Blog Entry

Report: Williams to face fine but not suspension

Posted on: March 3, 2012 12:17 pm
Edited on: March 3, 2012 12:21 pm
Williams and Payton are in a heap of trouble. How much, exactly, will be up to Goodell. (Eye on Football Illustration/Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

It's been a busy few days for the New Orleans Saints and for all the wrong reasons. Barely two months removed from quarterback Drew Brees setting the NFL record for passing yards in season, now the organization is faced with trying to re-sign Brees and on Friday, and NFL investigation revealed that former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was complicit in creating a "pay for performance" bounty system that rewarded Saints players for injuring opponents.

Williams, now with the Rams, apologized Friday night saying, in part that, "It was a terrible mistake, and we knew it was wrong while we were doing it. Instead of getting caught up in it, I should have stopped it. I take full responsibility for my role. I am truly sorry. I have learned a hard lesson and I guarantee that I will never participate in or allow this kind of activity to happen again.”

New Orleans' forgettable offseason
Except that New Orleans wasn't an isolated incident. At least four former Redskins players said Williams had a similar system in Washington when he was the defensive coordinator under Joe Gibbs. (On Saturday, Gibbs said he had no knowledge of it.)

The NFL, meanwhile, concluded that while current Saints head coach Sean Payton wasn't a direct participant in Williams' bounty program, he "did not make any detailed inquiry or otherwise seek to learn the facts, and failed to stop the bounty program."

So now what?

In reading through the comments, many fans want Williams suspended, some going so far as to suggest a lifetime ban. That seems extreme, but then again, "pay for performance" rewarded players for injuries. That's among the worst charges you can level against a coach or a player -- that they intentionally tried to injure opponents.  Even Steelers linebacker James Harrison, Public Enemy No. 1 when it comes to NFL violence, said in October 2010 that "I don't want to injure anybody. There's a big difference between being hurt and being injured. You get hurt, you shake it off and come back the next series or the next game. I try to hurt people."

In that sense, Williams is worse than Harrison, right? Wherever he lies on the spectrum of dirty tactics, early indications are that Williams won't be forced to miss any games. Details via Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

"One league source said Williams might be in line for a large fine but didn't think a suspension would be forthcoming. Then again, the source said, 'This is two strikes against him,' referring to controversial comments Williams made before Super Bowl XLIV (at the end of the 2009 season) about knocking Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning out of the game."

Thomas added: "Another source said the expectations was that Williams' fine would be in six figures — perhaps as much as $250,000 — but that head coach Sean Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis would be penalized more heavily."

Will the sanctions have any lasting effects on the Saints? Who knows. In the wake of Spygate in 2007, the Patriots were fined $250,000, head coach Bill Belichick was fined anther $500,000 and the team lost their 2008 first-round draft pick. They went undefeated during the 2007 regular season but didn't win a playoff game from 2008-2010, and haven't won a Super Bowl since 2005.

While we wait for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to drop the hammer, take a moment to enjoy the mock-up of the movie poster for the inevitable made-for-TV spectacle that's sure to follow. (Yes, it has to be science fiction. And, yes, in case it's not blindingly obvious: this is a joke.)

Early cast list includes Williams as Vader (the hands-on leader), Vilma a Boba Fett (the enforcer), Favre as Jar Jar Binks (because who didn't want to knock Jar Jar out?) and Payton as Jabba (in charge but less interested in details as results). Also, in case you missed it the first time: THIS IS A JOKE. (Eye on Football Illustration)

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Since: Aug 9, 2011
Posted on: March 6, 2012 5:51 pm

Report: Williams to face fine but not suspension

Are you REALLY that blind and silly, or are you trying to perfect your ability to argue with that night school lawyer degree ?
PLEASE.  The saints were wrong / guilty/ cheapshot artists . . . AND they admitted it.


Since: Nov 27, 2006
Posted on: March 6, 2012 10:19 am

Report: Williams to face fine but not suspension

Key thing here is injured vs. hurt.  This is a fact of life in the NFL.  Who plays hurt?  Reliable teammates.  Who won't play hurt?  Prima donnas.

No one has said the Saints (or anyone else who may be drug into this) tried to injure.  Just hurt.

One other thing:  Do you really think $1,000.00 is enough incentive to push someone over the line (from hurt, which is common and acceptbale from the players' perspective)?  Really?  Fomeone making hundreds of thousands ( or millions, or tens of millions)?

Yes it is a bit differnet for the Saints (and I'm the original homer on the Saints).  They did this systematically, with coach approval and, apparently, administration.  And the negligence by Payton and Loomis (who also lied) is also problematic.  But come on... Suspensions?

The league (read: Goddel) is throwing out the bogeyman of 'competitive balance" as an issue here.  If it's been going on for a long time, that's ludicrous.

The Inquisition of Torque-Goodell (Hey, what a show!)

Since: Aug 9, 2011
Posted on: March 5, 2012 11:20 pm

Report: Williams to face fine but not suspension

The one word you used that made ANY sense was legally. . .  None of the Saints dirty shots were LEGAL.
You DEAL with it. FACTS are FACTS. They were wrong.
Football is a violent game and yes, it is all about the hard hit! NOT the CHEAP shot.

Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: March 5, 2012 1:16 pm

Report: Williams to face fine but not suspension

Spectacular photo shop dude, but with all due respect Gregg Williams makes a much better Jabba. This fiasco is more Spaceballs than the Empire. Maybe Williams as Dark Helmet...always tryin to make up for bein a little short, really describes Gregg Williams. Very creative writing to get Brett Fvare back into any storyline...what is this a soap opera or the WWF?

Since: Dec 12, 2007
Posted on: March 5, 2012 1:13 pm

Report: Williams to face fine but not suspension

Couple of thoughts

Will this scandal take heat off of Suh or James Harrison? -Probably not.

I think its ironic that these "Bounties" were encouraged by an out of shape Defensive Coordinator.


Since: Aug 23, 2007
Posted on: March 5, 2012 9:23 am

Report: Williams to face fine but not suspension

Football is a game of hard hits and intimidation.

Defensive players WANT TO HIT YOU HARD AND POSSIBLY INJURE YOU! Sorry to dissapoint anyone who is a wush but that's what football IS! Goodall is trying to legislate violence out of a violent game!

There is absolutely nothing wrong with what Williams did. It has been going on since the begining of football and it will continue no matter what stupid rule Goodall tries to put in place.

Buddy Ryan back in the 80's had the same thing and everyone knew about it. It was no big deal. Remember the cornerback the Eagles had named Andre Watters?? People called him dirty waters from the hits he used to administer. It's the defense job to hit hard (legally) and intimidate!

That is what the greatest franchises in football are about. Steelers, Ravens, Raiders, Packers are all known for their violence and intimidation by hard hits on the field. 

What we are witnessing is Goodall trying to make fundamental changes to a way the game has been played for 100 years! At this rate, NONE OF US will be watching football in 10 years becuase of the pussification that Goodall and his sissies are trying to institute in the game.

Injuries are part of the game. DEAL WITH IT! There going to happen because the game is violent. And we love the game for it's violence! That is the gladiator aspect of the game that our nature likes. Weather we want to admit it or not. We like hard hits, intimidation and seeing a WR pull up on a route because he is scared. That's football! Pushing your will on another man by hard legal hits and intimidation is what football is all about.

Football is not underwater basket weaving or syncronized swimming! Leave Greg Williams alone! He's done nothing more then what's been going on in the game since it's inception. Hard hits, intimidation and high speed violence are part of the game.

The Dallas Cowboys of the 90's were lead by James Washington and their secondary constantly had bounties on the hits they put on oppossing players. Every defensive players wants to hit you hard enough to make you drop the ball or injure you. That is their job. As long as the hits are legal, then so be it. That is why football players are paid so much money.

Since: Aug 9, 2011
Posted on: March 4, 2012 9:09 pm

Report: Williams to face fine but not suspension

I also think the refs from those games should be fined.

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: March 4, 2012 8:41 pm

Report: Williams to face fine but not suspension

I just thought of something that nobody has mentioned and I think it's definitely worth throwing out there.

Does anybody remember when Gregg Williams was tagged as the heir-apparent to Joe Gibbs and had a contract draw up that paid him extra cash if he wasn't named the next head coach of the Redskins.  What are the chances Daniel Snyder got wind of what was going on with bounties and cut ties to cover his ass?  If I remember things right it cost Snyder around $1 million not to name Williams the head coach.  I wouldn't put it past Snyder to run and hide from the situation because it wasn't winning games and it wasn't good publicity if it ever got out.

Since: Jan 6, 2009
Posted on: March 4, 2012 6:40 pm

Report: Williams to face fine but not suspension

If you are so naive to think this does not go on with other teams, you're crazy. Is it wrong..yes, but it doesn't mean they're the only ones doing it..they were just dumb enough to get caught. Let the chips fall where they may.

Since: Nov 5, 2006
Posted on: March 4, 2012 4:04 pm

Report: Williams to face fine but not suspension

In reply to "obama sucks", just wanted to say AWESOME NAME!!!

If he gets re-elected we're ALL gonna suck... 

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