Tag:Bountygate
Posted on: March 6, 2012 3:49 pm
 

Romanowski: Bounty talk blown 'out of proportion'

Romo thinks the press is blowing the Saints bounties out of proportion. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Bill Romanowski always had a reputation as a pretty intense guy on the football field. If you listen to his appearance on The Jim Rome Show below, you'll see that Romanowski hasn't lost his edge since he retired.

And when he was asked by Rome about the current bounty scandal (I agree with Rome: 'Bountygate' needs to die a quick death) surrounding the Saints, Romanowski blamed the snitches and the press for helping to blow it way out of proportion.

"I think the press has blown it way out of proportion," Romanowski told Rome. "At the end of the day I think this was about bringing a group of guys together -- a defense -- together -- to say, 'We want to be the baddest mother-effers in the league.' OK? This was internal motivation in their defensive room that should've stayed in their defensive room. Nobody should've leaked this.

"And guess what? Gregg Williams just created an incentive program to fire guys up and do what they do and that's try and hit people as hard as humanly possible. And if they got taken out on a stretcher and it was the starting quarterback they probably had a better chance to win. But is the intent to try and hurt someone and put them the hospital? I think no. That was not the intent. This was just an internal motivator for his defense."

 
("ROME with Jim Rome" debuts on CBS Sports Network April 3rd. Follow Rome on Twitter @JimRome.)

I also agree with Rome on the fact that Bill needs to get to an attorney and patent "GUESS WHAT?" Bart Scott-style as fast as possible. But I'm not so sure that the OG Romo really gets that the game has changed.

Sure, he told Rome that his hit on Kerry Collins in 1999 where Collins was bleeding everywhere would net him a $1 million fine today. But he also tried to make a tennis analogy with football and I'm not entirely sure it works.

"We're playing football here, Jimmy. We're not all of a sudden playing tennis and saying, 'Oh jump over the net and take out the other guy if he hits a nice shot," Romanowski said. "You put on shoulder pads and a helmet and you go out there and you try to hit people -- impose your will upon them and try to defeat them and LITERALLY take them out of the game by overpowering them physically."

It's possible to impose your will on someone else without violating clearly-defined NFL rules regarding the illegal nature of utilizing monetary incentives to promote violence on the field.

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Posted on: March 6, 2012 12:37 pm
Edited on: March 6, 2012 2:02 pm
 

Starke: Gibbs handed out $100 bills for QB hits

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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Posted on: March 5, 2012 11:08 am
Edited on: March 5, 2012 12:18 pm
 

Favre on Saints $10K bounty: 'I'm not pissed'

Favre got leveled more than once against New Orleans back in 2009. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

At the heart of BountyGate (and I'll personally pay someone $10 to knock that name out of play) is the 2009 NFC Championship Game, when the Saints beat Brett Favre and the Vikings. As reported by CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman, Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma offered up $10,000 for anyone who knocked Favre out of the game.

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You'd think that news might upset Favre, but he told Sports Illustrated's Peter King that he was "not pissed" and that he respects Vilma as well as then-Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.

"I'm not pissed," Favre said. "It's football. I don't think anything less of those guys. I would have loved to play with Vilma. Hell of a player. I've got a lot of respect for Gregg Williams. He's a great coach. I'm not going to make a big deal about it. In all honesty, there's a bounty of some kind on you on every play. Now, in that game there were some plays that, I don't want to say were odd, but I'd throw the ball and whack, on every play. Hand it off, whack. Over and over. Some were so blatant. I hand the ball to Percy Harvin early and got drilled right in the chin. They flagged that one at least.

"I've always been friends with Darren Sharper, and he came in a couple times and popped me hard. I remember saying, 'What THE hell you doing, Sharp?' I felt there should have been more calls against the Saints. I thought some of their guys should have been fined more.''

Favre did say, however, that he was glad the "truth comes out" now with respect to how the Saints behaved on the field, although he wouldn't exactly be compelled to serve as a witness in a court of law.

"Now the truth comes out. That's good. But that's football. The only thing that really pisses me off about the whole thing is we lost the game. That's the thing about that day that still bothers me. And that's the way it goes. If they wanted me to testify in court about this, they'd be calling the wrong guy."

It would be interesting to see whether or not Favre would meet with Roger Goodell, though. It's unlikely he would, and as a retired player, it's also unlikely Goodell and the league could compel him to take a trip to New York anyway.

But it's not like they have to: replays of the game against the Saints show countless instances where Favre took late shots. They were deemed "aggressive" at the time, but with the knowledge that there was a five-figure bounty on knocking Favre out, "malicious" seems like a better description.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com