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Thread: breaking news !!!!!!!! Greg Williams won't coach this season for the Rams.

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    Re: breaking news !!!!!!!! Greg Williams won't coach this season for the Rams.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Pang View Post
    So now we have guilt by association or rather intent by association. 'Fisher is a good friend of Williams, therefore Fisher was planning to implement a 'bounty system'.

    Really?
    Well, I didn't mention it, but Fisher's Titan defenses also had a reputation for hits that hovered around the "barely legal" zone and there have been rumors that the Titans were one of the other teams that ran bounty programs. So there's that as well.

    I'm sure Goodell might have something suitably indefinite to say about that as well.

    Whilst accepting that punishment was due for contravention of NFL rules and regulations, I do not like the open-ended nature of Williams' punishment; this thing needed to be put to bed. Williams should have been banned for six months to a year, as it stands, the 'indefinite' nature of the punishment means this will be hanging over Williams and by extension the Rams for as long as he's an employee (I expect he'll do the decent thing and resign).
    I'd frame the indefinite suspension as more like the NFL's version of the NCAA "show cause" penalty, albeit one that looks to be lifetime. Technically down the road future teams probably could hire him, but they'd have to give the League plenty of reason to believe he wouldn't do this again on pain of far worse than what the Saints got (which rules out continued Rams employment since Fisher strikes me as a likely enabler of Williams.)

    I do not accept that 'spygate' was in any way less deserving of equally harsh treatment in its immediate or more long-term implications and what interests me here is the differing way in which both cases were handled. Its clear that Goodell has chosen the issue of player safety as 'his' issue and the severity of the punishments meted out reflects that but does it make those punishments any more or less equitable? Does this interest have a rather more cynical eye on pending legal procedures? Will this incident and its aftermath lead to fundamental changes in the character and culture of the game?
    It's a matter of proof, and the NFL has far more to work with there. There's also the issue of the Saints promising to cut it out, then continuing to run the program anyway. There hasn't been any evidence of New England restarting the film program.

    Yeah, there is a definite legal aspect (and future of the game aspect) at work here. The league does run a substantial risk of getting sued by survivors and former players because of the whole "bloodsport reduced your players to lifeless husks" issue, so appearing proactive about player safety is a good legal move.

    With regards to changing the culture, I'll put it to you. Would YOU run a bounty program now knowing the new minimum punishment for getting caught running one (and oh yes, this is the minimum; Goodell is not going to react well to any future instances at all.)

    HUb has asked some pertinent questions:

    1. What exactly was Williams' bounty program? Specifically.
    In addition to standard "fantasy football" scoring awards (ie turnovers/sacks) you get cash/money for knocking players out of the game. The NFL has been pretty consistent on saying that.

    2. Surely the Williams' defenses over the years must be the most penalized if they were trying to hurt players. So were they?
    No, but attempts to injure don't always net penalties; if you restrict your hits to hovering around that same "barely legal/quasi-permissible" zone, you could easily dodge penalties. The NFL, unlike hockey, does not have a tradition of "punishing the injury" which helps the Saints dodge the worse. The Saints defense DID however show a strong tendency to play for the "big hit" rather than, say, actual defense. So there's that.

    3. If the bounty programme was as 'egregious' (posters comment) as advertised, then why weren't players who had once played for Williams but now stood on the opposing sideline, warning their team-mates and raising hell about it?
    "Hello new teammate. You may not know this, but when I played for the Saints I once tried to shatter your knee so I could afford a new Blu-Ray player or X-Box 360. But we cool now, right? No hard feelings yo! BTdubs, the Saints will still try to do that to you." Yeah, I can see that going over well for ex-Saints players.

    4. Why have players who once played for Williams, such as London Fletcher, been so adamant that they were never asked to intentionally injure players?
    Goodell would end Fletcher's career for starters if he admitted to playing for bounties, and he'd expose himself to lawsuits and possible criminal charges. The same goes for the other players. Yeah, I'd shut my mouth too, especially given the NFL's relative lack of subpoena power.


    5. Why is Williams so popular amongst his players and ex-players? Here is a man who was rewarding people for ending careers and yet he's popular? With the average career length being some 3 and a half years I find that remarkable.
    Money dear boy. Money.

    There has to be something specific to the Saints that we're not hearing or haven't seen as yet.
    Take your pick. The Saints were documented as getting funding from outside civilian sources who hawk counterfeited league goods and were convicted for the same (massive can of worms) or "Ignored Goodell's specific warnings to stop the program".

    Does that work?


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    Re: breaking news !!!!!!!! Greg Williams won't coach this season for the Rams.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeoriaRam View Post
    It's a matter of proof, and the NFL has far more to work with there. There's also the issue of the Saints promising to cut it out, then continuing to run the program anyway. There hasn't been any evidence of New England restarting the film program.
    Actually, the league did notify New England that they should cut it out several years before the blow-up, and Belichick reportedly said that the Patriots had a different interpretation of that particular league rule. I don't want to derail the thread onto Spygate, but in that respect, the league seems to have been consistent--wag your finger at a team that's violating the rules, look the other way for several years until after they've won a championship, then act shocked that they didn't do what you told them to do.

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    Re: breaking news !!!!!!!! Greg Williams won't coach this season for the Rams.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeoriaRam View Post
    Goodell also lacked a lot of the latitude to really hammer New England when the scandal broke; he'd been on the job for a little over a year when it happened.
    No offense but, so what if it was little over a year.

    He is the commish, no matter what year he is in. He had the power to lay the hammer down on the Pats with Spygate. He didn't.

    What kind of scandal would it have taken for Roger in his first year to lay the hammer down? Filming the opposing team wasn't enough? Really?
    Last edited by ramsbruce; -03-22-2012 at 08:02 AM.
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    Re: breaking news !!!!!!!! Greg Williams won't coach this season for the Rams.

    We need to support our current head coach instead of playing the "what if" game back and forth in a fruitless effort to connect imaginary dots over stuff that happened years ago before the league's "interest in safety" (i.e. protecting our stars that put fannies in the seats) came to the forefront. Fisher was highly respected and highly thought of enough that he was nominated for and appointed to the NFL rules committee. No one has EVER accused Fisher of the kind of wrongdoing leveled against Williams, and it is irresponsible to make any assumptions of "guilt by association" statements on the basis of "rumors" or one's conspiracy theories.

    It's over. The Commissioner has spoken. Penalties have been levied. We move forward.
    Last edited by NJ Ramsfan1; -03-22-2012 at 08:18 AM. Reason: spelling

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    Re: breaking news !!!!!!!! Greg Williams won't coach this season for the Rams.

    Quote Originally Posted by ramsbruce View Post
    Hypothetically speaking Gregg Williams puts a bounty on Sam Bradford when we played and they actually hurt Sam intentionally because of the cash bonus offered by Gregg Williams "bounty program". How mad would you be at Goodell then today after you heard of the punishment? The better question is what would you think of Gregg Williams today if Sam was one of the QB's hurt?

    I'm with Fat Pang. Williams should have just gotten the year along with Payton.

    On the flip side though, it may be "indefinitely" because if more "stuff" comes up Williams might not be welcome back in the league at all. Just playing devil's advocate.
    My initial anger at his suspension was fueled by my misunderstanding of the word "indefinitely." I first assumed it as a life time ban. Which I thought would have been a cruel punishment for Gregg Williams. The door has been left open for a return, but still I hate all the uncertaincy of being banned indefinitely. Theirs no doubt in my mind, the Rams were significantly weakened yesterday. Which should always be the bottom line. However, people seem to be overlooking William's loss, as if its not important to our future. When it clearly is going to have bearing on the Rams future progress.?

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    Re: breaking news !!!!!!!! Greg Williams won't coach this season for the Rams.

    I think its important to still ask questions about this because frankly, there's still a fair bit I just don't understand and so I appreciate Peoria's attempt to answer them even if I disagree on two to three assumptions that have been made, not least of which, 'guilt by association'.

    In terms of NJ's comment, I agree we have to move on and Fisher has my total support; I am concerned about consistency and I feel that 'indefinite' suspension qualifies as cruel and unusual. Either ban Williams for the year, six months, life or whatever and draw a line under it now, do not string this out in a misguided effort to keep the issue in the public eye and make Williams a walking cautionary tale thereby, as Ground Dog suggested, running this issue through the pre-season and into the season itself potentially distracting us from the task at hand.

    As Fisher himself has suggested, there's more to this than has been made available to us.

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    Re: breaking news !!!!!!!! Greg Williams won't coach this season for the Rams.

    It really comes down to the cover-up. The extent of the cover-up after Goodell warned them is why this suspension was big


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    Re: breaking news !!!!!!!! Greg Williams won't coach this season for the Rams.

    if you restrict your hits to hovering around that same "barely legal/quasi-permissible" zone, you could easily dodge penalties.
    There's no such animal as "barely legal" or "quasi-permissible". There's legal or illegal; permissible or not permissible.

    We all agree: the bounty system is wrong. If pay-for-injury, then it's morally wrong. If pay-for-play, then philosophically wrong, because what the flip are they getting their contract pay for?

    But I'm having a hard time trying to stomach all the indignation towards Williams either way. We can't act all shocked and repugnant when the lion eats the Christian. I mean we knew good and well what we went to see at the Colosseum.

    Let's be honest; picture Chris Long coming around the corner and heading unblocked towards Alex Smith. Now how do you want that play to end? With Long gently caressing Smith to the ground like some kind of Harlequin book cover? Or with Long laying out Smith like a runaway freight train? Which one is more likely to cause injury?
    Last edited by HUbison; -03-22-2012 at 10:06 AM.
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    Re: breaking news !!!!!!!! Greg Williams won't coach this season for the Rams.

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    There's no such animal as "barely legal" or "quasi-permissible". There's legal or illegal; permissible or not permissible.

    We all agree: the bounty system is wrong. If pay-for-injury, then it's morally wrong. If pay-for-play, then philosophically wrong, because what the flip are they getting their contract pay for?

    But I'm having a hard time trying to stomach all the indignation towards Williams either way. We can't act all shocked and repugnant when the lion eats the Christian. I mean we knew good and well what we went to see at the Colosseum.

    Let's be honest; picture Chris Long coming around the corner and heading unblocked towards Alex Smith. Now how do you want that play to end? With Long gently caressing Smith to the ground like some kind of Harlequin book cover? Or with Long laying out Smith like a runaway freight train? Which one is more likely to cause injury?
    Absolutely. We want the violent collision without the possible resulting injury. We want the car crash in NASCAR without truly appreciating that someone can die from the impact. Hockey fans love the fighting and make no apologies for it, but when someone actually dies after hitting their face/head on the ice (which I believe will happen in time), you'll hear the same moral indignation towards the league you've heard here who think Williams is somehow the Devil incarnate. He's merely the idiot who got squealed on- not the first to implement "bounties".

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    Re: breaking news !!!!!!!! Greg Williams won't coach this season for the Rams.

    so........ why is there a double standard in other sports in re to injuries-- the most Blatant is Hockey.

    this is a sport in which players consitantly are attacked with budgeoning weapons, smashed in walls, lacerated by equipment, and fist fights are encouraged.

    IMo football is just as violent as Hockey, but if football players ever did the thing Hockey players do in the rink, Goodell would have no personel left in football the play or manage teams.

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    Re: breaking news !!!!!!!! Greg Williams won't coach this season for the Rams.

    Quote Originally Posted by punahou View Post
    so........ why is there a double standard in other sports in re to injuries-- the most Blatant is Hockey.

    this is a sport in which players consitantly are attacked with budgeoning weapons, smashed in walls, lacerated by equipment, and fist fights are encouraged.

    IMo football is just as violent as Hockey, but if football players ever did the thing Hockey players do in the rink, Goodell would have no personel left in football the play or manage teams.
    I've long felt the same way. Hockey-as currently managed- is a complete joke. League officials are gutless to end fighting because it knows it is a large reason why people attend hockey games. To end fighting would be to turn off much of the fan base- which is pathetic. A game that can't stand on its own without some type of "gimmick" is worthless. The sad thing is that collegiate hockey and Olympic hockey are excellent, action packed games without the nonsense.

    The difference as I see it lies in the sport's popularity. Hockey is simply not on a par with football. is Football's inherent physicality and increasing popularity are at odds with one another. The size of the players and the money involved with the sport necessitate changes. I think it's unfair to suggest Commissioner Goodell's motives are ENTIRELY financial; I'm sure he has some genuine concern for the players. But it is every bit as much financial as it is ethical. Few people want to pay money to watch a football team who is missing its stars week after week. Plus, you now have the dual issues of concussion/head injury awareness and past players suing the league for not doing a better job protecting its own.

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    Re: breaking news !!!!!!!! Greg Williams won't coach this season for the Rams.

    To me, there is a fairly clear line.

    Between the whistles, from the neck down, and from the knees up, defenders should be allowed to hit as hard as they want/can, as long as they don't lead with the helmet.

    When a player uses the helmet as a weapon or targets a player's head, neck or knees, then the line is crossed. The line could also be crossed if a hit is so clearly after the whistle that it is unquestionably a deliberate attempt to injure.

    The bounty system, as I understand it, paid players to have "cart-off" hits. If that does not encourage defenders to hit knees, necks and heads, I don't know what does.

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    Re: breaking news !!!!!!!! Greg Williams won't coach this season for the Rams.

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    To me, there is a fairly clear line.

    Between the whistles, from the neck down, and from the knees up, defenders should be allowed to hit as hard as they want/can, as long as they don't lead with the helmet.

    When a player uses the helmet as a weapon or targets a player's head, neck or knees, then the line is crossed. The line could also be crossed if a hit is so clearly after the whistle that it is unquestionably a deliberate attempt to injure.

    The bounty system, as I understand it, paid players to have "cart-off" hits. If that does not encourage defenders to hit knees, necks and heads, I don't know what does.
    And that appears to me to be a very reasonable standard.

    So then I must assume that Williams' teams were the most penalized defenses over the past decade. If we are to assume his bounty system (which, for the record, I think is wrong) encourages illegal hits then we must assume they are the most penalized. I've heard the Saints were in the top 5 for "roughing the passer" calls, but I haven't heard any other data.

    But what if......Saints defenders were collecting their "cart-off" bounty on perfectly legal hits? Between the whistles, between neck & knees, shoulder-led hits that resulted in injury. It's a good hit that unfortunately resulted in injury.

    And is that hit any different if delivered by a player not in a bounty system? Which is to ask, isn't it the goal of every defender in the NFL to legally knock the holy snot out of the ball-carrier? And to that extent, is a "bounty" system that much different than the player contract everyone of them sign?
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    Re: breaking news !!!!!!!! Greg Williams won't coach this season for the Rams.

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    And that appears to me to be a very reasonable standard.

    So then I must assume that Williams' teams were the most penalized defenses over the past decade. If we are to assume his bounty system (which, for the record, I think is wrong) encourages illegal hits then we must assume they are the most penalized. I've heard the Saints were in the top 5 for "roughing the passer" calls, but I haven't heard any other data.
    Part of the reason for that is that other teams probably had similar systems. The difference is that the Saints were caught.

    But what if......Saints defenders were collecting their "cart-off" bounty on perfectly legal hits? Between the whistles, between neck & knees, shoulder-led hits that resulted in injury. It's a good hit that unfortunately resulted in injury.
    That would not be illegal, by my definition, though the compensation paid (the bounty) might violate other league rules.

    And is that hit any different if delivered by a player not in a bounty system? Which is to ask, isn't it the goal of every defender in the NFL to legally knock the holy snot out of the ball-carrier? And to that extent, is a "bounty" system that much different than the player contract everyone of them sign?
    That goes back to my explanation of liability.

    The league cannot stop "rogue" players from violating the rules. But when if it does not react - whether that means fining/suspending a guy like Suh when he crosses the line, or a coach who encourages illegal hits - the league puts itself in the gun sights of the tort lawyers. That's a place nobody would willingly go.

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    Re: breaking news !!!!!!!! Greg Williams won't coach this season for the Rams.

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
    I've long felt the same way. Hockey-as currently managed- is a complete joke. League officials are gutless to end fighting because it knows it is a large reason why people attend hockey games. To end fighting would be to turn off much of the fan base- which is pathetic. A game that can't stand on its own without some type of "gimmick" is worthless. The sad thing is that collegiate hockey and Olympic hockey are excellent, action packed games without the nonsense.

    The difference as I see it lies in the sport's popularity. Hockey is simply not on a par with football. is Football's inherent physicality and increasing popularity are at odds with one another. The size of the players and the money involved with the sport necessitate changes. I think it's unfair to suggest Commissioner Goodell's motives are ENTIRELY financial; I'm sure he has some genuine concern for the players. But it is every bit as much financial as it is ethical. Few people want to pay money to watch a football team who is missing its stars week after week. Plus, you now have the dual issues of concussion/head injury awareness and past players suing the league for not doing a better job protecting its own.
    I think you have hit the nail on the head with this one, Jersey1. It's the money, and the popularity of the sport on TV, which is the biggest factor in this clampdown on player safety. Football(Soccer) is going through the exact same thing in my country, and worldwide. The governing bodies of European Football(FIFA) and the NFL, almost seem to be working together in conjuction. Which obviously is not true. But what these two sports do have in common, is their popularity, and the huge money involved. So it doesn't take a genius to work out what is going on here.?
    Their easily the two most popular sports in the world. So its not difficult to understand the extra attention these sports get.

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