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 29, 2010
Posted on: March 3, 2012 11:42 am

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

If there is actual proof that Williams paid players to hurt opponents, not only should he be banned from the NFL for life, he should also be arrested. The laws don't stop because it happens during a football game.

Since: May 26, 2008
Posted on: March 3, 2012 11:38 am

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

Williams paid LT to break Theismann's leg!!!


Tongue out



Since: Sep 16, 2010
Posted on: March 3, 2012 11:30 am

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

And no, Greg Williams SHOULD be either fired or fined out the ass for this s***. This sport is dangerous enough without players intentionally trying to hurt others. If Goodel truly cares about player safety, he'll make an example of out this d***head.

Since: Jun 2, 2009
Posted on: March 3, 2012 11:29 am

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

BringDaNoise I 100% agree!  That is exactlly the game I thought of.

Since: Sep 16, 2010
Posted on: March 3, 2012 11:23 am

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

Not really surprising. Anyone who watched that Minny-NO NFC championship game 2 seasons ago can tell the Saints were playing some of the dirtiest, cheapest football ever. Really one of the worst officiated games i've ever watched, that OT drive?? Anyway, Favre was getting straight up murdered, play after play, late-hit after late-hit. But it was okay with the refs because the Saints suffered from Hurricane Katrina a couple years before that.
I wish a hurricane would hit Buffalo so we could get some help winning a Super bowl but I digress.

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

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D


WOW bring it back a notch for goodness sakes i think that this for surely a shaddy thing but to start firing anybody and kicking them out of the league is taking it a little far.  Frist of all manning and warner will both tell you yhat they did not play their best games and got beat up a little in the processs.  As for that other piece of shit favre not only would i watch that beating over and over (lets face it carmas a bitch) the main reason he didn't get his shot in the super bowl is the constant fumbling, and of course his normal stupid pick in crunch time.  As much as i hate favre he is the toughest sob to ever put on pads and i don't think you would ever hear him belly ache like the rest of the league is going to in the next couple of months.  once the commish gets all the facts strait heads will roll, but no one woll lose their jobs over it (ok maybe williams) its not that big a deal.  Maybe he will come down harder because he doesn't want any team to play good d i for one love watching good d and life will go on.

Since: Sep 17, 2010
Posted on: March 3, 2012 11:04 am

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

@bkgpainter....thank you..and you as well.  Big Ben is a great example.  While every QB is important to his team, Ben is a bit more so than the average QB because of how Ben plays and his pocket presence...(which is the best I have ever seen, the guy has radar or something!!)  Without Ben, the offensive line has ALOT more work to do!  And other teams know that...especially the Ravens!

Since: Sep 5, 2010
Posted on: March 3, 2012 10:50 am

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

@motoracer47.........well said.....this goes on in every game wether the players are getting paid for it or not. Players do this to Big Ben everytime they tackle him because they know how crucial he is to that team. The Ravens have been doing this for years and Suggs even messed up by stating it in an interview but later tried to cover his azz. Every team is guilty of this. It is the main reason their are high ancle sprains.

Since: Oct 4, 2009
Posted on: March 3, 2012 10:48 am

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

Williams shoul deither be suspended for the 2012 season or fired and not able to work in the NFL again.

Clearly he coaches his players to do these things and will continue even after this is over.

How many careers did his players cut short? 

Since: Jun 25, 2010
Posted on: March 3, 2012 10:47 am

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

Gregg Williams can take his apology and stick it where it belongs. He has been endorsing there for years and years and years. He has had plenty of opportunity to reflect. Gregg Williams and his program of pay to maim is disgusting and he needs to be banned from the NFL. I know others have done the same thing, but not to this extent and not with the hard evidence that has been brought forward. This is the guy that needs to be made an example of. And not just him. The GM, the Head Coach that knew about it and did nothing (sounds like Paterno) and the players that relished in the program and embraced it as part of the game. Whether it is Peyton Manning and Brett Favre or a guy like Earl Bennet that missed most of the Bears season this year after getting speared in the chest by Roman Harper and having internal injuries. Goodell MUST make an example of the Saints and everyone involved and he needs to come down hard. Real hard.


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