnola.com
Brad Biggs, "Was Mike Cerullo the whistleblower on Saints' bounty program?" yahoo.com
Sean Payton, "Home Team," 2010, New American Library, ISBN 9780451232618
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