The Gregg Williams “Bounty Program” story is spreading like wildfire. It started with the New Orleans Saints and is also being linked to earlier positions held by Williams in both Washington and Buffalo.
Recently outed, Williams apologized by saying, “It was a terrible mistake, and we knew it was wrong while we were doing it”.
Clearly, Williams is at the forefront of this scandal. By calling this act a “mistake”, yet allegedly continuing to move forward with it while working for three different franchises, the strength of his actual apology is severely diluted. Still, Williams isn’t the only one that should have stopped this terrible deed. It has tarnished an already violent, yet entertaining and popular game.
Saints GM Mickey Loomis and head coach Sean Payton come to mind as individuals that could have prevented the bounty project. Players could have, too. And not just players with the Saints, but as reports are stating, individuals who played with the Redskins and Bills.
This isn’t a new situation where the NFL should seek to fork out more stringent rules on player safety. It’s an act that should seek out means in which the league can protect its moral code.
Rivalries will always generate hatred and the aggressiveness of the game will always result in big hits and injuries. But paying rewards to purposely take a player out? It’s one of the most classless acts imaginable. It’s one that should surpass that of New England’s “Spygate” scandal.
Gregg Williams – defensive coordinator of the St. Louis Rams – should instead be banned from the NFL for life. Apology or not, if all reports are true, then Williams internally had his own personal second and third chances when he moved on from the Bills and the Redskins.
But again, it’s important to point out that the Saints are the only team that has concrete allegations at the current time.
Left in the wake of this still-developing scandal is the story of the New Orleans Saints. We must not forget that the Saints rejuvenated the energy of the city of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Many argued that the Saints replaced the Cowboys as “America’s Team” following their Super Bowl run.
Now, football fans feel dirty, cheering and supporting a team that purposely set out to injure other players.
If an injury is bad enough, there’s a legitimate argument that a criminal act has been committed.
After all, how is it any different than choosing to hire a hitman?
The world we live in offers numerous second chances, to even the dirtiest of individuals. But if the NFL and Roger Goodell were smart, they would choose to remove Gregg Williams from the game entirely. Then, add new rules. Invoke more strict punishment. If any individual or team supports “bounty rules” again – lay the hammer down.
Let this be advice to Jeff Fisher and the St. Louis front office: The second pick discussion in the NFL draft can wait. The Gregg Williams discussion should begin.
In fact, should we instead be wondering if Fisher is already familiar with Williams’ ways, considering that he was the head coach in Tennessee when Williams was there from 1997-2000? That’s a point that surprisingly, critics have failed to question. It’s not an accusation by any means. Certainly, other head coaches such as Joe Gibbs stated they had no idea. It’s possible that Fisher also had no idea.
After Tennessee, Williams’ three following positions (Buffalo, Washington and New Orleans) have all painted the headlines with reports of possible bounty systems being in place.
Either way, St. Louis and Jeff Fisher – being guilty by association – should have a proverbial bounty on its head – and a possible hit on its reputation coming.
That is, if Gregg Williams sticks around, and gets a second chance in the NFL.