Shortly after the news broke that longtime NFL assistant Gregg Williams orchestrated a system of bounties during his time as defensive coordinator of the Saints, a report surfaced that Williams did the same thing as defensive coordinator of the Redskins. But Williams’s boss in Washington, Joe Gibbs, says that comes as news to him.
“Just let me say this: I’m not aware of anything like this when I was coaching there,” Gibbs told the Washington Post. “I would never ask a player to hurt another player. Never.”
That may sound tough to swallow — could the head coach really be that out of touch about what’s going on in his locker room? — but Gibbs insists it’s the truth.
“I wouldn’t ever tell a player to hurt somebody,” Gibbs said. “They may say, ‘Well, Joe would know, because everybody else knew.’ But I didn’t know. I’m shocked by this.”
Bolstering Gibbs’ claim of ignorance is the fact that he was always very hands-off with his defense. Gibbs was an offensive coach who delegated everything on the defensive side of the ball to his assistants. As just one example, when Williams decided to pay tribute to Sean Taylor by putting only 10 players on the field for the Redskins’ first defensive play after Taylor’s death, Gibbs knew nothing about it.
And Gibbs says he knew nothing about bounties, either.