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Audio of Gregg Williams Bounty Speech Leaks

by Photo of Ross Bernhardt

During a pre-speech, Williams ordered his players to “Kill the head” repeatedly against the 49ers.

Audio of Gregg Williams Bounty Speech Leaks

In this article…

As if the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal wasn't ugly enough already, audio was released today of Saints coach Gregg Williams during a speech the day before their playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers.  Yahoo!'s Mike Silver broke the story and detailed how Williams instructed the Saints defenders to try and injure the 49ers players for monetary rewards.

The night before Gregg Williams’ final game as the New Orleans Saints’ defensive coordinator, the since-suspended coach gave a fiery speech to the team’s defensive players during which he made specific references to inflicting physical punishment upon several San Francisco 49ers in a postseason game the next day.

In the speech at the team’s hotel near the San Francisco Airport, Williams – according to documentary filmmaker Sean Pamphilon – at one point made a hand signal suggesting he would personally pay for a ferocious shot on 49ers quarterback Alex Smith. [...]

Said Pamphilon: “At one point Williams says, ‘We hit [expletive] Smith right there’ – then he points under his chin [and continues] – ‘remember me.’ Then he rubs his thumb against his index and middle fingers – the cash sign – and says, ‘I got the first one. I got the first one. Go get it. Go lay that [expletive] out.’ [...]

Early in the 12-minute speech, Williams told his players, “Kill the head, the body will die” – one of the coach’s signature phrases, according to numerous current and former Saints defenders. In this case, Williams designated 49ers halfback Frank Gore as “the head” and then ratcheted up the rhetoric.

“We’ve got to do everything in the world to make sure we kill Frank Gore’s head,” Williams told the players. “We want him running sideways. We want his head sideways.”

That's pretty ugly and damning stuff against Williams.  I'm sure this kind of rhetoric is used all the time in speeches, and early on in the audio I wasn't particularly angered.  But when Williams goes on to specifically say we're going to try and turn ankles over, hit the head as much as possible, knock out the ACL, I had had enough.  

I'm not naive enough to think that this stuff doesn't go on throughout the league.  You even heard several Giants players say after their win over the 49ers that they knew San Francisco return man Kyle Williams had suffered a concussion and were going to make sure they hit him extra hard. It's going to be impossible to weed stuff like that out of the entire league.  But when it's coming from the coaches, it just makes it sound much more sinister for some reason.  

Any way you shake it, that kind of stuff doesn't belong in the game.  Williams has already been punished severely by commissioner Roger Goodell, but this latest bit of news certainly can't help his future in the league.

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