On the same day the NFL heard the Saints' appeals in their hits-for-cash scandal, a recording of Gregg Williams emerged that purports to...
NEW ORLEANS — On the same day the NFL heard the Saints’ appeals in their hits-for-cash scandal, a recording of Gregg Williams emerged that purports to capture the disgraced defensive coordinator telling players to “put a lick” on 49ers receiver Kyle Williams to see if he had lingering effects from a concussion.
Filmmaker Sean Pamphilon, who had access to Saints meetings for a documentary on football, posted the audio on his web site.
Pamphilon initially shared the content with Yahoo Sports, telling the website that while he was not bothered by much of Williams’ profanity-laced speech, he was troubled by comments about the previously concussed player.
“I thought, ‘Did he just say that?’ ” Pamphilon said in an article posted Thursday. “That was the red flag for me.”
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Williams, who is suspended indefinitely for his admitted role overseeing a bounty system that offered Saints defenders payment for painful hits, did not respond to messages left for comment.
Williams left New Orleans after last season and was hired as defensive coordinator by the St. Louis Rams.
Pamphilon made the recording of Williams’ speech during a meeting before the Saints lost to San Francisco in a divisional playoff last January, the final game Williams coached.
When the New York Giants defeated the 49ers a week later in the NFC title game, several Giants players made similar comments about wanting to get hits on Kyle Williams, who fumbled twice in the game, because they knew he had previous concussions.
In Pamphilon’s recording, Williams also tells his players to set their sights on running back Frank Gore, quarterback Alex Smith and receiver Michael Crabtree.
“We need to decide on how many times we can beat Frank Gore’s head,” he says.
Williams also implores his charges to “lay out” Smith and later adds, “We need to decide whether Crabtree wants to be a (expletive) prima donna or he wants to be a tough guy. He becomes human when we … take out that outside ACL.”
Pamphilon also described Williams pointing to his chin when he said, “We hit (expletive) Smith right there.”
Pamphilon said Williams then rubbed his fingers together as one might do when doling out cash, saying, “I got the first one,” which Pamphilon understood to mean the defensive coordinator had placed a cash bounty on Smith.
The NFL has said Williams’ bounty system offered off-the-books cash payments of $1,000 or more for hits that either knocked targeted opponents out of games or left them needing help off the field. The Saints have been punished heavily for allowing such a program to continue for three seasons, from 2009 when they won the Super Bowl until 2011.
• Former Dallas Cowboys special-teams coach Joe Avezzano, whose wild sideline antics made him a fan favorite when the Cowboys won three Super Bowls in the 1990s, died Thursday in Milan, Italy, of a heart attack. He was 68. Before his stint in the NFL, Avezzano was head coach at Oregon State from 1980 to 1984.
• Baltimore cornerback Lardarius Webb agreed to terms on a five-year extension that included a $10 million signing bonus.
• The Indianapolis Colts signed free-agent defensive tackle Brandon McKinney.
• Arizona reached agreement on a one-year contract for free safety James Sanders.
• The Chicago Bears agreed to terms with free-agent cornerbacks Kelvin Hayden and Jonathan Wilhite on one-year contracts.
• Safety Tyrell Johnson has signed a contract with Miami.
• The New England Patriots signed free-agent linebacker Bobby Carpenter.
• Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Jerome Simpson was sentenced in Covington, Ky., to 15 days in jail and three years’ probation on a drug-related charge.