Former New Orleans Saints defensive coach Gregg Williams is heard telling his players to target specific opponents and he goes so far as to mention the types of injuries those opponents might be vulnerable to in an audio recording posted online by a documentary filmmaker.
Williams, the person at the center of the NFL’s “bountygate” scandal, was recorded during a pregame meeting with Saints players before the team’s January playoff game with the San Francisco 49ers. In the profanity-laced address to his players, which has surfaced this week, Williams urges them to:
– Go after 49ers quarterback Alex Smith’s head.
– “Put a lick” on 49ers receive Kyle Williams, who has suffered concussions in the past, “to find out … about his concussion.”
– “Take out” receiver Michael Crabtree’s ACL; the anterior cruciate ligament in the knee.
– “Beat Frank Gore’s head.” Williams said he wanted the 49ers running back to be “running sideways. We want his head sideways.”
“Kill the head, the body will die,” Williams says several times.
The recording was posted online by documentary filmmaker Sean Pamphilon, who was working on a film about a former Saints player at the time of Williams’ meeting with the players. Pamphilon has posted both a 4-minute “sample” and what he says is the full 12-minutes worth of audio that was recorded (that 12-minute recording isn’t playing right now; Pamphilon’s site says it has been overwhelmed by too much traffic).
Because of the many expletives, we can’t embed Pamphilon’s audio. There is, however, this version that bleeps the obscenities.
Williams, who has been suspended from the league indefinitely, reportedly offered players cash bounties for hits that took opponents out of games. He has said he accepts “full responsibility for my actions.”
Saints head coach Sean Payton has been suspended for one season without pay.
After hearing the recording, NFL.com’s Jeff Darlington writes that “this isn’t about bounties anymore. It isn’t about non-contract incentives. It’s about protecting players from coaches like Williams and people who support him.”
(H/T to Yahoo Sports, which broke the story of the recording.)