The overblown witch hunt continues to grow. Many have already chimed in on the situation concerning bounties in the NFL due to the story unfolding in New Orleans. In case you have not heard, the New Orleans Saints organization could potentially be facing significant penalties for participating in a performance based bounty scheme for purposefully injuring opponents on game days.
I have played double digit years in the National Football League. My Partner today on SiriusXM NFL radio, quarterback Rich Gannon, played 17 years. Never and I repeat NEVER, has taking out a player ever been discussed by a fellow teammate or coach in our years in the NFL, let alone for a player or coach to place funds into a kitty to accomplish this goal.
It is why this is new, unprecedented, and a hot topic. This is the first I have ever heard of coaches contributing money to a kitty to take a player out. Is playing physical, hard hitting, dominating football encouraged in the NFL? Absolutely, but it is preached to play legally within the rules of the game. Its done out of respect for the game, your opponents, sportsmanship, and having a moral compass.
Since the inception of football, when has being physical, hard hitting, and playing dominating football not been a part of the game plan? Its prevalent in every one. Why this got so distorted in New Orleans is beyond the pale, unacceptable, and will be rightly punished by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on March 25th.
I personally do not thinkBounty Gate was the case in Washington where Gregg Williams served as defensive coordinator, nor during his days as the Buffalo Bills head coach. One of the main whistle blowers in Buffalo has been Coy Wire, who played under Gregg and has openly stated there was a bounty system in place.
Coy said, My sense of normalcy was warped. When Coy joined me and Jack Arute on SiriusXMs NFL Rewind Sunday night, I asked Coy, Did Gregg Williams ever request him or any other player to take a player out? The answer was No. I had to ask Coy the question three times because he dodged it the first two occasions. Coy also said Gregg never paid any cash payments.
There is a big difference between a coach preaching good hard physical football and quite another requesting a player or better yet, putting a contract or hit on a player for cash. Many players have a different portrayal of Williams while he coached for the Washington Redskins. A former teammate of mine, Phillip Daniels, who played both in Chicago with me and spent time with Gregg in Washington stated, I think its wrong the way they are trying to paint Williams. He never told us to go out there and break a guys neck or break a guys leg. It was all in the context of good hard football.
For any player to misconstrue this, needs to check their own moral compass. Hard hitting is encouraged, but far different than taking someone out. For example, if a player hits someone legally during the course of a game and this physically takes a toll on that particular player, So be it! Its called football and is a strategy in the NFL. It is conditioning, toughness, stamina and why the game is four quarters and thus the clich play for 60 minutes derives.
It is a strategy because some teams are mentally and physically tougher than others. It is just part of the game and some teams flat out submit. Physically out hitting your opponent is present in every game. Was anyone screaming bloody murder when San Francisco 49ers safety Donte Whitner destroyed New Orleans Saints running back Pierre Thomas in the Divisional round of the Playoffs?
It is a very good example of legal hard hitting football that stunned the Saints in the first half of that particular ball game. Where was the outrage? As you may well know, the 49ers won that game. San Francisco was prepared to play a more physical style of football than the Saints, legally.
Players are looking to play hard on every play. That is why you are a PROFESSIONAL with no added incentives. Plus, every play in the NFL is already reviewed. If there is any head hunting going on, the league can flush it out, which is what they have done.
The Saints will be made the example by Commissioner Roger Goodell and most likely, this will not be dealt with again. Does any team, organization, or fan think theyre going to win if they have a roster full of half timers? Does anyone want a team full of buxom buddies or rather a bunch of tough sons-a-guns who pack a lunch and bring a flashlight to work within the rules of the game, legally, every single play?
Its called football! Football is a violent, tough sport and its not for everybody, especially if your moral compass is not in order. Any illegal action, outside funding, third party involvement, denials, insubordination, failed cover-ups and final admissions about any Bounties has no place in the NFL or any sport for that matter.
Next Up: Kangaroo Court -- The real story of Kitties, their inception and how they came about in the NFL. Then, the NFL is not a get mad league, it is a get even league Things are settled on the field, not by any bounties.