Do you recall my post when the Saints beat the 49ers in the preseason? Well, it didn’t happen so easily in the playoffs. In an audio recording revealed earlier Thursday, Gregg Williams was heard talking to Saints defenders about several 49ers on the eve of their NFL playoff game last season.
Whatever defense that Sean Payton, Mickey Loomis and Joe Vitt went to New York with yesterday for their appeal of NFL discipline flowing from the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal might have been blown to shreds. Now the world can hear Gregg Williams’ sinister plans.
With the audio released by documentary filmmaker Sean Pamphilon, there is no disputing the intent that Williams conveyed during a fiery pre-game speech to his defense on the eve of the Saints’ playoff game in San Francisco nearly three months ago. Listen to the video…
That Williams talked of “killing the head” in order for the body to die, a favorite expression of the coach, sets a tone but is hardly enough to confirm the intent of the alleged bounty scheme. It’s tough talk, motivational stuff that is hardly exclusive to Williams. No doubt, the NFL coaching ranks is filled with tough talkers.
Yet Williams clearly crosses the line when he implores his players to blow out Michael Crabtree’s ACL, repeatedly “touch the head” of 49ers players amid all the hyper-sensitivity in the NFL about head injuries, and to find out how fragile 49ers receiver/returner Kyle Williams was after battling concussions in the previous weeks.
In the 12-minute recording that Pamphilon secured while working on a documentary, The United States of Football, Williams is heard urging his players to clip tight end Vernon Davis’ ankles around the pile. He talks of laying (expletives) out. While the coach utters another favorite phrase about a “remember me” shot on quarterback Alex Smith, Pamphilon says that Williams rubs his fingers together as a signal for cash and implies payment. “The first one’s on me,” Williams says.
If you believed the NFL’s case against the Saints was one of selective enforcement or lacked hard evidence to support the charges and impending discipline, think again.