By now, everyone is well-aware of “bounty-gate,” the scandal involving New Orleans Saints coaches instructing their defensive players to hit opposing players hard enough to knock them out of the game.
But you may not have known that key 49ers offensive players were targets of Gregg Williams’ orders during this last season’s NFL playoffs.
A documentary filmmaker, Sean Pamphilon, was granted access to the Saints last season for a documentary about a former Saints player. Pamphilon recorded audio of Williams’ speech to his defensive players on the eve of the 49ers-Saints divisional playoff game.
This morning, Pamphilon released the audio, and it’s vicious.
Williams ordered his players to go after Frank Gore’s head:
“We’ve got to do everything in the world to make sure we kill Frank Gore’s head.”
Williams also told his players to take out Alex Smith:
“We hit fucking Smith right there,” said Williams. Pamphilon said Williams pointed to his chin. Williams went on to say “Go lay that motherfucker out.”
Pamphilon indicated that after this statement about Smith, Williams rubbed his fingers together “indicating cash payment” and said “Remember me, I’ve got the first one, I’ve got the first one,” presumably referring to the first payment to whoever hits Smith in the chin.
Williams wanted his players to send a message at the end of every play:
“Every single on of you, before get off the pile, affect the head. Early, affect the head. Continue, touch and hit the head.”
But the worst parts involved Williams directing his players to inflict specific injuries on wide receivers Michael Crabtree and Kyle Williams.
With Kyle Williams suffering from concussion symptoms, Saints players were told to find out how badly he was injured:
“We need to find out in the first two series of the game, the little wide receiver, number 10, about his concussion. We need to fucking put a lick on him right now.”
Of Crabtree, he instructed his players to target his knee:
“We need to decide wether Crabtree wants to be a fake ass primadonna, or he wants to be a tough guy. We need to find out,” said Williams. “He becomes human when we fucking take out that outside ACL.”
The audio clip concludes with Greg Williams showing no remorse:
“Another thing we always say, in this room is, never apologize for the way we compete. If you’re in this room, you understand that.”
Williams has owned up to everything that has been uncovered. He says he has no plans to appeal his indefinite suspension. Even before hearing this audio clip, I felt the NFL should never allow Williams to coach in the NFL again.
Williams and the Saints were warned to stop, and didn’t.
But the truly sad part for Greg Williams? His defense lost to Gore, Smith, Crabtree and Williams.