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: Sep 14, 2008
Posted on: March 3, 2012 1:35 pm

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

People are only sorry when they get caught. 

Since: Jan 6, 2010
Posted on: March 3, 2012 1:23 pm

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

Here it is not only a matter of promoting violence. It is demeaning and degrading fellow humans. Look at the football players who have died before they reach the age of 50. If Gregg Williams thinks football should be played that way he should get some serious psychiatric help. There are other teams of whom I can say the same. Just look at the list of headhunters around the league.

Since: Mar 1, 2012
Posted on: March 3, 2012 1:13 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Jan 11, 2007
Posted on: March 3, 2012 12:50 pm

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

Whether or not the 2006 hit had any bearing on Peyton's current status, Gregg Williams should be done in the NFL.  After all the changes to protect QBs have been put in place, to take any action less than complete expulsion would be contradictory and a farce.

Since: Jul 24, 2007
Posted on: March 3, 2012 12:27 pm

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

Bottom line is Williams should be banned from coaching at all levels,he was no different in Buffalo,watch some old game tapes.I am justa observant fan that High school and Jr College ball.Knee surgurey from hits in HIGHSCHOOL that where no doubt bounty hits knocked me out of any oppurtunity to play at a Major college ,but this guy goes out and tries to end players careers??? He should be gone. 

Since: Sep 13, 2006
Posted on: March 3, 2012 12:22 pm

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

The other team's quarterback must go down.  And he must go down hard.

Since: Oct 11, 2006
Posted on: March 3, 2012 12:03 pm

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

Wow, the seams are busting over this story. Could it be that the "FACE" of the NFL Peyton Manning was deliberately injured? Wonder what is going thru Peyton's mind today. Is the NFL going to go back and look at film to see how bad this really was?

Since: Nov 25, 2010
Posted on: March 3, 2012 11:59 am

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

Williams is an overrated a-hole.

Since: Nov 24, 2009
Posted on: March 3, 2012 11:57 am

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

These coaches and players should be banned from the NFL.  We love good clean hits.  That's what football is all about.  Bounty on players' heads?  No thanks.  Ban them.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: March 3, 2012 11:49 am

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

I hope the Redskins doubled the bounty and paid both players.  I love the hippocrites on this board.  They love the violence and the crunching hits of the game, and now they act appalled at the realization people are really trying to hurt others.  Come on, every time I was on the field there was a team on the other side of the ball trying to knock me out of the game, bounty or not, and that was just in college.  This isn't the first time this subject has arisen, and I'm sure at least half the teams in the league have done something like this at one time or another.  Time to grow up and face the scary, real world guys.

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