Blog Entry

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

Posted on: March 2, 2012 8:36 pm
In this photo from Oct. 22, 2006, Manning loses his helmet after getting hit in a game against the Redskins(Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

Former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams apologized Friday evening for his part in the team's "pay for performance" bounty program that rewarded players for injuring opponents. In fact, one NFL source told's Mike Freeman that linebacker Jonathan Vilma offered up $10,000 to any teammate who knocked then-Vikings quarterback Brett Favre out of the game.

New Orleans' forgettable offseason
Freeman says to expect more leaks in the coming hours and days.

(Apparently, Williams had a similar program when he was with the Redskins; a former player told the Washington Post that compensation ranged from "hundreds to thousands of dollars" with the biggest payout thought to be $8,000.")

One story we should expect to hear more about: Peyton Manning. He missed the 2011 season with a chronic neck injury, and he's probably taken his last snap for the Colts. Back in September, Tony Dungy, Manning's former coach who now serves as an NFL analyst for NBC, traced Manning's neck issues to a 2006 game.

The opponent? The Redskins. And the defensive coordinator? Yep, Gregg Williams.

Sports Illustrated's Peter King wrote about Dungy's remarks in his Week 1 Monday Morning Quarterback column:
Dungy had an excellent observation on our ... NFL special on NBC. He said Manning's neck history dates to Oct. 22, 2006, when his neck got wrenched and his helmet ripped off on a hit by two Washington defenders. We showed the highlight on our Saturday show, and Manning, after being hit and crumbling to the ground awkwardly, lay there for a second, and when he rose, he stretched his neck and shook his right arm for a second, as if trying to get the feeling back in it.

"Earlier in the game,'' Dungy told me, "I'm outraged that there was a flag for roughing-the-passer on Dwight Freeney for just grazing the quarterback's helmet. So I'm yelling at the ref [Scott Green], 'Where's the flag! Where's the flag!' And I don't yell much, but I did then. So I didn't notice Peyton calling timeout and being shaken up. Peyton came to the sideline and said to [backup] Jim Sorgi, 'Jim, start warming up.' As the timeout went on, he said to us, 'I can stay in, but we need to run the ball here.' ''
Former Colts president Bill Polian told King that Manning was fine at the end of the 2010 season and had "no recurrence of the neck problems that caused his first surgery after the 2009 season."

In January 2010, a week before the Saints faced the Colts in the Super Bowl, Williams (by then New Orleans' defensive coordinator) was asked about some controversial hits on Brett Favre in the NFC Championship Game.

“Here’s the deal," he said. "When you put too much of that type of worry on a warrior’s mind, he doesn’t play all out. If it happens, it happens. And the only thing you’d like for me to say is that if it happens you hope he doesn’t get back up and play again.”

Williams may have been sincere when he apologized Friday, but the remarks above makes them seem less geniune. More than that, you might think that the only reason Williams is sorry is because he got caught.

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Since: Mar 1, 2007
Posted on: March 4, 2012 7:41 pm

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

 Call me an idealist, but I believe that there is only a small select group of players who would actually do this. Sure, they may talk about it in the dressing room and on the sidelines like they want to injure someone, but football players, like most pro athletes, do not want to injure someone and ruin their career on an illegal hit. I wouldn't.

  Yes, I wanted to hit people as hard as possible, and if it shook them up and they had to leave for a bit, I felt pretty good about it. BUT, it was between the whistles, between the boards (between the whistles, between the lines in football). I never played at a pro level, but I have played pretty close to it, and I don't think I can name any more than 5 or 6 teammates of mine (or people I knew from other teams) who would ever want to injure someone on an illegal hit. And those that I did know had screws loose.

  For all of you who have played highly competitive sports (not you retards who play mens senior hockey after work and take it waaaaaay too seriously), you know what I am talking about. We actually feel bad when we see a guy go down to a serious injury, and we wish them well and hope they get back soon (so we can knock them out again on a clean hit :D ). We are the players. We know what its about. Many coaches never played at high levels, and if they did play, they were not very good. We all know the old saying, 'those who can't will coach'. (This isn't in all cases, of course, but there are many coaches (and too many sportswriters) who will never understand from a players perspective.

  That being said, if a coach were to endorse such a policy, he should be gone. Those kind of coaches will bring out the worst in people. Most people who are capable of doing crap like that will not, because their mates don't play like that. Of the few that are capable, a coach who not only endorses it, but rewards it, will find a few players who will participate as they feel they have a license to do it. But, I still say the # of players that actually would is very, very small. For every Albert Haynesworth or Suh, there are 100 hard hittin', pipe wielding, tough SOB's out there who will knock you out, but never do it illegally or with intent to harm someone or jeopardize their careers. We are all players, and we all understand that our careers are fragile enough as it is in our chosen violent games. I will never believe that there is a majority of players who would stoop to this, no matter what a douche coach offered. For those of you who have never played, there is honor on the front lines. Sportswriters tend to make it sound rampant and widespread, as if players are too dumb to make decisions on their own. But, I am willing to bet that of the hundreds of players that Williams coached (maybe thousands), there were less than a handful or two who actually tried to injure someone with an illegal hit.  

Since: Mar 1, 2012
Posted on: March 4, 2012 1:18 pm
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Since: Jan 16, 2007
Posted on: March 4, 2012 12:20 pm

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

Football is a violent, bone crushing sport and I totally disagree with the fines that get levied on legal hits.  That being said, when there are incentives to hurt other players and possibly end their careers, it puts a dirty, grimy, film on the entire sport.  We all lose when any sport loses a true artist.  I don't particularly like Michael Vick or Ben Roethlisberger, but I enjoy watching them play and especially like seeing how the opposing teams try to stop these incredible athletes.  If these players are not playing on Sunday ... its like watching golf without Tiger.

Manning shows up every day and outworks every other player on the field.  He plays through injuries and takes the blame for the losses.  Even if you don't like him personally you have to repect guys like that.  You are a fool if you don't consider him one of the greats of all time.  You will be telling your grandkids one day that you saw him play. 

If the allegations against Williams are true, I say he and anyone like him should be banned from the NFL.  I do not want to be  watching the NFL without Aaron Rogers, Drew Brees, or any top tier athlete because this is the only tactic some wannabe has to motivate his players.

Since: Mar 1, 2012
Posted on: March 4, 2012 11:48 am
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Since: Mar 1, 2012
Posted on: March 4, 2012 11:46 am
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Since: Jan 4, 2007
Posted on: March 4, 2012 11:06 am

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

hypocrisy. roger goodell says he wants to cancel the pro bowl because the guys stand around and don't play defense? then everyone is "astounded" that guys are trying to legally knock the crap out of targeted players. this happens in every football locker room from high school on up. you can't have it both ways goodell you sissy doll.

what is the NFL going to look like in a couple years? you can't hit the QB, can't tackle a WR. they might as well play flag football, the league is going to hell in a handbasket. what's next? allowing women to play?

Spoken like a true Internet Tough Guy. You wouldn't last a single play in the NFL let alone a full season with a bounty on your head. I'm sure I personally know about 10-12 women that would last longer than you, Mr. Internet Tough Guy. 

Since: Jan 4, 2007
Posted on: March 4, 2012 11:00 am

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

Hey Rangers, considering the story says that Manning had his first surgery after the 09 season perhaps you should get your facts straight instead of trying to correct my mistake.

Since you obviously don't know...I'll educate you. Sometimes traumatic spine injuries can take a few years to manifest symptoms. So maybe you should get your facts straight.

I got hit from behind in a car accident and was fine for years. One day in a grocery store I felt like I was stabbed right in the back and hit the floor like a sack of potatoes. The Dr. asked me about any accidents or injuries over the years, when I mentioned that car accident 2 years prior he said, "That's likely the cause".

A spinal disc can be weakened in an accident or by someone trying to earn a bounty violently twisting your neck and it can take a few years for it to finally burst and require a spinal fussion like Manning has had. No way to prove it conclusively but I'm pretty sure many othopedic surgeons would agree that this "could" have been the incident that weakened the disc and lead to his current state. 

Bottomline..It now looks like Williams ran a "Money for injuries" program with 3 different teams and likely should face criminal charges let alone a lifetime ban from the NFL. If others are doing the same thing they should face the same consequences.   &nbs

Since: Sep 4, 2006
Posted on: March 4, 2012 1:30 am

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

Gregg Williuams is a great DC and he has establish that pedigree through the years. But his actions and behavior for creating bounties to hurt other players, is inexcusable. He should not be allowed to coach in the NFL again. This was a practice he parlayed with atleast three different organizations. No way should an individual be allowed to conduct "hits" out on another player.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: March 4, 2012 1:20 am

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

LOL packfan694

Since: May 10, 2011
Posted on: March 3, 2012 9:31 pm

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

If there is a basis for the bounties then Williams and players need to be held accountable for there actions.  If someone was paid to tear Brees head off Saints fans would be Flaming like there was no tommarrow.  If GODell had a set of balls let alone any hair on them he would take Dungy's observation to heart track it then ban all involved from football for the entire year without pay or if player retired remove 1/2 there pension and remove Williams from football all together.  But lets remember that GODell is a spineless balless coward that won't do a damn thing.

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