Admittedly, I’m a Saints fan. A huge Saints fan. My only NFL allegiance. I’m probably too biased to offer objectivity–alas, such is the beauty of a blog. I don’t have to be objective. I can be completely subjective.
But I won’t…I won’t do that. Let’s lay it out.
I don’t like Gregg Williams. I never really have. I think the guy is way overrated. Smarmy. I believe he has rested on reputation and scored big paydays because of it for years now. If you’re unfamiliar, Gregg Williams is the former defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints, and the present defensive coordinator of the St. Louis Rams.
It appears that Williams has long set up a “bounty program,” within the internals of the teams that he coaches, where players score financial reward for knocking other players out of a game, popping off some “forget-me-not” shots and making big plays.
For starters. All teams do this. They may say that they don’t, but they do. Sure, maybe some pots are collected by players for “big plays,” but make no mistake…when monster hits happen, and create a soup of snot bubbles, or effectively de-cleat an opponent, the guys responsible for delivery of those hits are scraping a little cream from the crop. What am I saying? All teams do this. ALL. TEAMS.
Progressing. Do all teams target quarterbacks maliciously? And do I think that Gregg Williams suggested that people should be injured with the bounties? Probably so. I think that all teams want to hit the quarterback hard, within the rules, or even toeing the line, and taking a 15 yard penalty for a big hit. And Gregg Williams? I’m sure he has, does and will recommend that his defenses play with such an aggressiveness.
Now. The proof should lie in the pudding. The Saints knocked Kurt Warner out of a playoff game…with a completely legal hit. And the Saints beat the hades out of Brett Favre in an NFC Championship game, and the officials deemed those hits within the rules of the game.
So, the Saints will take the fall, and Gregg Williams may even score a suspension. Sean Payton may also score a suspension…and the rest of the teams in the league…? They’re all breathing a sigh of relief that they didn’t have a snitch in their locker room.
Now we get to watch Roger Goodell fix it all. Because football players don’t understand the inherent risk of stepping onto a field. Here’s a quote from The Dictator:
In cracking down on the New Orleans Saints for allegedly condoning so-called bounties to team members who injured opponents, the National Football League is bolstering its record for protecting the safety of its players.
I hope the NFLPA turns around and sues Goodell and the league for malicious intent if the owners and commissioner continue to push for an 18 game season.