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 17, 2010
Posted on: March 3, 2012 10:33 am

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

Its amazing how many people just dont "understand" whats wrong with this.   First, lets get this clean hit, dirty hit situation out of the way.   Meet me on a field, and I will gladly demonstrate how it works.  Im gonna tackle you twice.  Both will be legal.  Both will be wrapping up your lower legs.  This first will be a clean tackle in that I will wrap you up, take you down, and roll WITH you.  You get up.  The next tackle, same thing, but I grab the ankle and roll AGAINST you..I just broke your ankle or tore a ligament.  You dont get up.  Both are legal take downs, but make no mistake, I intentionally just trashed your ankle.  Anyone who has ever played knows there are little things you can do when hitting a guy that can make a BIG difference.  

Next, lets get this money thing out of the way.  People want to think this wasnt really happening because the monitary amounts seemed really low.  What you dont understand is, people are greedy. People are competative, when you combine those two, it doesnt take much money to motivate someone, because its about "winning the money" not "how much"  So I ask...Apple, the richest company in the world, has more money in its bank account the the united states government...are they lowering the price on ipads?  Are they taking that money and correcting horrible working condtions in China that lead to sucides?  No...never will.  At best they might pay a dividend to their stock holders....greed begets greed...alsways has, always will.  

So, for those that dont get what Im saying.  This isnt about the money.  Gregg Williams could have created a bounty system that payed out bubblegum and the players still would have done it.  We are ultimatly still a primative species.  We ENJOY hurting each other and killing each other.  Gregg tapped into that, and created a system to finacially (even if very small amounts) reward a guy for non-clean hits.  Didnt say ILLEGAL hits, but NON-CLEAN hits.  Anyone who has really played knows what Im talking about.  In the end, instead of coaching his guys to play clean, and with HONOR, he taught, encouraged, and rewarded them for being DIRTY DOGS.

Since: Feb 23, 2009
Posted on: March 3, 2012 10:31 am

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

sotty chopshop, but dungy said that a year vand a half ago before this came out. i remember the play manning was bent 3 ways had his helmit ripped off and there was no penelty.

saint fans enjoy ur nice little 5 year run cause its over. along with your coaching staff the players should also be fined and suspended, and loss of draft pics.

Since: Dec 4, 2006
Posted on: March 3, 2012 10:28 am

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

Football should be brutal, honestly a player doing this is one thing, and obviously it is not very ethical no matter who engages in it, but a coach should not be engaging in this by any means what-so-ever.

Defensive player's job is to crush the offense. Your a d-bag if you tweak your hit to destroy a knee, or take it too far, but by all means go full speed and destroy that guy with a clean hit. A D coach should expect 100 percent from his guys, but this is too far. Extremely poor motivation tactic.

I am not a bleeding heart pussy, but this dude needs to lose his job. This is not cool.       

Since: Dec 28, 2008
Posted on: March 3, 2012 10:14 am

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

How does this Williams fool still have a job in the NFL.  I think Favre, Peyton, and Kurt Warner should lawyer up on that punk.  Rams should fire him now!

Since: Jun 3, 2011
Posted on: March 3, 2012 10:12 am

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

I have come to not expect very much from many of the commentators on these sites, as many of them are simply trying to engage in an exercise in seeing how far they can anonymously swing their you-know-what in a public forum.  Even the facts do not matter to many of you neanderthals.  Chase Utley gets beaned in the head and it leaves a huge white circular mark on his helmet.  Reaction?  I didn't see it!  It never happened!  Utley is a faker!  There are so many other examples, but now this.  Gregg Williams got caught.  The Saints got caught.  Want proof?  Gregg Williams said yes I did it and I'm sorry.  What more do you want?  It happened.  And if it happened with the Saints, it has likely happened before.

And for all of the folks saying well, it is cumulative, and Favre was hurt before, and you have to consider you don't.  If you are trying to hurt someone, you are trying to hurt them.  It doesn't matter what the severity of the injury is in terms of making it wrong...but the severity of the injury shows the easy-to-find proof of the intent.  Think of it this way, because I am sure that you haven't.  For every Peyton Manning and Bret Favre who was severely hurt by a Saints player, how many younger players had minor injuries that resulted from deliberate attempts to hurt them that didn't result in the intended game-ending injuries?  I bet the ratio is 10:1.  Remember, just because the bounty is offered doesn't mean that the bounty got paid...a Saints player could try to decapitate someone and miss, bang the guy up, but not knock them out.

Gregg Williams should not be suspended, it should be expelled from the league.    

Since: Jan 20, 2008
Posted on: March 3, 2012 10:06 am

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

I thought the idea of the defense was to punish physically, and to hurt mentally. I guess Greg Williams missed that class!

Since: Oct 24, 2006
Posted on: March 3, 2012 10:03 am

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

If the NFL is Smart they can have Secret Agent Peyton Hillis do the invetigation

Since: Dec 7, 2011
Posted on: March 3, 2012 9:58 am

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

that's like when steve young's career was over because laurenc e phillips didnt make a block. a lot of it has to do with age and the accumulative hits over the years. hey when you sign up to play you know the game sis not tiddly winks. men like football because of the violence, then to have all these people say (like the flag football coach, the commish) say, oh he got hurt is a bunch of crap. 

Since: Jun 21, 2007
Posted on: March 3, 2012 9:49 am

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

There are a lot of people calling for heads to roll right now, but I'm not sure they have adequately thought this through.  In response to an earlier comment, Brett Favre had ankle surgery PRIOR to playing for the Vikings.  Yes, he had to have it again, after that year, but was that just a normal wear and tear thing, or because of the hit or both?  I know the idea is bad, and I don't condone it at all, but let me ask, do million dollar players REALLY need a couple hundred bucks to hurt someone?  Maybe the player is just dirty to begin with?

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: March 3, 2012 9:38 am

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

all this crap coming out about the bounty program is insane. i cant believe a coach would coach his guys to go out an injur an apponent.
the only thing i cant wrap my head around is the actually physical contact.

when this bounty program was instilled in to the organization, we're they paying to illegally hit an opponent.
or were they paying them for making a clean and legal hit, but just so happened that the player got hurt.

theres a difference here!!!

if they were paying to illegally hit and injur a player, than i am all for a steep and harsh fine/suspension. loss of picks.

however, if the players are making clean and legal hits, and getting rewarded if a player gets injured. im not so sure if there should be any penalty.
they're just trying to light a fire under players ass's, and make them play at the level they are expected.
the last thing we want to see as fans is a regular season play out like the PRO BOWL. 

all being said, i do agree, its wrong to have a bounty program, but some players need that extra incentive to preform at the level they should.

all in all, its morally wrong to pay players to injur an opponent, but in the end its the job of the coaches to make the player perform at their greatest level !!!

go cowboys!!!


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