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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."

Wow.

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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Comments

Since: Feb 5, 2008
Posted on: March 2, 2012 11:22 pm
 

Gregg Williams: Bounty 'was a terrible mistake'

...the whole team is to blame...to think that these hypocrites actually got down to one knee, held hands and prayed when a fellow player of the opposing team was layed out is so discusting it actually gave me a ligit stomach ache.




Since: May 1, 2008
Posted on: March 2, 2012 11:11 pm
 

Gregg Williams: Bounty 'was a terrible mistake'

Anything less than a lifetime ban on this disgusting human being is not enough.



Since: Dec 22, 2009
Posted on: March 2, 2012 11:08 pm
 

Gregg Williams: Bounty 'was a terrible mistake'

Not understanding why this is not a criminal offense. If I get a bunch of coworkers to pool a bunch of money and award that money to those who cause enough bodily injury to employees of a competing company to prevent them from competing against me, me and my coworkers are going to get thrown in jail for a number of crimes. Please explain why this is any different.



Since: Apr 7, 2009
Posted on: March 2, 2012 10:57 pm
 

Gregg Williams: Bounty 'was a terrible mistake'

The guy needs to be banned from the NFL as well as any player that participated in receiving compensation for such play.  If it's discoverd that this bounty was behind another player taking a career ending shot then it needs to be the career ender for Williams.  An eye for an eye, pal.  An apology after being caught doesn't cut it.  Go work in the real world for a little while so you can appreciate the opportunity you had and no longer deserve.  This is sick!



Since: Jan 11, 2007
Posted on: March 2, 2012 10:54 pm
 

Gregg Williams: Bounty 'was a terrible mistake'

okay roger....here's the deal:  if you don't come down with heavy penalties against ALL those who conspired in this "HIT MAN

BOUNTY HUNT", you are telling the NFL that your genuine concern for the players' safety is all a PR stunt. if you don't stop this

type of hooliganism, you will relegate the league to the street's basic tenet...namely, survival of the strongest (or meanest).

football's a tough enough sport when played by the rules. do you really want a "rollerball" mentality on the field? the blood and

guts fans of extreme fighting will be all too happy to hear that.




Since: Aug 23, 2006
Posted on: March 2, 2012 10:35 pm
 

Gregg Williams: Bounty 'was a terrible mistake'

What he meant to say was, "I'm sorry I got caught." If he was truly sorry, he wouldn't have done it in the first place. An example needs to be made of this Neanderthal that includes a minimum one year suspension.



Since: Jan 6, 2012
Posted on: March 2, 2012 10:12 pm
 

Gregg Williams: Bounty 'was a terrible mistake'

Methinks a 1 year suspension is due for Mr. Williams, and a fine of $150,000 plus a fine for the franchise. Add the HC in with this if was aware of this practice. Burn em!



Since: Dec 7, 2011
Posted on: March 2, 2012 10:02 pm
 

Gregg Williams: Bounty 'was a terrible mistake'

these guys are all the, when they get caught they say that. 



Since: Dec 23, 2010
Posted on: March 2, 2012 9:59 pm
 

Gregg Williams: Bounty 'was a terrible mistake'

Hopefully an offensive lineman will do the right thing and chop block Vilma and end his career.  The dirty hits they put on Favre (and the lack of calls made by the officials) are just a shame.  That game turned on those dirty hits and the lack of mobility that Favre had after them. 



Since: Jan 1, 2007
Posted on: March 2, 2012 9:35 pm
 

Gregg Williams: Bounty 'was a terrible mistake'

Bye Bye Gregg Williams.  Bad news for the Rams.  REALLY bad news for the Saints.  But Redskins too?  This guy apparently has a 'Track-Record'.  What about Sean Payton?  How deep is his involvement?  I do have trouble believing Williams is the only 'coach-perp' here.  The examples I've seen pointed out involving injury bounties vs the Cardinals and Vikings paint Williams in a bad light.  We haven't even heard the details of the WASH program.  But somehow, I still have, OK fact-less at this point, a bad feeling that he's not the only one.  I remember one year when the Panthers beat the Eagles for the NFC Championship.  Donovan McNabb was getting "late-hit" the entire game, and not just thumped in the head.  There were SEVERAL questionable "Knee-Shots" way after the pass, that had me steamed.  But I am biased.  But do we add John Fox to the watch list too?  This could be a much bigger story - or not.....That's up to the league and Goodell.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com