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LeRoy Butler thinks there’s a fine line in pregame speeches

Leroy butler Getty Images

We’ve heard from plenty of current and former players in the wake of the release of the audio recording of Gregg Williams’ pregame speech to the Saints before they played the 49ers in the playoffs.

There’s been a pretty solid consensus that Williams went too far, although many people have found it hard to believe that NFL players hadn’t heard that kind of thing before. Plenty of coaches at all levels of football stress hitting hard and putting some fear into the opposition — making a receiver think twice about going over the middle — and, as we heard from the Giants after the NFC Championship Game, opposition injuries aren’t kept secret.

Former Packers safety LeRoy Butler outlined his problem with Williams’ speech in an interview with Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

“I have probably heard the exact same speech since I was in ninth grade, without the targeting of guys’ specific body parts. That was kind of crazy. But I’m not surprised. People are surprised by this, to me, they have always turned a blind eye to football. The problem is that if you knew a guy had a concussion or a bad knee and you’re going after it, that’s stupid. … I don’t need a coach telling me about some guy’s knee. I have the scouting report and I have the health report. Everybody gets it. Everybody knows he has a bad knee. Give me something that I can use. Don’t tell me to take out a player’s knee who just got his scope. Get back to football. That’s what I would have said.”

Dunne spoke with other former players who had similar takes to Butler. Former defensive lineman Chidi Ahanotu, who called Williams the “softest coach” he ever played for, admitted that he was trying to get opposing players out of the game and said that he found nothing wrong with Williams’ speech until he heard him talk about targeting ACLs or players with concussion histories.

Professional football players are well aware that their jobs call on them to inflict pain on other players. It seems that making that specific to particular body parts goes farther than most of them feel is necessary, though.

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13 Responses to “LeRoy Butler thinks there’s a fine line in pregame speeches”
  1. citizenstrange says: Apr 8, 2012 10:42 AM

    Frank Gifford probably said it best over 20 years ago when he said “Unfortunately football is a game where you go after the cripple.”

    Bounty or no bounty.

    It has always been that way from nonstop hits on Alan Page’s notoriously battered knees to blatantly clubbing and hacking at Bert Jones’ already injured shoulder.

    Football is an ultra violent and barbaric game and Goodell and the NFL are trying to cover their asses for the poop hemorrhage of lawsuits that will undoubtedly start raining down on them.

    James Harrison will be Exhibit A in their defense and Gregg Williams Exhibit B.

  2. emoney826 says: Apr 8, 2012 11:00 AM

    It’s the only way Williams knows how to beat an opposing offense. His playcalling sucks, so the only way to win is to injure their best players. Just shows how overrated he was as a coordinator.

  3. thepvyharvin says: Apr 8, 2012 12:12 PM

    An ex Packer commenting on defense?? ha! When is the last time they actually had one??

  4. emoney826 says: Apr 8, 2012 12:27 PM

    When was the last time the Vikings had a championship team? Remind me again, or is it easier showing your blatant jealousy for your rival? At least our real rival bears fans have more class than our neighbors to the west. Plus, they have championships to stand on.

  5. robf2010 says: Apr 8, 2012 1:10 PM

    “Don’t tell me to take out a player’s knee who just got his scope.”

    So, does anyone think Butler would have avoided that knee?

  6. binkystevens says: Apr 8, 2012 1:12 PM

    thepvyharvin says: Apr 8, 2012 12:12 PM

    An ex Packer commenting on defense?? ha! When is the last time they actually had one??
    ____________________

    How about in 2010, when they won the Superbowl and had the 2nd ranked defense in the league – or is that too long ago, tool? They also had the top ranked defense in 1996, when they also won the Superbowl.

    I don’t have the stats in front of me, but I’d have to think they had a good defense in each of their NFL record 13 championship seasons. So lay off and go back to pitying your 2nd class team. Pathetic.

  7. outlawshark says: Apr 8, 2012 1:24 PM

    thepvyharvin says:Apr 8, 2012 12:12 PM

    An ex Packer commenting on defense?? ha! When is the last time they actually had one??
    __________________________
    They finished second in overall defense when they won the Super Bowl the previous year, you idiot.

  8. nickynick04 says: Apr 8, 2012 1:29 PM

    When will the Vikings win a Championship of the the NFL ?
    Should their opinions count since they are so pathetic of a franchise ?
    Do they have a stadium to play in next season ?
    Who is their QB ?

  9. thepvyharvin says: Apr 8, 2012 1:30 PM

    binkystevens says: With a sissy username like mine,,,,I’m sure pvyharvin is truly insulted.

  10. johnnyru131 says: Apr 8, 2012 1:43 PM

    I’m a Bears fan living in WI and Packers fans and Bears fan agree that we all HATE the Vikings. Bears fans and Packers fans for the most part RESPECT the rivalry between GB vs CHI.

  11. thepvyharvin says: Apr 8, 2012 2:28 PM

    johnnyru131 says:
    Apr 8, 2012 1:43 PM
    I’m a Bears fan living in WI and Packers fans and Bears fan agree that we all HATE the Vikings.
    ====================================
    Jealousy breeds hate,,,,we understand and forgive you on Easter. NOT

  12. bmue42 says: Apr 8, 2012 6:52 PM

    thepvyharvin says:Apr 8, 2012 12:12 PM

    An ex Packer commenting on defense?? ha! When is the last time they actually had one??
    ———————————————————-
    why dont you go back and look at the stats of the 96 defense that one the super bowl ( when butler played) you idiot , one of the best and most under rated defenses of all time, they won that championship more than favre ever did, but im trying to correct a viking fan thats know nothing about winning championships

    reggie white, ray nitschke, willie wood, chuck woodson, clay matthews…….i can keep goin if you want….but you sit up there and enjoy jared allen and zero super bowls

  13. packernation90 says: Apr 9, 2012 9:52 AM

    thepvyharvin says: Jealousy breeds hate,,,,we understand and forgive you on Easter. NOT
    ——————————————————-
    You show me one thing bears/packer fans have to possibly be jealous of regarding the vikings, and I’ll show you a liar.

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