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: Nov 10, 2006
Posted on: March 3, 2012 9:32 am

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

The Redskins coach at the time was the second coming of Joe Gibbs. It kind of taints his reputation, doesn't it?

Since: May 16, 2007
Posted on: March 3, 2012 9:27 am

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

This is getting a little ridiculous - next they will say Gregg Williams targeted Johnny Unitas. The media is more than willing to go along with this witch hunt. Dungy is now media and he is full of it too

Since: Mar 3, 2012
Posted on: March 3, 2012 9:26 am

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

WTF is wrong with you? The Patriots have won more games than ANY team in the NFL since "Spygate". You're an idiot.

Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: March 3, 2012 9:26 am

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

Sure nobody likes Gregg Williams but this is a conspiracy theory linking it to #18`s injury.  I don`t think any of Williams Buffalo Bill teams inflicted any damage. Nice try since that SB loss to the Saints was a Peyton lowpoint, but a Gregg Williams witchhunt is pointless. Let`s seew hat he does with woeful St Louie Lamb D...bounty for making any play.  Enough on #18...

Since: Jul 11, 2008
Posted on: March 3, 2012 9:17 am

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

What's your point?  Just because it happens throughout the league doesn't mean it's okay.  It's a despicable practice.  Did you ever even play a sport at a level higher than little league/pop warner?  You play as hard as you can, just like the other guy and if someone gets hurt then that's the risk you accepted when you chose to play the game but deliberately trying to injure someone is just wrong.  There's about a 1,000 chances in any game for someone to cause serious injury if that's their goal.  If everyone was doing this all the time then you'd have about a dozen star players going down eveyr week.  I can't even begin to describe how ignorant that comment was.

Since: Mar 22, 2008
Posted on: March 3, 2012 8:59 am

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

im so disgusted by this that this man ended 3 great qbs chance of a superbowl win by CHEATING. the fact that two were on the verge of retiring (i think favre would have really retired a champion, FINALLY, yes finally) and that he changed the course of peytons career NOW and their teams winning because of one mans thuggary.  not only should N.O.s be stripped of their TAINTED championship, any team where he was a coach should be fined severly. lets see how N.O.s does without brees. we already know what the colts were like without peyton and the saints would be the same. take away the franchise tag on them and they should lose their first round pick as well. the jaguars should lose a draft pick since we all know that he just didnt take a year off from this while he was the jags d coordinator inbetween the redskins and saints job. they lead the league in late hits and by no coincidence he was their coordinator. the redskins should be punished like the taints

sean payton, jack del rio and whoever the redskins coach was should be kicked out of the league as well knowing what was going on and doing nothing. the taints hid behind katrina and its time they are outted as frauds. its not like coaches and players who got hit by them werent complaining a long time before this. the commissioner is just as guilty for taking this long to out them even though many knew what was going on and complained loudly.

many people need to be punished for this. thanks for ruining the end of peyton mannings career. he could have set every record ever set except games played, williams.  the saints will forever be known as the taints from now on. i hope andrew luck leads the colts to record setting super bowl wins in his career because that certainly would be karma for the colts. trying to take star players led to the colts getting luck and i hope the williams has ruined the taints franchise FOREVER

Since: Jul 3, 2010
Posted on: March 3, 2012 8:51 am

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

I totally agree on the idea tht this is combative competition.  I say let see how far they take it and then they want to complain and cry about concussions.  WELL GO AHEAD.  Will I feel sorry for Peyton Manning if his head is literally ripped from his body - No.  Will we feel sorry if Donald Trump is homeless - No.  With all things being relative...we are all responisble for our own destiny.

Since: Oct 24, 2008
Posted on: March 3, 2012 8:40 am

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

Bad for the game if the stars are injured.I would expect this type of thinking(or lack of thinking)from a fan or graduate of the "U".I do admire your ability to type while wearing a strait-jacket

Since: Jul 16, 2011
Posted on: March 3, 2012 8:38 am

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

I always used to explain to folks who couldn't understand the lure of athletic competition that sports is the most intense form of human competition next to combat, and nobody has to die for someone to be victorious.  Perhaps the next level of competition in football or hockey, the two most violent sports where the most truama injuries occur naturally, is to "remove" your opponet permanently.  Get a grip and put it in perspective, guys.  And all of your fans who thirst for blood, watch that sport where people try stop just short of killing each other, instead.

Since: Mar 3, 2012
Posted on: March 3, 2012 8:27 am

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

Seriously guy, injury them?  That statement alone shows what's wrong with you.  Let alone the idea that you think it's ok to intentionally set out to INJURE someone and ruin their career and cost them millions of dollars.  So than it would be ok to you if offensive coordinators paid bounties to INJURE defensive players with chop blocks.  Then we would be watching second and third stringers play!   You sir need to reevalutate your position on tis, otherwise why don't you watch MMA!   Football is more than just big and dirty hits!

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