Blog Entry

Gregg Williams: Bounty 'was a terrible mistake'

Posted on: March 2, 2012 6:07 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2012 7:59 pm
We'll let you decide what Vilma and Williams were discussing here. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

Twenty-four hours ago, the biggest problem facing the Saints was that they were roughly $5 million apart per season on a new contract for franchise quarterback Drew Brees. And while that's still a huge issue, it's taken a back seat to the revelations Friday that at least one Saints coach and about two dozen players conspired to intentionally hurt opponents and knock them out of games for money.

New Orleans' forgettable offseason
The coach: former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who served in that capacity under head coach Sean Payton for the 2009-2011 seasons, including New Orleans' Super Bowl title in February 2010. Williams left the Saints for the same job with the Rams in January after St. Louis hired Jeff Fisher (who Williams had worked with in Tennessee).

On Friday, hours after the NFL announced the Saints' "pay for performance" bounty program, Williams spoke on the matter:

“I want to express my sincere regret and apology to the NFL, Mr. Benson, and the New Orleans Saints fans for my participation in the 'pay for performance' program while I was with the Saints," Williams said in a statement released by the Rams.  "It was a terrible mistake, and we knew it was wrong while we were doing it. Instead of getting caught up in it, I should have stopped it. I take full responsibility for my role. I am truly sorry. I have learned a hard lesson and I guarantee that I will never participate in or allow this kind of activity to happen again.”

It's nice to own up to your problems, but this doesn't appear to be an isolated incident. Details via Mark Maske of the Washington Post:

"The Washington Redskins had a bounty system for big hits on opponents under former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams that was similar to the one revealed by an NFL investigation of the New Orleans Saints, four players who played under Williams said Friday," Maske wrote.

"Three of the players described a coach who doled out thousands of dollars to Redskins defenders who measured up to Williams’s scoring system for rugged play, including 'kill shots' that knocked opposing teams’stars out of a game."

“You got compensated more for a kill shot than you did other hits,” one former player said. Compensation ranged from "hundreds to thousands of dollars" with the biggest payout thought to be $8,000."


Now that Williams has apologized, what happens next? More specifically: does owning up to it before the NFL weighs in lessen the punishment he'll face?

The short answer: who knows. We're not being glib but if commissioner Roger Goodell is anything he's unpredictable. The league has been criticized in the past for coming down hard on players but less so on coaches and front-office types. But early indications are that New Orleans' "pay for performance" bounty program is much worse than Spygate, and the sanctions could reflect that -- especially if Williams has a history of this behavior.

But it's one thing to punish the Saints; what happens if the Rams lose their defensive coordinator for any length of time?

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Since: Aug 31, 2006
Posted on: March 4, 2012 4:02 pm

Gregg Williams: Bounty 'was a terrible mistake'

Big Bird,  I played at a very high level,  there is no difference of playing hard and hitting hard,  but when a coach is supid enough to promote bounties which could corrupt a player into cheap shots or causing injuries, and then get caught at it.   SHould be banned, if you condone such conduct,  then it would promote more of such activity.    The Saints will be an example, and if any other coach in the game is promoting such activity, then he may be next.   Dont use the honor decals at college level for violence,  they represent much more than just hits!!!!!

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: March 4, 2012 8:16 am

Gregg Williams: Bounty 'was a terrible mistake'

bearish1 players get hurt every week in every game if the saints were going to target a player to injure and put a bounty on him do you think it would be earl bennet? Cutler couldn't speak after the game becaouse he was sacked six times and knocked down about 10 other times. Roman harper was called for a personal foul on 1 hit on cutler which the NFL appoligised for latter in the week and said should not have been called. the Bears were penalized 6 times for 47 yards the saints were penalized 7 times for 41 including the harper penalty the league said should not have been called. Try again

Since: Feb 4, 2010
Posted on: March 3, 2012 10:38 pm

Gregg Williams: Bounty 'was a terrible mistake'

Im tired of people like you trashing my city if you come down here a try to "chit" on my city i will kick your butt so you can't "chit".  Leave the fans out of this. This is the Saints problem and I don't condone what they did at all. They will get the punishment they deserve.  No fans from New Olreans suited up and injured brett farve and kurt warner. So to trash my city just shows your ignorance. When your favorite team scores do you claim that you scored the touchdown. If you answer yes then you need help. My point is the fans need to be left out of your hateful comments. I don't live in a dump of a town, state, or a "chithole". If you don't like it my city.... don't visit.

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: March 3, 2012 8:33 pm

Gregg Williams: Bounty 'was a terrible mistake'

Bear-man11 have you ever actually played football at any level. You ever see the little stars or arrows or buckeyes on the back of defensive players helmits in high school or college. A good number of them are for hits which caused the player on the other team to be helped from the field thats how far back the system goes.

Since: Apr 29, 2008
Posted on: March 3, 2012 7:25 pm

Gregg Williams: Bounty 'was a terrible mistake'

This 'bounty' program happens all around the league...not surprising - Damien Woody
I'm sure I have had plenty of bounties on my head - Shaun Phillips
Why is this a big deal now? Bounties been going on forever. A "Bounty" left me with a torn PCL and LCL in my knee ...- Shawn Merriman
Football is a violent game n just because someone is hit very hard (on a bounty) doesn't mean it's malicious - Chris Harris

Since: Apr 29, 2008
Posted on: March 3, 2012 7:03 pm

Gregg Williams: Bounty 'was a terrible mistake'

from cbs sports ....
A NFL investigation revealed that former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was complicit in creating a "pay for performance" bounty system that rewarded Saints players for injuring opponents. Early indications are that Williams won't be forced to miss any games. Details via Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "One league source said Williams might be in line for a large fine but didn't think a suspension would be forthcoming. Then again, the source said, 'This is two strikes against him,' referring to controversial comments Williams made before Super Bowl XLIV (at the end of the 2009 season) about knocking Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning out of the game." Thomas added: "Another source said the expectations was that Williams' fine would be in six figures — perhaps as much as $250,000 — but that head coach Sean Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis would be penalized more heavily."

Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: March 3, 2012 6:51 pm

Gregg Williams: Bounty 'was a terrible mistake'

A little late for an apology when you have been doing this for years.  Williams should be fined and suspended and G.M.  Loomis who apparently knew and lied to owner Tom Benson, should immediately be fired.  If Payton knew, and preliminary reports say he did, he should at the least be fined and suspended for 4 games minimum.  If I was one of the injured players, I would file a civil law suit and get damages. 

Since: Apr 29, 2008
Posted on: March 3, 2012 5:10 pm

Gregg Williams: Bounty 'was a terrible mistake'

And lets all wait for the whole story to comeout, before saying Williams should lose his job and stuff like that. As of now there's like 3 different sides. The Saints side that has their owner saying their GM wouldn't do anything about it when he told him to put a stop to it, Darren Sharper saying Williams didn't do anything (that is was more the players), and the Joe Gibbs saying he didn't know anything about it in Washington.

Since: Apr 28, 2008
Posted on: March 3, 2012 5:08 pm

Gregg Williams: Bounty 'was a terrible mistake'

new orleans fans and residents will always be living in that dump of a town and state...what a chithole.  the superbowl win (of course all luck and now cheating allegations) can't make trash look/smell better....if i visit there again --i will make sure to a a chit downtown to make it smell a bit better...LMAO

Since: Apr 29, 2008
Posted on: March 3, 2012 5:06 pm

Gregg Williams: Bounty 'was a terrible mistake'

No, Williams only getting fined as of now. cbs even has a report up saying that. So, I think he's turning in other teams to keep his job. And corparating with the NFL. People make mistakes in life and some learn from them others don't. James Harrison hasn't learned from his though, neither have a few other players who play the same way to try to hurt others. Even, in the old days football was the same way. IT'S FOOTBALL. WHAT ARE THEY SURPOSE TO DO, PLAY FLAG FOOTBALL INSTEAD?

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