Patriots receiver Wes Welker is among those who believe that former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams went far outside the bounds of what is normal and acceptable in an NFL locker room when he encouraged his players to injure players on the 49ers before their playoff meeting in January.
Welker said today on ESPN Radio that he has never heard a coach say anything remotely similar to what Williams said to his players.
“It’s kind of tough to hear because that’s your job and that’s what you do,” Welker said. “To hear somebody wanting to actually physically injure someone is pretty unheard of, for me. I’ve never heard of it, quite frankly. I’ve heard of things like interceptions — guys throwing in a couple hundred bucks or whatever — but I’ve never heard of actually intentionally going after somebody’s ACL or head or anything else to try to injure them. It’s a little disturbing that that took place.”
Asked if he was aware of bonuses for big hits, Welker said, “I never really saw anything like that, no.”
The response from NFL players to the Williams audio has been fascinating because it has been so varied: Some former players insist that anyone up in arms about what Williams said is “clueless about the game,” and yet many players who are demonstrably not clueless about the game insist that they’ve never heard anything like what Williams said.