Recording Bares Saints' Brutal 'Bounty' Program
Gregg Williams heard referring to torn ACLs, head injuries
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2012 9:05 AM CDT
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(Newser) – In a newly released recording in the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal, former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams can be heard telling his players to go after the San Francisco 49ers prior to a Jan. 13 playoff game this year. Though Williams is not pictured, documentary filmmaker Sean Pamphilon—who recorded and released the audio—claims that at one point, Williams rubbed his fingers together as a signal implying that Saints players would be paid for injuring 49ers, noting that the "first one" is on him.

The most-definitely-NSFW clip features a cursing Williams telling players, among other things:

  • "He becomes human when we f--king take out that outside ACL," a reference to 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree.
  • He urges players to "clip (tight end) Vernon Davis' ankles over the pile" and deliver a shot to quarterback Alex Smith, signaling a hit under his chin. "Go lay that motherf--ker out," he says.
  • "Go and get that motherf--ker on the sidelines," a reference to Kendall Hunter. "Little 32, we want to knock the f--k out of him."
  • "Kill the head and the body will die." This line, repeated many times, is likely just tough motivational talk, USA Today notes. But other references to the heads of 49ers players do appear to refer to head injuries, and in one section he notes that Kyle Williams could be vulnerable due to a recent concussion.
The recording could complicate things for head coach Sean Payton, the Los Angeles Times notes; he is currently appealing his suspension over the scandal. Yahoo! Sports first reported the recording, and a full 12-minute version is available on The United States of Football. Click for some reactions to Williams' tirade.

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Apr 6, 2012 11:26 AM CDT
They had former all-pro safety Darren Woodson on Sports Center yesterday saying that 90% of this is what you hear before every game around the league. Where it crossed the line, according to him, was the targeting of specific injuries and the instruction to make those injuries worse. He said players know who is injured and where they are injured without the coaches telling them, and that they will always "test" those players. He drew a fuzzy line between "targeting" and "testing." I agree this is pretty damning audio for Gregg Williams and the Saints, but I have a very hard time believing he was the only one doing this. Pure speculation on my part, but I think those who are so outraged and shocked by this are a little naive. That doesn't mean I think this type of behavior is ok, and maybe he should be banned for life, but put a microphone in every locker room, and people will be calling for guys to be fired and banned on a weekly basis, and for less serious stuff than this...
Apr 6, 2012 9:24 AM CDT
These folks should be banished from the game, at all levels, for life, and any injuries suffered at the hands of their players should be fully paid by that team.
Apr 6, 2012 9:16 AM CDT
Wow, I thought the NFL was a sport of civility and grace, showing off athletic ability. Guess I was wrong.