Was The Speech That New Orleans Saints Coach Gregg Williams Gave Before A Playoff Game Last Season Really That Bad?
Gregg Williams, the former defensive coordinator for the New Orleans who was recently suspended by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for his role in the Saints’ bounty program, is Public Enemy No. 1 in the NFL’s eyes right now. Despite the fact that he’s currently suspended indefinitely by the league—coupled with the fact that he’s no longer with the Saints anymore—Williams is facing tons of backlash because an audio clip of him giving the Saints defense a speech one day before the team played the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL Playoffs earlier this year just leaked and it is…explosive. To say the least.
On the tape, Williams can be heard instructing his players to injure players on the Niners. Of San Fran running back Frank Gore, Williams says, “We’ve got to do everything in the world to make sure we kill Frank Gore’s head. We want him to run sideways. We want his head sideways.”
Williams also takes aim at Niners wide receiver Kyle Williams. “We need to find out in the first two series of the game, that little wide receiver, No. 10, about his concussion,” he says. “We need to f—— put a lick on him right now. He needs to decide. He needs to f—— decide.”
And Niners quarterback Alex Smith gets it the worst. “Every single one of you, before you get off the pile, affect the head,” he says. “Early, affect the head. Continue, touch, and hit the head.”
Williams also encourages Saints players to “take out that outside ACL” of Niners wide receiver Michael Crabtree and “put [Niners tight end] Vernon Davis‘ ankles over the pile.” It’s truly sickening stuff if you’ve never heard an NFL coach talk to his team in his element, which most of us—myself included—have never done. It’s barbaric, over-the-top, and even a little scary to hear some of the stuff Williams says. But, is it really that bad? Or, rather, is it that bad compared to the stuff that gets said in other team meetings across the league?
Unfortunately, probably not. Although we’d all like to think that NFL coaches are concerned about the health of opposing players, the truth is that they’re not. I’m not saying they wish for bad things to happen to their opponents. But, they’re also not all that broken up about it. The difference here, of course, is that Williams got caught red-handed telling his players to injure guys on the other team. And that is bad. Had this tape never come out, all of this probably would have blown over. Eventually. But, now? Well, there’s a good chance Williams may never work in the NFL again. It’s that serious. And, it’s turned Williams into Public Enemy No. 1 in the NFL’s eyes. Regardless of whether what he said was really that bad.