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 14, 2011
Posted on: March 6, 2012 6:01 pm

Starke: Gibbs handed out $100 bills for QB hits

If I were a player on offense, I would have been angry if the coach were handing out Benjamins only to the d-line and linebackers because they are hitting the opposing qb.  How about giving the studs up front some Bennies or US Grants for keeping our QB's sparkling clean?  Does a roughing the passer penalty on fourth down and 50 earn a C-note although the penalty results in a first down?  How about when Joe Montana throws his routine six touchdown passes against the Redskins and each time say, Dave Butz, Dexter Manley, Monte Coleman or Chris Hanburger hits Joe before he releases the football, do the pass rushers collect their bounty, er, cash bonus?

Football players make a lot of money and I think it would be professional courtesy not to kill the other guy across the line of scrimmage.  The other guy also has a family to raise, bills to pay and a career to build.  Yeah, payback for dirty play is acceptable, but if d-linemen or going to get rewarded for crushing the opposing QB, you can bet the good o-linemen should be using every trick possible to protect their man.  If I were the coach, I would make sure:
  • the o-linemen would punch the pass rushers in the stomach if the defense is going to raise their arms to knock down a pass
  • crackback the d-lineman who put my QB on a stretcher
  • make sure o-linemen study the blocking techniques of Conrad Dobler and Kevin Gogan
  • keep hitting the pass rusher until the time just after the echo of the whistle has subsided
  • use clipping where necessary and claim it was retaliation for the previous play
  • have the running backs block the pass rusher below the knees.
My QB is defenseless back there and I would expect every player on offense to understand how important it is keep him healthy and upright and do everything short of maiming the pass rushers.  Pass blockers are mentioned only under duress, such as holding, motion penalties, blown blocking assignments or when they get beat for a qb sack or a runner gets tackled behind the line of scrimmage.

Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: March 6, 2012 5:13 pm

Starke: Gibbs handed out $100 bills for QB hits

Lets be real. Who thinks this doesn't go on in some form or fashion in every locker room in the nfl. The drag off comment wasn't attributed to Gibbs but to George Allen. Either way the players understood what was going on whether they played offense or defense. If the defensive players were making bounties, incentives, whatever against the offensive players on the other team. Why wouldn't they think the other team was doing, thinking the same. Who didn't want the opposing QB out of the game. I doubt many players wanted to permanently injure anyone. Knocking them out of their game was probably more in line in what they were trying to do. Either way, play ball. :-)

Since: Jan 2, 2012
Posted on: March 6, 2012 5:09 pm

Starke: Gibbs handed out $100 bills for QB hits

What Williams and the Saints did was no different than what 31 other teams did during the same time frame.  Period.  These are common practices, and have been for at least 30 years, based upon stories surfacing.  The big issue, and why Goodell is making an example of the Saints, is not being forthcoming with him ( ie- lying to him).  If Williams and Loomis had fessed up when initially questioned in 2010, we would not be having this discussion.  This is all about Goodell being lied to... If not, and Goodell found out in 2010 (which is undisputed), he would have blown it up on the spot IF player safety was his concern.  It is not his concern, as much as lying to him is... End of Story! 

Since: Oct 11, 2008
Posted on: March 6, 2012 4:52 pm

Starke: Gibbs handed out $100 bills for QB hits

Who cares.  It's not like he was only handing out 100 dollar bills if they hurt someone.  He handed them out for every successful hit on the QB.  Seems to me like he was just giving a bonus to what they already get paid to do as a defensive unit.  GET AFTER THE QB.  This is very different then promoting and paying a large or small sum of money for trying to intentionally hurt qb's and other players...much much different.  By the way I'm still pissed off at goodells group of idiots who decided it was a good idea to move opening night football for a liberal convention.  This is just starting to get retarded.  Lay off already goodell.   

Since: Oct 9, 2007
Posted on: March 6, 2012 4:51 pm

Starke: Gibbs handed out $100 bills for QB hits

What most are forgetting is that everything that's described in this article happened even BEFORE there was a salary cap, and in a completely different era in the NFL.  While you can disagree with what Gibbs (And Allen) did, you can't judge it based on TODAY'S NFL rules.  Now as for the Saints' program, the NFL is concerned for three reasons: 1) Williams appears to have institutionalized the "bounty system" there, 2) Such a system is illegal inder today's salary cap rules, and 3) It goes against the CURRENT image that Goddell and the NFL are worried about safety. 

All this is much different than how the NFL ran during the 70's and 80's.  Also, this article (besides being inaccurate in when Williams coached where) appears to imply that Williams learned his system from Gibbs, and then implies Gibbs' guilt during his SECOND stint as HC of the Redskins.  There are NO facts this story presents to back up any of these implications.  Shoddy journalism at best. 

Since: Jan 2, 2012
Posted on: March 6, 2012 4:47 pm

Starke: Gibbs handed out $100 bills for QB hits

Originaldigga14, don't take a soundbyte of what I wrote... I do get it, but I wrote an entire entry that describes the difference between trying to injure someone intentionally versus good, hard play with the occasional by-product being that another player is knocked out of the game.  If it happens on LEGAL hits, between the whistles... it is OK.  This reward system is used routinely on teams as a small competition among teammates, and Joe Gibbs is an example of how these things are routine.     

Since: Aug 31, 2006
Posted on: March 6, 2012 4:41 pm

Starke: Gibbs handed out $100 bills for QB hits

Riegert8,  if that is a true statement made by Allen.   Its funny,  the only game the Skins knocked Staubach out, was a Thanksgiving game in the mid 70's.  Clint Longley stepped in and lead a comeback in which Dallas won with two Drew Pearson T.D.   If I remember right,  Allen said after the game, he always wanted to beat the Cowboys with Staubach under center, he felt the team would build on that, "since it was Staubach and Company."

Since: Mar 21, 2008
Posted on: March 6, 2012 4:40 pm

Starke: Gibbs handed out $100 bills for QB hits

Yeah,  I agree, he should have made reference to the practice if he actually did it.  I think if I were a coach right now I would be admitting to whatever I did that could even be construed as bounties.  But the critical line to cross is planning ahead, before the  game to intentionally hurt someone.  The George Allen quote is dead on, thats a bounty.   Joe having a practice after games of passing out 100s for things, I don't think is the same level, although in todays light, is a practice that is now illegal as well.

Since: Aug 23, 2007
Posted on: March 6, 2012 4:33 pm

Starke: Gibbs handed out $100 bills for QB hits

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.



Since: Dec 19, 2008
Posted on: March 6, 2012 4:31 pm

Starke: Gibbs handed out $100 bills for QB hits

Come on now. I know my company would hand a gift card every now and then for a job well done. This is very different from saying if you injure someone I'll give you money. Very different.

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