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Romanowski thinks Saints’ bounty program is being overblown

Bill Romanowski AP

Everyone seems to have a strong opinion on the Saints’ bounty program under former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Rather predictably, former NFL linebacker Bill Romanowski’s opinion is that it’s being blown out of proportion by the media.

“I want to press to calm down a little bit and realize and take a look at the sport of football, and realize that it’s a violent sport,” Romanowski told 95.7 The Game in San Francisco. “You’re paid, on defense, to knock the living daylights out of people. The harder you hit people, the more you are paid. The more you are respected, the more you are liked, the more you are cheered. It’s a reality.”

Romanowski is onto something. The NFL inherently promotes violence. Big hitters get paid big bucks. But the difference for the Saints is that they were paying players to physically injure other players. And Romanowski stated in his 95.7 The Game interview that he’s not a proponent of that.

“I wanted to hit that guy hard enough to where he saw stars maybe, but never to where he could never play again [or] he would have a broken neck, a broken bone, anything that would hurt him in any way permanently. I never wanted to do that.”

Per the NFL’s investigation, however, the Saints did want to cause significant injuries — to hit opponents so hard that they had to be removed from the game and carted off the field.

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73 Responses to “Romanowski thinks Saints’ bounty program is being overblown”
  1. jbl429 says: Mar 6, 2012 2:48 PM

    BS. Romanowski already admitted to intentionally breaking Dave Meggett’s finger in a pileup. And he’s also downplaying concussions as a legitimate injury, saying he wouldn’t want to end someone’s career, even though many NFL careers have ended because of excessive concussions. I don’t know why people continue to listen to this moron.

  2. micbg77 says: Mar 6, 2012 2:49 PM

    He wanted to hit people “where they saw stars maybe.” Um, isn’t that what a concussion is??

  3. nikkodawg says: Mar 6, 2012 2:50 PM

    “…anything that would hurt him in any way permanently. I never wanted to do that”

    Didn’t he permanently mess up some dudes eyesight by breaking his eye socket with his fist?

  4. larondontlikeugly says: Mar 6, 2012 2:51 PM

    The man responsible for sending his own teammate into earlier retirement with a sucker punch never wanted to injury others permanently? This has to be the estrogen talking…

  5. badmude says: Mar 6, 2012 2:53 PM

    Correction: The players weren’t paid TO injure other players, they got a bonus IF the player was injured. I know it’s splitting hairs, but so is this whole issue. If the hits were illegal, flags should’ve been thrown and if they weren’t, The hits were within the rules or it’s the leagues fault for having rules that allowed these hits or Refs were negligent in doing their jobs.

  6. feelzgood says: Mar 6, 2012 2:53 PM

    Maybe it’s just me but I don’t believe anything this man says. There is no doubt in my mind he commended the bounty program

  7. xxwhodatxx says: Mar 6, 2012 2:54 PM

    Its about time someone said it.

  8. pgui88 says: Mar 6, 2012 2:54 PM

    He does have a point though. I have yet to hear the media say exactly how many players the Saints defense made “carted off of the field”. In all honesty the media today live and breath on scandals and soap opera reality. The court of public opinion is swayed as such.

  9. surefooted1 says: Mar 6, 2012 2:55 PM

    This from a guy who probably would have paid for bounties on his own teammates…

  10. duanethomas says: Mar 6, 2012 2:57 PM

    Of course he does…this from a admitted roid user, spit in an opponents face and last but not least broke a teammates face and ended his career. Pure trash and scumbag.

  11. dfinpds says: Mar 6, 2012 2:57 PM

    Wow….this is what the NFL needs……a guy who spits at his opponents giving his opinion……..

  12. wtfpft says: Mar 6, 2012 2:58 PM

    He’s right.

  13. kylehealy says: Mar 6, 2012 2:59 PM

    Who care what Bill Romanowski has to say? He was garbage as a player and an even bigger piece of trash as a person. Whether it be trying to intentional break opposing players fingers in pile ups, spitting in JJ Stokes face, or forcing your own teammate to retire because you ripped off his helmet during practice and punched him in the face, crushing his eye socket….the guy is a POS. Ashamed he was ever a 49er. Bill Romanowski is the definition of classlessness.

  14. Kyle Orton's Hangover says: Mar 6, 2012 2:59 PM

    Never wanted to end anyones career? Why don’t you ask his teammate on the raiders. The one who Romo knocked his eye socket out during practice and ended his career.

  15. georgebrett says: Mar 6, 2012 3:00 PM

    Just curious, what is hitting someone TOO hard? If you give everything you have to hit someone isn’t that what you are supposed to do? Next thing you know Goodell will have impact meters on the players saying how much impact is being done on each hit. If it’s to much there will be fines and penalties.

  16. daysend564 says: Mar 6, 2012 3:00 PM

    He’s also against spitting in people’s faces.

  17. rickastleydancemoves says: Mar 6, 2012 3:02 PM

    He thinks spitting in a man’s face in overblown as well.

  18. dadawg77 says: Mar 6, 2012 3:02 PM

    Not sure what it means for the overall game but hitting someone as hard as you can so they see stars is trying to permanently injure someone. Once players really realize this how does the game change and doea change the light we see bountygate in?

  19. humbleminded85 says: Mar 6, 2012 3:05 PM

    …5 minutes later and he forgot about the whole conversation. Too soon?

  20. wetpaperbag3 says: Mar 6, 2012 3:06 PM

    This coming from the guy who spat in the face of a wide receiver, twisted and nearly broke the arm of Shannon Sharpe, and broke the orbital bone of a fellow teammate when he snatched the helmet off the guy and punched him in the eye?

  21. mmsierra says: Mar 6, 2012 3:07 PM

    Romo’s the guy that spat in JJ Stokes face during a game

    Real Classy guy !!!

  22. hawkforlife says: Mar 6, 2012 3:07 PM

    Meanwhile spit in their face as they get up Romanowski. Oh and roid up because hey, you want to be respected as a hard hitter.

  23. nesfan1 says: Mar 6, 2012 3:08 PM

    The NFL just wants to protect it’s image. The Saints did not deliver cheap shots trying to injure players. We never lead the league in personal files and I’ve only ever heard of one player being dirty – Roman Harper. The only game where we really walked the line was the Vikings game in 09. And even then, the officials correctly whistled the few late hits that occurred. Maybe they missed 1. Besides that game, the Saints did exactly what Romanowski is describing – if you “rang someone’s bell” or hit them hard enough to knock them out the game, you won money from the pool. It was designed to encourage physicality. Gregg Williams was encouraging players to do what every player is taught to do. If money never exchanged hands, we never would have heard of this.

  24. lombardihero says: Mar 6, 2012 3:10 PM

    LOL:)))))))))))) Bill Romonowski the biggest dirt sack to play football thinks it’s overblown wow imagine that:)

    Go lay by your dish Billy.

  25. h3min1230 says: Mar 6, 2012 3:11 PM

    Kind of hard to knock the daylight out of someone and not break their bone or potentially end their career…

  26. tommyribs says: Mar 6, 2012 3:14 PM

    “You’re paid, on defense, to knock the living daylights out of people. ”

    Is a lot different than intentionally targeting a knee or Ankle to take someone out of the game.

    A great hit is a great hit. It is part of the game. You play the game, you understand you are going to get nailed.

    But you should not have a target on you where people are trying to injure you to a point where you have to come out of the game.

    If that runs rampant, then we won’t have any good players actually playing.

    So this is a huge deal.

  27. goldrush36 says: Mar 6, 2012 3:19 PM

    Hmmm one the dirtiest players in the history of the league thinks its too harsh. Wow what a shocker

  28. domeinate says: Mar 6, 2012 3:21 PM

    Uh, listen to the radio broacasts before the SF game with Saints and you will hear him say that it should be a “stretcher game.” But don’t think you will post this like you didn’t post my other comments.

  29. goawayeverybody says: Mar 6, 2012 3:21 PM

    The reality of the situation is this:

    YES it’s horrible to have a bonus system for injuries, but the REALITY is that the Saints have been one of the least penalized teams in the NFL for a while now and they very rarely get flagged for personal fouls. Also, particularly during the 2011 season, they played a pretty clean brand of football on defense. You only saw a couple of bad fouls this past season and those were from Roman Harper.

  30. goblue714 says: Mar 6, 2012 3:21 PM

    Bounties aren’t good for football, but to say the saints superbowl win is tainted is an overreach.

  31. male101 says: Mar 6, 2012 3:21 PM

    Romanowski was considered one of the dirtiest players in football in his day of course he going to take this position. Defensive players have always been jealous of the money offensive players make.

  32. eaglesw00t says: Mar 6, 2012 3:22 PM

    lol

    I love Romo…I am very glad he was an Eagle at one point.

    He was great on Tosh.0 too :p

  33. goawayeverybody says: Mar 6, 2012 3:23 PM

    And by the way, both Mike Golic and Darren Woodson have stated that both their teams had bonuses for big hits too! It’s the exact same thing!!!

  34. farmmbig says: Mar 6, 2012 3:24 PM

    For all these cement heads (like Romanowski) that downplay the significance of bounties.. It makes me wonder why in the hell these guys even call for them in ANY fashion?

    Is it really an extra motivator for these guys to play their game?

    On top of that– why hasn’t the NFL Players Union put out a recommendation for these guys to shut-up about “bounties”– Especially when retired players are appearing to seek more assistance from the NFL for health issues..

    Reminds me of the story I heard of a 17 year-old that killed both of his parents and asked the Court for leniency because he’s an orphan.

  35. rdrs68 says: Mar 6, 2012 3:26 PM

    Romo also thinks that banning supplements, roids, and other banned substances is overblown.

  36. melikefootball says: Mar 6, 2012 3:33 PM

    I wonder what James harrison thinks of the quotes of hitting to knock the daylights out of the other player. He was even suspended for this. Time for Williams to be taking a long vacation by the NFL, when they look at this.

  37. fcs34 says: Mar 6, 2012 3:38 PM

    Wow I can’t believe this guy hasn’t Lyle Alzado’d yet.

  38. tropboi11 says: Mar 6, 2012 3:38 PM

    Bill Romo didn’t need extra money to hurt players, thats what he was getting paid to do in the first place and he did his job well but he played a different game of football, nowadays its gone soft even thou players are much more athletic

  39. yzguy431 says: Mar 6, 2012 3:40 PM

    i am still not sure how a legal hit on sunday costs a guy thousands on monday. is it baseball season yet?

  40. giantrealist says: Mar 6, 2012 3:43 PM

    First off…Dopin Roman’s opinions count for squat. The guy is 95% performance enhancing chemicals.

    Second off…how does a tackler know if his hard hit will or will not result in an injury to the recipient? Intent to injure should be determined by WHERE and HOW someone takes down a player. If you hit him in the head or below the knees on purpose even when you can get a clean wrap up, to me that is intent to injure.

  41. kungfubillysims says: Mar 6, 2012 3:45 PM

    You really gotta love the “other teams did it too” defense. As if this somehow makes it right.
    You Saints fans can make every lame excuse in the world for your team but you can never change the facts of the situation. Your team was attempting to hurt opposing players and that is absolutely disgusting.
    When the punishments are handed down I’m going to guess that the commissioner doesn’t agree with your totally biased opinions that this was no big deal.
    Can you imagine the uproar if this were the Lions we were talking about?

  42. therealsmiley says: Mar 6, 2012 3:46 PM

    He’s right…stop whining! This is being waaaaay overblown. Hail!

  43. cobrala2 says: Mar 6, 2012 3:47 PM

    pgui88…
    I don’t have that stat, but Sports Talk on NBC Sports said the Saints’ 2009 Super Bowl winning season had twice the unnecessary roughness penalties than the average for that season. …some level of empirical evidence at least.

  44. tdk24 says: Mar 6, 2012 3:55 PM

    What happens at the bottom of a scrum is way worse than a bounty.

  45. lombardihero says: Mar 6, 2012 3:55 PM

    steroids the dude use to do so many steroids it aint even funny.

    He spit in JJ stokes face and that is the most disgusting thing a player can do…

    He bragged about breaking Kerry Collins jaw.

    He Threw a football at Brian Cox Groin.

    Roid rage most of his career and the funny thing is when he’s 65 and can not even remember his name I’m pretty sure his family will sue on his behalf because the NFL never told them who dangerous football is.

  46. keakuamai says: Mar 6, 2012 3:58 PM

    Yeah, like I’m gonna listen to some guy who was a dirty spit in your face player?, I don’t think so.

  47. thcnote says: Mar 6, 2012 3:59 PM

    Romo didnt need money for injuring players just a tacklebox full of steroids.

  48. gslumbers says: Mar 6, 2012 4:01 PM

    This is like Mike Tyson saying Holyfield had it coming. Why give Romanowski any kind of press coverage. PFT should keep it real and get opinions of people that matter. I wonder what Conrad Dobler thinks of all this.

  49. Picked_Off says: Mar 6, 2012 4:02 PM

    Seems that most defensive players are saying this isn’t a big deal, but players on offense are saying it’s a very big deal.

    Wonder if defensive players would be more against it if the story had been “coaches give out bounty money to take out defensive players’ knees.” I bet that would change up the response…

    Interesting how quiet Brees and Sean Payton have been…

  50. granadafan says: Mar 6, 2012 4:08 PM

    The spitter is right about one thing. People want to see big hits. No one gets excited about a little leg tackle, but the big hit gets the crowd, ESPN top 10 plays, and ratings excited.

  51. turbodog1027 says: Mar 6, 2012 4:09 PM

    Exactly. If this whole Bountygate deal would have been exposed 10 years ago, nothing would have been made of it. That’s how bad the NFL is getting. 10 years from now QB’s will have green vest on like roadside construction workers.
    Football is a violent sport and all these cry babies whining about Williams giving small bonuses for a hard hit are just ridiculous. Go watch table tennis

  52. rando74 says: Mar 6, 2012 4:10 PM

    Why dont they also ask OJ Simpson about where to get a new pair of sunglasses?

  53. lombardihero says: Mar 6, 2012 4:13 PM

    Also to people that keep pointing out back in the day Mike Golic and Darren Woodson teams had bonuses that was then this is now.

    It is not the same thing anymore… Back in the day there was not even a fraction of lawsuits there is today… Less studies back in the day on concussions or the long term effects.

    More players from back in the day are now suing the NFL……………..

    Wake up nobody cared about a player who got a 100 bucks each int or a clean tackle its when they started celebrating injuring a player and taking payments for it.

    If that was the case that it was okay then why not be a nice guy and give that bounty money to the guy you injured…

  54. trollhammer20 says: Mar 6, 2012 4:25 PM

    “Hell yeah it’s being overblown. In my day, we didn’t pay unless you brought back a chunk of whatever body part you broke.”

    Unbelievable this guy is considered any kind of spokesperson for anything football-related, after all the crap he pulled during his career.

  55. thepatriotsaregay says: Mar 6, 2012 4:30 PM

    the entire point of playing defense is to KO the offensive guys…..this whole story is stupid.

  56. carlsbadboltfan says: Mar 6, 2012 4:34 PM

    So, we’ve reached so low that we’re quoting psychopaths now?

  57. rajbais says: Mar 6, 2012 4:34 PM

    Romanowski is a douche!!!!

    He thought Carson Palmer would save the Raiders and his nutrition products suck!!!

  58. themonster49 says: Mar 6, 2012 4:41 PM

    Well Romanowski, I guess logic can’t reign forever.

    “Per the NFL’s investigation, however, the Saints did want to cause significant injuries — to hit opponents so hard that they had to be removed from the game and carted off the field.”

    If you are telling your view, what you saw, your opinion, please please please stop starting it with “this didn’t happen” because it did happen. We want to hear what you know, what you saw, good or bad for the situation we want to know it, but we don’t want you stating your opinion as fact, and we definately don’t want you undermining the seriousness of this situation by trying to convince the less-informed that the proven facts were actually completely different facts and oh everybody must just be mistaken because well you say so.

    Tricking the masses isn’t cool.

  59. tavia47 says: Mar 6, 2012 4:45 PM

    no one said anything when pierre thomas got knocked out of the san francisco game helmet to helmet clear as day. you all need to back off no i don’t agree with hurting or ending some one’s career either but no one is hurt how can so many people hate one team and a city what have we done you name one person that the saint’s ended their career. lets call it the National sissy league.

  60. axespray says: Mar 6, 2012 5:00 PM

    now that I think about it, Favre got whooped up in that Superbowl against the Broncos…
    Steve Atwater and Bill were head hunting in that game…

  61. themonster49 says: Mar 6, 2012 5:02 PM

    While 2 guys are tackling a guy, one twists hard way up top (yes, they practice double-tackling) while the bottom one, if it’s against a star player, will roll into the knee the other way while holding the leg. Other incidents include while in a pile, as Romanowski did but others try for worse, players will grab a part of a guy long after the play is done and they will try to injure that body part, rolling on it, twisting it, pulling it, you name it and they do it after the whistle is blown and people are trying to get to their feet. That is what this is about. It goes beyond the play of football.

  62. bullcharger says: Mar 6, 2012 5:07 PM

    This roid junke should have been banned from the league.

  63. mark0226 says: Mar 6, 2012 5:32 PM

    Romo is right about one thing. This story is being blown out of proportion. This is all sensational reporting.

    The program was pay for performance, not pay for injuries. Players were (for the most part) staying within the rules of the game, but hitting hard, just as they are supposed to do. They were being paid for big hits and forcing turnovers, which they did in abundance in 2009. However, that is not a sensational story line, that players were paid to force turnovers. No, let’s pick up on the payments to injure.

    How about some facts to back up the sensational reporting? How many players were in fact knocked out of games by the Saints during this period as compared to other head hunting teams like the Steelers or 49’ers or maybe the NFL average? How many illegal hits were made by the Saints as compared to other teams? Oh wait, it takes too much time to analyze factual data. Much easier to whip the fan base into a frenzy with sensational reporting.

  64. atikian333 says: Mar 6, 2012 6:48 PM

    Romanowski is right on the money! All of you criticizing Bill would love to have him on your team and know nothing about the game of football. He played it the way it was supposed to be played. In fact I you didn’t hit someone as hard as you can, the coach should bench you. That is why guys like romo, James Harrison, ray Lewis etc will be considered great LB’s.

  65. geauxmez says: Mar 6, 2012 6:59 PM

    amen

  66. raiders757 says: Mar 6, 2012 8:01 PM

    Romo is spot on.

    The media is blowing it out of proportion for ratings, and the NFL is just kissing the butts of their newer generation of soft shell fans.

  67. georgebrett says: Mar 6, 2012 8:18 PM

    Are you saying the Raiders won’t benefit by having Carson Palmer?

  68. effjohntaylornorelation says: Mar 6, 2012 9:48 PM

    Of course he does.

  69. marader78 says: Mar 7, 2012 2:03 AM

    All the comments sicken me….since when did football become a sissy sport…u guys complain about goodell but then diss romo…I wish for the days of Tatum… The NFL is soft now….. They know the dangers… Damn whats next boxing with 100 ounce gloves?….

  70. baldingerspinky says: Mar 7, 2012 4:11 PM

    But thinks steroids are a ok

  71. rajbais says: Mar 9, 2012 9:38 PM

    Yes!!! He’s a strong armed “game manager” at best!!!

    The Raiders will have to run first and then just “hit the open man.” Carson Palmer to me is the 2010, immobile version of David Garrard!!!

    Garrard was not meant to pass for WAY over 4,000 yards and that’s Carson now. Plus, the teams that win Super Bowls either have a quarterback and/or a head coach that have won playoff games in years prior to their Super Bowl victories.

    Dennis Allen and Carson Palmer = Winless in Playoffs!!!!

  72. georgebrett says: Mar 10, 2012 1:30 AM

    David Garrard?

    Honestly, without completely dismantling your post I have nothing to say except sit back and watch.

  73. rajbais says: Mar 10, 2012 7:35 PM

    @georgebrett An IMMOBILE version of Garrard. He could run or move outside the pocket. Carson, no!!!

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