I promise the Combine Report will be back soon to finish out the defensive side of the ball, but this Gregg Williams issue is really blowing up and it needs to be discussed. News came out Sunday that Williams has been summoned to meet with the NFL regarding his role in “BountyGate”. Apparently, members of the Washington Redskins and Buffalo Bills, both former employers of Williams, have also come out to say that they had a bounty system in place while Williams is there as well. The big question right off the bat is what’s going to happen to Williams? He’s going to face some form of punishment, I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. He will get fined, probably heavily, and there seems to be a decent chance that he will have to serve some kind of suspension. The good news for the Rams is that they should be able to get by just fine if Williams does have to miss time. Jeff Fisher is an experienced defensive coach, as is assistant Dave McGinnis, so the organization will be able to make it through.
My position on the whole issue still hasn’t changed, and I think it was reinforced after reading some quotes from former players who were a part of this culture. Here is my favorite quote, from former Ram and Redskin Matt Bowen: “You do what he (Williams) wants: play tough, push the envelope and carry a swagger that every opponent sees on tape. When you lined up against us, you knew we were coming after you. It was our gig, our plan, our way to motivate, to extra-motivate.”
That’s exactly what I said last night as far as the Rams developing a swagger on defense that other teams can see. Former Redskin player Phillip Daniels had this to say about Williams: “I think it is wrong the way they’re trying to paint (Williams),” Daniels told the Post. “He never told us to go out there and break a guy’s neck or break a guy’s leg. It was all in the context of good, hard football.”
It seems to me that Daniels is right on when he talks about the way Williams is being portrayed here. It’s funny that most of the actual players in the NFL, whether they are guys who played in the system or guys who played against it, don’t seem to have a problem with it. This reward system happens everywhere, but unfortunately it looks like Williams is going to be the face of this scandal moving forward.
Let me say one other thing really quickly before I stop. Those people who are saying this is worse than the Spygate scandal are wrong. Physicality is part of the game of football, plain and simple. As a player on defense, your goal is to hit the other team as hard as possible every time they touch the ball. Should you intentionally try to take a guy out of the game? Obviously not. Should you endanger his healthy and livelihood purposely? No, you shouldn’t. Should you hit a guy hard when he has the ball to make him think twice about coming at you again? Yes. I’m not saying this bounty thing is ok, but the blatant cheating by the Patriots before the Super Bowl, the biggest single game in professional sports, to get a competitive advantage is far worse. The Pats changed the course of history by cheating the Rams. They launched a dynasty that was meant for St. Louis, and they did it by knowingly breaking the rules not only of the NFL, but rules that are common-sense in every aspect of life. Williams and the Saints were wrong, but Belichick and the Patriots were cheaters. I’d rather be wrong than a cheat any day of the week.
Topics: Bill Belichick, Bounty, Buffalo Bills, Dave McGinnis, Gregg Williams, Jeff Fisher, Matt Bowen, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, NFL, Phillip Daniels, Scandal, Spygate, St. Louis Rams, Super Bowl, Washington Redskins