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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

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
    I can certainly envision a fine and even a loss of a couple of draft picks by the Saints, but I cannot see the NFL take the unprecedented step of a lengthy suspension for a coach (Williams) who was involved in something that is more commonplace than many would like to admit- as distasteful as it may be.
    The NFL's player safety kick is also unprecedented and this makes the NFL look really bad. Also, to again reiterate-they have actual evidence of non-team employees kicking in money to the bounty fund and putting in hits. I'm pretty sure everyone can see how extraordinary and not good that is-because if that's allowed to fly, it's not that much of a leap at all to see some bookmaker offer, oh, 30 large to knock the opposing QB out in a game where they are the close favorite.

    All this together with his repeat offender status means Williams is going to eat a lengthy suspension. The NFL's going to set precedent right here. As a wise man said: Kill one man to warn a hundred.


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

    Quote Originally Posted by GROUND DOG 39 View Post
    Its no wonder Williams loves the blitz. This has probably been going on all over the NFL for years now, but unfortunately for Williams, he has just happened to get caught red handed.? I just hope this news doesnt effect the Rams in any serious way. I love the idea of inflicting damage on opponents, but it has to be done in a sporting manner. Looking to injure people is one thing, but to use money as a motivational tool, it doesn't say an awful lot about a persons character.
    The Rams seem to be going from one extreme to another in their makeover. I dont think character is in their vocabulary, which is taking a little getting used too.
    Its making me a little nervous to be honest. !

    Williams motto "If you cut the snakes head off, the body will die." Sounds like a real nice guy.
    I hear this man!!! If you look at it... if you knock out Favre or Warner are you going to tell me those playoffs teams are goign to be as effective as if they were in opposing offense? Common sense you'd want at the very least to make the other player hesitate or second guess things after getting hit hard a couple of times.

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatestShow99 View Post
    First Georgia offing Carroll, then Leonard Little, that idiot throat slashing assistant in the FO, and now this. Yet, they have the nerve to drain the city of STL bone dry for a new stadium ? Good effin riddance. This franchise is dirty. Plain and simple, and Fisher is the king of kings of dirtiness.
    this is one of the most ignorant comments I think I've ever seen on ClanRam...
    GO WATCH SOME BALLET....
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    Re: *DEVELOPING STORY* - NFL Finds Saints, Gregg Williams Used "Bounty" Program

    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Pang View Post
    In which case, I have to look at whether its possible to put someone 'on the cart' with a hit committed with a perfectly legal intention and within the rules which you are then subsequently rewarded for (which is what Bucky Brooks alludes to) or whether you are saying to your playing roster 'I don't care how you do it but by fair means or foul I want you to injure those players and get them off the field and I'll pay you for it.'
    I'm pretty sure if you're offering a financial reward for players getting injured, the latter is strongly implicit. If the reward is there, players will do what it takes to get it.
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    Re: *DEVELOPING STORY* - NFL Finds Saints, Gregg Williams Used "Bounty" Program

    Quote Originally Posted by ZiaRam View Post
    I hear this man!!! If you look at it... if you knock out Favre or Warner are you going to tell me those playoffs teams are goign to be as effective as if they were in opposing offense? Common sense you'd want at the very least to make the other player hesitate or second guess things after getting hit hard a couple of times.
    And then I remember that we can't protect Bradford at all right now. If it comes down to a battle of cheap shots we will lose. Catastrophically.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Pang View Post
    As far as the convicted felon angle is concerned, I'm sure that's an issue for Payton and the Saints rather than Williams per se.
    Maybe not directly, but it's tangible evidence that shows "kill shots" meant to knock opponents out of the game were part of the equation, an equation Williams administered.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by PeoriaRam View Post
    I'm pretty sure if you're offering a financial reward for players getting injured, the latter is strongly implicit. If the reward is there, players will do what it takes to get it.
    Fair point but another issue and its one that has come up in Rugby is to what extent is it possible outside of the game to retrospectively punish players for actions deemed entirely legal on the field of play when the game was played. There's an issue here which I can't see a clear way past which is if he's just rewarding players for 'clean shots which clear cleats' which were found at the time by the refereeing staff to be entirely within the rules, then whilst we might find 'performance-related play' ethically questionable, is it outside of the rules?

    And I know others have brought this up but the other thing I find a bit puzzling is that, if players who participated in the scheme previously come across Williams on the opposing sideline and see how he operates, are they not going to tell their team-mates and then if someone does 'ride the cart' are they not going to let people know about it. Wouldn't they feel compelled to warn their fellow players?

    Now I don't know the answer to this but are there any NFL regulations that rule against rewards for play outside of contract?

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Pang View Post
    Now I don't know the answer to this but are there any NFL regulations that rule against rewards for play outside of contract?
    As it is a way to circumvent the salary cap it is outlawed by the CBA. The NFL may have been inclined to turn something of a blind eye in the past if the players were running the whole thing and thus redistributing their own funds, but management, coaches, and outside figures getting involved is another matter.

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

    I anticipate Williams being suspended, but it would be VERY poor of the league to suspend Williams, and not suspend Payton, and Mickey Loomis. Those two were his higher ups. All Payton/Loomis had to do was say "Gregg, stop this system or you are fired." Williams most certainly would have for fear of losing his job. Instead, they took it to another level. Payton got a friend who is now in jail to contribute to the pot, and the thing got worse. If Gregg Williams is suspended, and Payton/Loomis are not, it would be VERY hypocritical of the league, because I see them as being more at fault than Williams.

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

    The more I've read into this and the more I've thought about it and as painful as it is to say, I think Williams has to be GONE. This franchise has enough to deal with without the impending black eye/eyes that Williams is going to take over this. It's early enough to cut the loss now and move on. In short, WE DON'T NEED ANYMORE negativity in this organization. There are plenty of other opportunities for us to move on in a healthy environment without a black cloud hanging over us. I was very happy to have him hired as our DC, but knowing what we know now, we need to CUT AND RUN. I may be in the minority here, but let's make this new found fresh start be a true fresh start. I'm sorry GC, but BYE BYE.
    Steve

    What you see is what you get, but what you see depends on where you stand.

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

    Well ... 'wow'. This has certainly boiled over and if our Rams are not careful, it may even implode to a certain degree on our defense.


    But I'm just here right now to apologize for not taking this news, i.e., originally announced as a 'Developing Story' seriously.

    Truth be known, when this whole semi-scandal started, since I hadn't heard anything related from another official source, e.g., ESPN, NFLN, etc., I actually thought AV was placing a thread with a humoristic relief about Williams and the Bounty Bangers (thus my post #5, page 1). I just hadn't realized the potential consequences currently being brewed, including for the Rams.

    I'm following further development with keen interest for sure.

    Related article...

    Funded by bounties or not, NFL violence no secret

    Gwen Knapp, SFGate / San Friskies Chronicle Columnist
    Sunday, March 4, 2012

    All over the NFL, players are yawning, shrugging and rolling their eyes.

    The commissioner's office revealed Friday that the New Orleans Saints, under the direction of defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, ran a bounty program that paid cash rewards for injuring opponents. The league will have to hit both the Saints and Williams hard, just to make a point. But the worst fines, suspensions and draft-pick losses won't touch the culture of the game, and the players know it.

    They're observing the fallout from the news with amusement, shocked only by the naivete and hypocrisy of outraged outsiders. Violence, however it's encouraged, is not a secret ingredient in the NFL. This sausage factory holds nationally televised tours every fall weekend.

    When the Saints clobbered Brett Favre repeatedly in the NFC title game two years ago, the promise of a $1,500 to $10,000 underground bonus would only have reinforced much larger messages about aggression. Knocking out Favre, or scrambling his body enough to minimize his talent, meant a trip to the Super Bowl for the Saints, each of whom earned an extra $83,000 when the team took the Lombardi Trophy. Just getting to the big game and losing would have meant $43,000 a head.

    The Saints didn't deliver obviously dirty hits in that game, but they played as if they didn't care about penalties. They drew nine flags for 88 yards, and flirted with many more. They'd hit Favre a millisecond late, daring the refs to make the call, and most of the time, it didn't happen. Did they push those boundaries for a few extra thousand bucks, or because they believed that the officials couldn't call a penalty on every other play in a championship game?

    The ***** who complained about the Saints' incessant blitzing in last season's exhibition opener, a breach of protocol in a meaningless game, may feel vindicated now. They took some heat for objecting to the strategy, and the league's report suggests that the Saints encouraged thoroughly gratuitous violence. But if Williams believes in relentless intimidation, eliminating his cash incentives won't make much of a difference.

    The NFL cited only the three years that Williams worked in New Orleans, but some of his former players from Washington - including the Redskins' current director of player development, Phillip Daniels - have confirmed that bounties were paid there, too.

    "I think it is wrong the way they're trying to paint (Williams)," Daniels told the Washington Post. "He never told us to go out there and break a guy's neck or break a guy's leg. It was all in the context of good, hard football."

    Another former Redskin, defensive back Matt Bowen, stood up for Williams, while acknowledging the bounties, in a column for the Chicago Tribune.

    "Money came in for more than watching a guy leave the field," he wrote. "We earned extra for interceptions, sacks and forced fumbles. ... Money jumped in the playoffs. A bigger stage equaled more coin. ... That's the truth. I can't sugarcoat this. It was a system we all bought into. I ate it up."

    More players, who never worked with Williams, have stepped forward and said that their teams funded similar off-the-books bonuses for big plays. Sometimes older players provided the cash, or kangaroo-court fines covered the tab. In the Saints' case, Williams has been accused of throwing in some of his own money, which would constitute a violation of the salary cap. The bonuses would also break a rule about incentive payments.

    The NFL takes all of that seriously, but the investigation into the Saints was certainly spurred more by the league's concern for safety, which has been dramatically enhanced by former players heading to court to challenge what the league knew about head injuries and kept to itself.

    The public disclosure of the investigation seems admirable, but once Williams left the Saints for the Rams, the league had little choice. He had become the defensive coordinator under Jeff Fisher, who played for and coached under Buddy Ryan, the best-known proponent of bounty-hunting in football before Williams. Someone was bound to start talking to the media if the NFL didn't do it first.

    The punishment will have to be severe, but it won't make the league any safer. Ultimately, almost everyone in the NFL earns his keep by risking his own health and threatening that of others.


    Linebacker Ahmad Brooks just signed a lucrative new contract with the *****. He forced a fumble this season after his helmet had come off. He left the field, blood oozing from his nose and mouth.

    Somehow forgetting the NFL's new "safety first" posture, coach Jim Harbaugh raved the next day: "Loved it, loved it. Wish he could have come and wiped some (blood) off on my cheek."

    Williams never handed out a bounty worth more than that praise.
    Bold blue emphasis mine

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


    BTW, you remember when not too long ago [some] players, especially on defense, used to actually write on their hand-wipe towel an opponent's name or number as the 'target'? As in, "I've got you on my crosshairs. Today ... you're mine!"

    Please keep in mind, this is Off topic.


    Dirtiest Players in NFL History
    b/r - Bleacher Report
    By Frozen Tundra (Correspondent) on May 26, 2010

    Football is a violent sport. That's why players wear pads and helmets. But sometimes all that equipment still isn't enough to protect players from each other.

    Some guys just push the violence a little too far. They draw penalties and get branded by opposing players and coaches as "dirty." Throughout the history of the game, there were lots of players who would be fined, penalized, and ejected from the league. But back in the day, it was perfectly acceptable to head-slap an offensive lineman (Deacon Jones's patented move, later banned). In the early Super Bowl era, "dirty" by today's standard was the norm. There was no offensive PI. Contact after 5 yards? No problem, as long as the ball wasn't in the air. The game was more physical, more aggressive. But some players from that era stood above the rest with their violent, dangerous, and overly-aggressive play.

    Given that the earlier game was much more rough and refs were more willing to let the big hit go, its harder to discern between a cheap shot and a hard hit in that time, but there were several guys from back then who stood above the rest. As for current, or recently retired, players, there are enough guys who have rules named after them, or have a yearly nomination for League's Dirtiest Player. So without any further ado, my short list of prominent Dirty Players in NFL History.


    Conrad Dobler
    Quite possibly the dirtiest guy ever to play in the NFL. In the 70s, when it was acceptable to horse-collar players, Dobler took it to the next level. As an offensive lineman, when a defender put his hands up to swat a pass, he'd punch them in the stomach. Spitting on injured players, kicking Merlin Olsen in the head, even punching Mean Joe Greene. Dobler did whatever he had to, whatever he wanted to, to whoever he wanted to. Conrad Dobler was the dirtiest player EVER. [Dobler was also known for, or accused of, biting guys! (Note added by me here in ClanRam post)]

    Rodney Harrison
    Vicious hits, including a helmet-to-helmet on Jerry Rice, earned him suspensions galore and nearly a quarter million dollars worth of fines from the NFL. Frequently topped the NFL's Dirtiest Player poll throughout his 15 year career.

    Bill Romanowski
    The definition of dirty. This guy didn't just cheap-shot opposing players, even his teammates weren't safe. He broke Kerry Collins' jaw in a preseason game, spat in J.J. Stokes' face for taunting him, threw punches at more players than he could count. Oh, yeah.. and he beat up a backup tight end on HIS OWN TEAM so bad he had to retire. He tore the guy's helmet off and punched him in the eye, breaking his eye socket. HIS OWN TEAMMATE. And he threw a football at Bryan Cox and hit him in the junk. That's kinda funny, actually.

    Charles Martin
    Until Albert Haynesworth stomped Andre Gurode's unprotected head, Charles Martin had the longest suspension ever given out by the NFL. As a defensive end for the Packers, he wore a towel with Bears players' numbers on them: a hit list. His career was short, but he makes this list for picking up Jim McMahon and spiking him on the ground from behind, ending his season.

    Hines Ward
    Quite simply the epitome of the cheap shot. Hines Ward will take out any defender, as long as the guy can't see it coming. Frequent blindside blocks that have led to penalties, fines and injuries, and Hines Ward feels no remorse. His excuse is that defenders bring the heat when he goes over the middle. But Hines, the difference is that you know its coming. Drilling a guy through his earhole when the ball is on the other side of the field is a little different. Just like Rodney Harrison, a great player who just doesn't know when to tone it down a little, he's usually at or near the top of the Dirtiest Player poll.

    Jack Tatum
    Nicknamed "The Assassin." Paralyzed Darryl Stingley in a preseason game. Nearly beheaded Sammy White in SB XI, one of the biggest hits in Super Bowl history. Do I need to say more?

    Steve Wisniewski
    Steve Wisniewski was another dirty lineman. He made a name for himself by cut-blocking, crackback blocking, and eye-gouging whoever got in his way. Any defender's knees were fair game, and The Wiz wasn't afraid to go right through them.

    I'm sure there are plenty of others that didn't make my list. Feel free to throw your own choices into the discussion.
    Assuming that nothing would have come up last week from the NFL "finding out" about Gregg Williams in N.O., I kind of doubt that that bounty $ystem would have worked with the 2012 Rams. Perhaps thinking that DC Williams would have realized that he would not get away with it AGAIN.

    No doubt the NFL has changed and is continuing to do so in terms of player safety. Pro football has evolved a great deal from back in the day when leather helmets were used with no face mask ... what am I saying: when players used NO helmets at all! The mud, the blood; toothless grins, scared faces, crooked bones everywhere. We're talking about the 1920s!

    In any event, that players list above is far, way far, too short!

    Hmmm, I wonder just how long this bounty hunter thing has been going on in the NFL.


    PS: Staying with the 'Off Topic' yet related to NFL questionable hits, you might want to read the article, 'James Harrison: Confessions of an NFL Hitman' in Men's Journal(.com), July 13, 2011.
    Last edited by RealRam; -03-04-2012 at 08:46 AM. Reason: PS: Men's Journal

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Pang
    Fair point but another issue and its one that has come up in Rugby is to what extent is it possible outside of the game to retrospectively punish players for actions deemed entirely legal on the field of play when the game was played. There's an issue here which I can't see a clear way past which is if he's just rewarding players for 'clean shots which clear cleats' which were found at the time by the refereeing staff to be entirely within the rules, then whilst we might find 'performance-related play' ethically questionable, is it outside of the rules?

    And I know others have brought this up but the other thing I find a bit puzzling is that, if players who participated in the scheme previously come across Williams on the opposing sideline and see how he operates, are they not going to tell their team-mates and then if someone does 'ride the cart' are they not going to let people know about it. Wouldn't they feel compelled to warn their fellow players?

    Now I don't know the answer to this but are there any NFL regulations that rule against rewards for play outside of contract?
    From what I've read of this the answer appears to be yes; there is a regulation against coaches providing monetary incentives outside the contracts, and the league office made it clear to the Saints in 2010 that if this was going on, it had to stop.

    Quote Originally Posted by THOLTFAN81 View Post
    I anticipate Williams being suspended, but it would be VERY poor of the league to suspend Williams, and not suspend Payton, and Mickey Loomis. Those two were his higher ups. All Payton/Loomis had to do was say "Gregg, stop this system or you are fired." Williams most certainly would have for fear of losing his job. Instead, they took it to another level. Payton got a friend who is now in jail to contribute to the pot, and the thing got worse. If Gregg Williams is suspended, and Payton/Loomis are not, it would be VERY hypocritical of the league, because I see them as being more at fault than Williams.
    Quote Originally Posted by RealRam View Post
    The public disclosure of the investigation seems admirable, but once Williams left the Saints for the Rams, the league had little choice. He had become the defensive coordinator under Jeff Fisher, who played for and coached under Buddy Ryan, the best-known proponent of bounty-hunting in football before Williams. Someone was bound to start talking to the media if the NFL didn't do it first.
    It is troubling that the league has apparently been aware of this issue for some time now but didn't decide to pursue it until after Williams had left the Saints. It's even worse if Williams joining Fisher in St. Louis had anything at all to do with the timing.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by THOLTFAN81 View Post
    I anticipate Williams being suspended, but it would be VERY poor of the league to suspend Williams, and not suspend Payton, and Mickey Loomis. Those two were his higher ups. All Payton/Loomis had to do was say "Gregg, stop this system or you are fired." Williams most certainly would have for fear of losing his job. Instead, they took it to another level. Payton got a friend who is now in jail to contribute to the pot, and the thing got worse. If Gregg Williams is suspended, and Payton/Loomis are not, it would be VERY hypocritical of the league, because I see them as being more at fault than Williams.
    I wouldn't expect much for Payton. Favouritism at its finest!
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    Re: *DEVELOPING STORY* - NFL Finds Saints, Gregg Williams Used "Bounty" Program

    Williams apologized which is a good thing. Secondly, is there evidence of any player doing something dirty to meet these bounty(s)..?

    Williams is def in the wrong, but only the 'player" can carry out the action....also, Sean Payton didn't know about this ?

    This seems to be a mess, but I don't think we should immediately fire him -- I agree that this is a "Saints" thing...and if all this happened before the Rams hired him, he would be looking for a new job and probably would get one....just not as much money....


    Tough without details......but so far not "fire" worthy

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

    Quote Originally Posted by PeoriaRam View Post
    And then I remember that we can't protect Bradford at all right now. If it comes down to a battle of cheap shots we will lose. Catastrophically.
    Ummm your telling me that all the teams we played last year they don't have something like this? This is common place in the NFL and as you remember Bradford did take some cheap shots last year...Nothing new here

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