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Roman Harper: Gregg Williams lit a fire, and we won’t let it burn out


Before he was known as the leader of the Saints’ bounty program, Gregg Williams was known as one of the most intense and passionate coaches in the NFL. And while Williams is out of the NFL and may never return, the players who remain on the Saints say they’re not going to forget the intensity and passion that he brought to their defense.

Saints safety Roman Harper told the New Orleans Times-Picayune that even though Williams is gone and Steve Spagnuolo is the new defensive coordinator, the Saints’ players are still planning to play with the fire that Williams instilled in them.

I think we’ve still got that same fire burning up under us. You know, Gregg lit a fire that a lot of us aren’t going to let burn out. A sense of intensity,” Harper said. “And now we understand what it takes to win. Before I don’t think we understood it, and we didn’t have that complete feeling. But now we’ve been to the top of the mountain. We know what it takes to get there. And that’s what we’re trying to do now. It’s either Super Bowl or bust. And we won’t take anything less this year, no matter what our circumstances are.”

Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins said the NFL’s punishments for the Williams-run bounty program have given the Saints an us-against-the-world mentality this season.

“We already play with a chip on our shoulder, and I think everybody who comes into our defense carries that weight,” Jenkins said. “And you know, we’ve got more than a chip on our shoulders this year.”

Which means the presence of Williams is still being felt in New Orleans, even though it’s not his defense anymore.