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Thread: *DEVELOPING STORY* - NFL Finds Saints, Gregg Williams Used "Bounty" Program

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    Re: *DEVELOPING STORY* - NFL Finds Saints, Gregg Williams Used "Bounty" Program

    Having seen what amounts to discipline in the NFL regarding blatant cheating (Belichick), I would be disappointed if what looks like an informal locker-room, chump-change (by their standards) reward system attracts much in the way of penalty.

    That said, I did not as a player set out to deliberately injure someone and I have never been a member of a team that operated such a system or condoned it and so I can't sympathise with it. Football is dangerous enough without putting intent into the mix.
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    Re: *DEVELOPING STORY* - NFL Finds Saints, Gregg Williams Used "Bounty" Program

    so if this happens throughout the league,I wonder how much Harrison got paid for his cheap shot that took out Trent Green in 1999 ? Still pissed about that.

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    Re: *DEVELOPING STORY* - NFL Finds Saints, Gregg Williams Used "Bounty" Program

    The tone of this thread would be COMPLETELY different if Williams was still with the Saints. LOL
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    Re: *DEVELOPING STORY* - NFL Finds Saints, Gregg Williams Used "Bounty" Program

    Quote Originally Posted by PeoriaRam View Post
    There's also the likely issue of Sharper being one of the rewardees. He might be trying to put some pre-emptive spin to minimize his own guilt, especially now that he's out of the league. There's too much conflict of interest here to take Sharper's words at face value.
    Theres a video on NFL.com of Sharper talking about the whole situation. He stated that he did get paid for some big INT's and plays that he and others made. He and the DB's (example) would all put $100 into a pot, and whoever made the first big play of that game would get that reward. I can almost guarantee you this happens in 34 out of 32 locker rooms. The intent to injury? He said he's never played by or heard that rule, or that he ever got paid for hurting someone.

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    Re: *DEVELOPING STORY* - NFL Finds Saints, Gregg Williams Used "Bounty" Program

    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Pang View Post
    Having seen what amounts to discipline in the NFL regarding blatant cheating (Belichick), I would be disappointed if what looks like an informal locker-room, chump-change (by their standards) reward system attracts much in the way of penalty.
    But this is the Commissioner's pet issue (player safety), so he might bring down the hammer. The good news for us is that the story broke when it did before it could wind up resulting in sanctions on the Rams. I mean they're still not going to take away wins or ban the Saints from the playoffs like the NCAA might, but Goodell is probably seething that a coach would be intentionally trying to undermine his efforts to reduce concussions.

    As far as the ethics here: Yes, big hits are a part of the game, and there's no denying that if you knock a star player out of the game, it can drastically alter your chances of winning. If we lived in a world where game injuries had no long term effects, then it would be easier to justify this as a legitimate strategy...but we all know that just isn't the case. I'll admit that I always liked that Gregg Williams' defenses were hard-hitting, but going from hard-hitting to head-hunting is crossing a line.

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    Re: *DEVELOPING STORY* - NFL Finds Saints, Gregg Williams Used "Bounty" Program

    There's a lot about this story that bothers me. I think NJ hit the nail on the head when he said something to the effect that the Rams may have gone 180 degrees and hired a staff with reputations of being "bad boys" in an attempt to turn around the Rams "soft" image. Selling their souls, so to speak, in an attempt to make the Rams successful and "feared." You can win in the NFL w/o this kind of crap.

    Williams comment: "I want to express my sincere regret and apology to the NFL, Mr. Benson, and the New Orleans Saints fans for my participation in the 'pay for performance' program while I was with the Saints," Williams said. "It was a terrible mistake, and we knew it was wrong while we were doing it. Instead of getting caught up in it, I should have stopped it. I take full responsibility for my role. I am truly sorry. I have learned a hard lesson and I guarantee that I will never participate in or allow this kind of activity to happen again."

    What does this say about the man? This is what's supposed to seperate us from the animals. Knowing the difference between right and wrong, and taking the appropriate action. Playing hard and playing dirty are NOT the same, and I don't want to be a fan of a dirty team that plays outside the rules, EVEN if it gets us a Superbowl. I've played lot's of competitve sports at many levels, and there is a difference. Williams has a reputation as a jerk, now he just confirmed it.

    Although this happened while he was with the Saints, and that organization will feel the brunt of the initial punishment, the RAMS will feel it as well, for some time to come. You don't think that Goodell and the officiating crews won't remember this during the season? You don't think that the Rams will get away with nothing now that this has come out? What happened to Pittsburgh's Harrison once he established his reputation? He gets hit with fines and personal fouls now for stuff that anybody else normally wouldn't ONLY because he has established himself as a cheap shot artist. With the reputation of Fisher's teams, and now this with Williams, I can only imagine what will happen to the Rams. Expect the Rams to lead the league in personal fouls and fines. You can now expect that everytime an opposing player goes down injured against the Rams the question will be asked, right or wrong; "I wonder how much the Rams coaches paid to get that guy out of the game?" Once you've established the reputation, you don't easily shed it. Ask the Patriots and the guy we all call "Belicheat".

    I have been one of those that has said many times over that the Rams are soft, and need to an attitude adjustment and tougher guys. But not at the expense of injuring other players purposely. There IS a difference. Honesty and Integrity are everything to me, and apparently Williams has neither.

    I hate to say it but I think the only way out of this is to part ways with Williams now or the Rams will pay on the field for what happened in NO as long as he and Fisher are partnered together. Fisher is already a HC with the reputation of creating teams that play "on the edge" between tough and "cheap shot" artists. Why do you think the Raiders lead the league every year in penalties? They established a reputation years ago of playing outside the rules, and even if they no longer do, they're still paying the price. This is only going to put the Rams under the microscope for game officials and the league office. Unfortunately, the Rams and Fisher need to send a message to Goodell and the league that the Rams are not about that and get Williams out, or take their own disciplinary action. Not sure what that would be, but they need to let the league know the Rams are not about that kind of play.

    This is very unfortunate.
    Faithful Rams fan since 1968

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    Re: *DEVELOPING STORY* - NFL Finds Saints, Gregg Williams Used "Bounty" Program

    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post
    Theres a video on NFL.com of Sharper talking about the whole situation. He stated that he did get paid for some big INT's and plays that he and others made. He and the DB's (example) would all put $100 into a pot, and whoever made the first big play of that game would get that reward. I can almost guarantee you this happens in 34 out of 32 locker rooms. The intent to injury? He said he's never played by or heard that rule, or that he ever got paid for hurting someone.
    Remember the NFC Championship in 09 Mr Sharper. Thinking back, it was obvious that the Saints intent was to injure Brett Farve in the game. Im still shocked to this day, how the Saints got away with it, in that game.? I honestly thought at the time, the refs were being leniant on the Saints, because of the natural disaster. It was as blantant cheating as Ive ever seen. Favre complained to the refs incessantly, but the refs didn't want to know.
    So their is absolutely no way Sharper hasn't heard or seen something. Im not buying it.!

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    Re: *DEVELOPING STORY* - NFL Finds Saints, Gregg Williams Used "Bounty" Program

    Make no mistake, the Rams will suffer by allowing Williams to stay on board. Not only does he face almost CERTAIN suspension, they will be scrutinized (on D) with the finest of fine tooth combs, all year long. With all the news coverage about retired NFLers (Tony Dorsett class action lawsuit front and center, recently) who can barely walk and are suffering from post-concussion syndromes of various varieties...this is looking like the perfect storm for the NFL to make a real example of all involved in this mess. Why would the Rams want to be a part of this garbage?
    "You people point your 'f'in' finger and say theres the bad guy....what that make you....good?" Tony Montana

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    Re: *DEVELOPING STORY* - NFL Finds Saints, Gregg Williams Used "Bounty" Program

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldenfleece View Post
    But this is the Commissioner's pet issue (player safety), so he might bring down the hammer. The good news for us is that the story broke when it did before it could wind up resulting in sanctions on the Rams. I mean they're still not going to take away wins or ban the Saints from the playoffs like the NCAA might, but Goodell is probably seething that a coach would be intentionally trying to undermine his efforts to reduce concussions.

    As far as the ethics here: Yes, big hits are a part of the game, and there's no denying that if you knock a star player out of the game, it can drastically alter your chances of winning. If we lived in a world where game injuries had no long term effects, then it would be easier to justify this as a legitimate strategy...but we all know that just isn't the case. I'll admit that I always liked that Gregg Williams' defenses were hard-hitting, but going from hard-hitting to head-hunting is crossing a line.
    I haven't caught up with all of the news yet but I've yet to see a player say " Williams said he'd give us $10000 if we ended a guys career", Williams himself refers to 'Performance related pay' which may be a euphemism for cheap shots but I can't remember seeing a Saints game where I thought 'They're bringing the hammer and its borderline'. Now it may be that he did and that he's just so wildly popular around the league that no-one is willing to come forward and say so but I doubt it.

    I may be wrong but I have a feeling that there's a sanctimony that's occasionally prevalent in US prime-time sports that manifests itself at times like these in an effort to be seen to be doing the right thing and so I'm wary of rushing in here. I don't know Williams and he hasn't yet coached our D over the white stripes and so I have no allegiance to the man or any feeling for him but I'm struggling to think that this isn't a practice that is unheard of or we'd have heard about it well before now.

    If this snowballs, as it looks to be doing (oh if only Goodell had been around for Spygate) then I agree that Williams position will become untenable. I thought his opening statements as Ram DC were a little on the egotistical side, if we can shade that egotism with malicious intent that's something else altogether but I'm not yet convinced that's the case.

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    Re: *DEVELOPING STORY* - NFL Finds Saints, Gregg Williams Used "Bounty" Program

    Quote Originally Posted by GROUND DOG 39 View Post
    Remember the NFC Championship in 09 Mr Sharper. Thinking back, it was obvious that the Saints intent was to injure Brett Farve in the game. Im still shocked to this day, how the Saints got away with it, in that game.? I honestly thought at the time, the refs were being leniant on the Saints, because of the natural disaster. It was as blantant cheating as Ive ever seen. Favre complained to the refs incessantly, but the refs didn't want to know.
    So their is absolutely no way Sharper hasn't heard or seen something. Im not buying it.!
    You can't prove that and neither can I, so its a moot point. Theres been millions of complaints from QB's and HC's about late hits and stuff, the most recent being Mike Vick and Andy Reid complaining like the softies they are.

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    Re: *DEVELOPING STORY* - NFL Finds Saints, Gregg Williams Used "Bounty" Program

    Really gotta' love it when the PC types rush to judgement with their self-reightous condemnations, (both here and in the media).

    I honestly do not care either way if Williams is retained or dismissed, but to really believe what he preaches to his defenses is any different than any other DC, or reflects a darker side to his personality is delusional.

    I WiLL be morally outraged if Williams is given a harsher punishnment than Payton, though I won't be surprised, given the obvious bias prevalent in the Comissioner's Office.
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    Re: *DEVELOPING STORY* - NFL Finds Saints, Gregg Williams Used "Bounty" Program

    From Bucky Brooks :

    "
    The news of the New Orleans Saints operating a "bounty" program from 2009 to 2011 under defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has created quite a stir since the news broke Friday, but I will let you in on a dirty little secret: The practice is commonplace throughout the league.

    While the salacious details of the "pay for performance" program certainly will draw the ire of Commissioner Roger Goodell, the act of players providing cash bonuses to their teammates for impact plays has been a part of the league's subculture for years.


    From my rookie season in 1994 to my final year as a scout in 2007, I was associated with several teams that incorporated various forms of the "bounty" program cited in New Orleans. Most of those bonuses were tied to sacks, interceptions, forced fumbles and return touchdowns, but big hits and knockout shots were also included in the payouts. The financial incentives were established by players prior to the season, typically within a position group, and the payouts ranged from a few hundred dollars to $1,500 at the max.

    The money used to make the payments came from fines for various mental errors on the practice field or in games, and the group would designate which players were worthy of receiving the gifts. The intent of the program was to promote accountability for players for their play on the field, while also adding a competitive element to the group.

    As silly as it sounds to those on the outside, the thought of collecting a few hundred bucks from your teammates for a big play provides a bit of motivation for a player already cashing huge checks for his performance. Players have been known to shout "cha-ching" (mimicking the sound of a cash register) on the field following turnovers, and the byproduct of utilizing such a "kitty" program is better camaraderie among the group.

    In addressing the damning allegations of placing bounties on opposing players, I would like to believe the Saints instituted policies that rewarded defenders for hard but clean shots that separated ball carriers from the ball. These "knockout" shots, as we called them, were not inflicted with the intent to injure, but rather to establish a physical tone that created hesitation and fear in the minds of offensive players venturing across the middle of the field.

    Offensive players might scoff at the notion of intimidation impacting the game, but there is something to putting teeth-rattling collisions on tape that alters the way future opponents play the game. If you don't believe me, look at the way receivers short arm balls with defenders in close proximity, or how quarterbacks flinch with rushers bearing down on them. Simply put, big hits matter in this game, and defensive coaches and players overemphasize the importance of physicality.

    To illustrate that point, I will point to an example from my time with the Kansas City Chiefs during which we routinely would reward players with framed pictures of their big hits in team meetings. This certainly didn't promote dirty play or encourage defenders to play beyond the whistle, but receiving recognition for a bone-jarring hit definitely was motivating.

    The New Orleans Saints won Super Bowl XLIV behind a hard-nosed, aggressive defense that specialized in creating takeaways and pummeling opponents, and Williams' "pay for performance" system is a time-honored tradition in locker rooms across the league.
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    Re: *DEVELOPING STORY* - NFL Finds Saints, Gregg Williams Used "Bounty" Program

    great post, agree 100%,it's to bad but the Rams should not just sit back and do nothing, because as you said this will haunt them down the road,

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    Re: *DEVELOPING STORY* - NFL Finds Saints, Gregg Williams Used "Bounty" Program

    why do so many issues find this team ? Spygate,leaving St. Louis ? and now this mess, just when it was getting fun to talk about the Rams again and the draft picks and what they where going to do with them,this happens and now they have this to deal with,I don't see this ending well for Williams and I think the Rams should just cut there ties with this guy and move on,this team has a bright future and they don't need this hanging over the team everytime they take the field.

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    Re: *DEVELOPING STORY* - NFL Finds Saints, Gregg Williams Used "Bounty" Program

    Three of the players described a coach who doled out thousands of dollars to Redskins defenders who measured up to Williams’s scoring system for rugged play, including “kill shots” that knocked opposing teams’ stars out of a game.

    “You got compensated more for a kill shot than you did other hits,” said one former player, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
    The other three players interviewed portrayed Williams as a “coach who just took it a little too far,” in the words of one.
    I guess you could interpret "kill shots" as just hard hits, but to reward those hits more if they knocked an opponent out of a game is pretty telling IMO. How do you knock someone out of a game if they're not injured? It's also very telliing when players say it goes too far.

    IF the reports and player statements are true, Williams instituted this practice with at least two teams, over the course of many years. That's damming. And I don't think it matters if the practice is done by other teams, Williams is the one who got caught, and he's most likely going to pay a very high price. Goodell and the NFL are simply not going to let this go with a slap on the wrist, there is too much at stake.

    Unless it's determined that there was no intent to injure, I don't see how Williams can survive this.

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