Blog Entry

Starke: Gibbs handed out $100 bills for QB hits

Posted on: March 6, 2012 12:37 pm
Edited on: March 6, 2012 2:02 pm
Gibbs, in his second stint as Skins coach. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Gregg Williams, the man at the center of "Bountygate," worked under Joe Gibbs as the Redskins defensive coordinator from 2004 to 2007 (before he became head coach of the Bills; there is also a concern he ran a bounty program there). So naturally, Gibbs was asked about whether bounty programs existed in Washington. And he said they absolutely did not.

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But here's an interesting twist to that: George Starke, one of the original "Hogs" under Gibbs during his first tenure as 'Skins coach, appeared on ESPN 980 and said, via Dan Steinberg of D.C. Sports Bog, that Gibbs used to walk through the locker room and hand out $100 b ills to defensive players who knocked down the quarterback.

"Let’s be clear: the reason that the Hogs did that Hogs Night Out poster ... was, in the meeting after the game, Joe Gibbs would come in, he’d have a fistful of $100 bills," Starke said. "And if Dexter knocked the quarterback down three times, he would get three hundred-dollar bills. And Joe would pass the money out in the meeting, and we would have to duck."

(Hogs Night Out was a result of Starke and the linemen being mad they received no money, so they'd apparently sign Jack Kent Cooke's name to the check.)

Starke pointed out that Gibbs wouldn't consider the $100 handouts "bounties," but rather "incentives." And there's a big difference there, even if both are a violation of (current) NFL rules. Bounties contain a malicious intent to cause injury or physical harm to another player. Incentives are simply bonuses for doing your job well.

And while Starke pointed out that he didn't think Gregg Williams (who he doesn't know) would tell a player to hurt someone, he said that "George Allen did in fact put a bounty on Roger Staubach of 200 bucks, and the bounty was to knock him out ... Not to hurt him. Let's be clear about that. Knock him out... We used to call it drag-offs."

Now that is a bounty. And even if Starke doesn't think what Gibbs was doing would be considered a "bounty" and even if Gibbs wouldn't call it a "bounty," combining that description of injury to a person with the visual of Gibbs making it rain in the 'Skins locker room isn't exactly the best public relations for the former Redskins coach.

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Since: Apr 11, 2007
Posted on: March 7, 2012 8:26 am

Starke: Gibbs handed out $100 bills for QB hits

This is unbelievable!  Shame on you Joe Gibbs.  An example needs to set here.  Sure. it was 30 years ago, but there should be no statute of limitations on punishing these renegade coaches.  Joe Gibbs should be banned from coaching in the NFL ever again.  Let him try out another sport like boxing, or sprinting, or NASCAR, where cheating is acceptable. 

This is what is passing for news- "30 years ago our coach gave us $100 bonuses for doing our jobs".  If you really want to go back 30 years and focus on the exploits of the hogs, at least dig up some Dexter Manley cociane and hookers stories that we can really sink our teeth into.  As far as I can tell, this article literally serves no purpose.  They werent really bounties, no one had their career cut short, and the center of the story has been retired (again) for years.  What does posting this story accomplish?  Sports writing has become like working for the national [expletive deleted] enquirer

Since: Dec 29, 2011
Posted on: March 7, 2012 8:22 am

Starke: Gibbs handed out $100 bills for QB hits

Boxing is not a game "for pussies", but it too has rules meant to protect an opponent. There are certain types of punches that are strictly disallowed, all of which are given as a reminder to each boxer before the match. If an opponent is deemed within the eyes of the ref to have had enough, he'll stop the match. Boxers DO NOT step into the ring with the intention to maim, at least boxers who are familiar with the ethics of the sport, but to defeat their opponent.

Since: Sep 17, 2006
Posted on: March 7, 2012 8:20 am

Starke: Gibbs handed out $100 bills for QB hits

Why are we making football a game for pu**ies?

Should the ex-players suing the NFL because of football-related health problems have signed up for choir instead also? Injuries are a part of the game, but purposely attempting to create them crosses a line. More ex-players than I would have expected are condemning this practice. Maybe you should get off our sofa and take a hit before calling them names.

Since: Dec 29, 2011
Posted on: March 7, 2012 8:17 am

Starke: Gibbs handed out $100 bills for QB hits

Here is what it comes down to: Football players are paid to play a violent, contact sport which comprises of hard hits and tackles. Yet, there is a system in place that dictates what is legal and illegal in regards to a tackle. Such a system is meant to avoid serious injury (although, incidental serious injuries are quite possible). Players are to play within the parameters of such a system, training hard and studying the system so that they can properly tackle a player, hard if need be, to the ground, without serious injury.

Now when a coach offers a bounty for the player to get hurt, that tackling system of training that had been learned is more or less out the window. I mean, you might as well, at some point, expect a clothesline tackle that would likely end a player's career by putting him in a wheelchair.

Since: Jul 10, 2007
Posted on: March 7, 2012 8:07 am

Starke: Gibbs handed out $100 bills for QB hits

Why are we making football a game for pu**ies?  You're supposed to hit your opponent hard.  They give "viscious lick" stickers to high school players.  If you don't like it, watch soccer or Glee or ice skating.

Since: Aug 10, 2011
Posted on: March 7, 2012 7:57 am

Starke: Gibbs handed out $100 bills for QB hits

Call it a bounty, or call it an incentive.  Who really cares?  I'm all for paying a defensive player an after game "bonus" if he performs well.  If my punt returner returned a kick for a TD, I'd like to be able to reward him too.  Same goes for the LB who makes numerous hits on the opposing quarterback.  I see nothing wrong with this.  It's a motivational tool, nothing more.  Media is blowing it up!

Since: Sep 25, 2007
Posted on: March 7, 2012 7:31 am

Starke: Gibbs handed out $100 bills for QB hits

Dear Prospective Athlete,

Professional football is a violent sport played for entertainment purposes by other large, well trained athletes.  They get paid to primarily hit you and will attempt to knock you off your feet numerous times during a game.  The pay is outstanding as long as you can accept the risk of getting injured and being disabled in the future.  Hopefully through medical technology, all of your future health concerns could be remedied, but there is no guarantee.  If not, please use the millions of dollars you earn wisely.  If you cannot accept these risks, please focus on another sport or focus on earning your degree and using it after your free education is completed.


Since: Jan 29, 2009
Posted on: March 7, 2012 6:38 am

Starke: Gibbs handed out $100 bills for QB hits

Am I the only one who thinks this thing is out of control. Who cares? 

Since: Mar 5, 2011
Posted on: March 7, 2012 5:12 am

Starke: Gibbs handed out $100 bills for QB hits

If anyone has a chance to look back at the last few pages of comments, you'll notice a gem and a foolish comment that describe why there's such a tension between some fans on this issue.

First, the stupid comment.

There is nothing wrong with the bounty system for the defense in football. This is just another attack by Goodall and his goody mob on making football basically a non-contact sport.

You can't legislate violence out of a violent game Mr. Goodall. Al Davis had a saying, " The opposing Quarterback must go down and go down HARD!" That's football. 

Defenses push their will on an offense through intimidation by pain. Good, hard legal hits are in football because that's the nature of the game. Defensive players are trying to put that hard, bone jarring hit on offensive players because THE WANT TO KNOCK THEM OUT THE GAME! That's the way it's always been.

Can you imagine having a conversation with Dick Butkus about this stuff? Can you imagine talking to Lawrence Taylor about this kind of sissy stuff? They would laugh you non athletic, (never played sports) media out of the room!!

Greg Williams didn't do anything wrong whatsoever. The Saints were out there delivering good, legal, bone jarring hits and sissys like Kurt Warner and Brett Farve are crying because they got their butts whipped in those games.

Notice that the Saints didn't get any Illegal hits in that NFC Championship game three years ago did they?? Not even after the league reviewed the game either. Hmmmmmmmm. 

Please fellow posters, please understand that Roger Goodell is about to damage the game in a manner it will never recover from if he takes hard hitting out of the game of football. -Winskins8 

Before I even gave a second thought to this I said to myself "he's a Steelers fan". WELL WHAT DO YOU KNOW, looked on his profile and he is. This just shows the lack of brains that these people have. As a youth football coach you PREACH technique and form, NOT bone jarring hits alone. Bone jarring hits most often come from poor tackling (aka, hitting high, not wrapping up), hence why most people frown upon them that have any knowledge of the game.

However the second comment made me regain some faith in humanity.

Actually, half the time these guys "knock the snot out of someone," they risk not doing their jobs. Defensive players get paid to tackle. To wrap a guy and take him down. To make sure the ball carrier doesn't get extra yards. But these days, guys go for the big Sportcenter highlight hit (or maybe a bounty, who knows). They come full speed and ignore fundamentals to try to level a guy. And how many times have you seen a defender try that and either miss or hit the ball carrier only for the ball carrrier to keep his feet and gain more yardage? A defender's job is to tackle, and that means wrapping. And wrapping is much less likely to injure someone than the full speed, kamikaze attempt to lay a guy out.

These big hits - even the ones that stop a play - are shoddy and lazy tackling. But fundamentally beautiful tackles don't make Sportscener's Top 10. And they don't typically injure a player. So defenders go for the highlight or the injury hit.

And if you want your bounty, it's not just a cheap shot that can knock a guy out of a game. A WR or RB has the ball and as a defender you can target a lot of places for the tackle. The knee can end a guy's day or career. Even on a clean hit. But offer a guy a few grand atke a guy out, and it's much more worth it to lower the pads and go after the knee, just as an example. -happily angry

THANK YOU. Seriously, thank you for showing some knowledge of the game. So very few people understand this and bother to accept it today. I personally have never seen a more honest, well-rounded response to the hitting dilemma in the NFL right now.

Take a good look at the two comments and understand what the sour, low-level thinking Steeler fans are missing. They're seriously convinced that James Harrison alone knows football better than anyone else. He claims he learned how to lead with his head from his Pop Warner days. If true, those coaches are long gone from their jobs now. The fundamentals are missing, and that's what we need to bring back.

Hope some people pick up on this.

Since: Jul 3, 2010
Posted on: March 7, 2012 3:56 am

Starke: Gibbs handed out $100 bills for QB hits

Now the old man Gibbs wants to act all holy and true.....a bunch of BS now.  When the guilty dog barks first you then know then that they are guilty.....old foot lovin Ryan Jet too.

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