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Saints, Gleason expected Sean Pamphilon to keep recordings private

Steve Gleason

Former New Orleans Saints football player Steve Gleason and his wife Michel walk onto the field before the first half of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)


In the hours since documentary filmmaker Sean Pamphilon released audio of former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams urging his players to injure players on the 49ers, one question has been asked over and over: What on earth was Williams thinking making those statements while a documentary filmmaker was recording it?

The answer is that Williams was thinking Pamphilon was with the Saints to make a private recording for former Saint Steve Gleason and his family. The men in the Saints’ locker room had no idea Pamphilon was ever going to make what he saw and heard public.

A source told PFT’s Mike Florio that Gleason, who has been diagnosed with ALS, had joined up with Pamphilon to make private recordings that could some day be given to Gleason’s son, so that he could get to know his dad after he was no longer alive. Gleason plans to issue a statement saying that Pamphilon was not authorized to publicize what he recorded.

Pamphilon was invited to San Francisco because Gleason was there to visit a doctor in the Bay Area, and when Gleason was included in Saints meetings before the game against the 49ers, Pamphilon was allowed in as well. But the Saints believed -- wrongly, it would turn out -- that Pamphilon was going to share what he recorded only with the Gleason family, not with the general public.

Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins went on Twitter to bash Pamphilon for making the recording public.

“Sean pamphilon is a coward and should be ashamed for taking advantage of Steve Gleason! How much did u get paid for that audio?” Jenkins wrote.

Williams expected what he said to remain within the confines of the team’s defensive meeting room. He was wrong, and he may pay for it by never being allowed to coach in the NFL again.