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Saints still support Gregg Williams

Gregg+Williams+Dallas+Cowboys+v+New+Orleans+dJvL6L8HWM5l Getty Images

Gregg Williams is indefinitely suspended and may never coach in the NFL again. If his coaching career is over, many of his former Saints players say, it will be the NFL’s loss.

Although Williams has been cast as the primary villain in the Saints’ bounty scandal, Jeff Duncan of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that in the Saints’ locker room, Williams is still a popular, well respected man.

People are going to say I’m wrong for saying this, but he’s good for this league,” linebacker Scott Shanle said. “My concern is the NFL will be missing out on a fantastic coach if they keep him out of this league.”

Shanle also said that he doesn’t believe Williams’s conduct was outside the norm for an NFL coach.

“This is going to sound like an excuse, and people don’t want to hear an excuse — that type of language is not just Gregg Williams,” Shanle said. “It goes on in a lot of locker rooms around the league. No one took him literally. It was a way to get you to play fast, violent, nasty and together. Not every coach coaches like that, and they’ve had success. But for Gregg Williams, and his personality and what he brings to the table, it fit the identity of his defenses. I’m really hoping this isn’t held against him wherever he is.”

Obviously, the Saints’ bounty scandal is already being held against Williams. But it’s hard to find any of his former players who think it should be. Saints safety Roman Harper says it was an honor to play for Williams.

“Gregg was a great coach and a great motivator,” Harper said. “You love playing for him. You probably hate playing against him. That’s just the way he is. He coached the game the way it’s supposed to be coached, and let you play the way it’s supposed to be played.”

Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins said he believes the high opinion of Williams is unanimous among his former players.

“I don’t think you’ll hear anybody that has ever played for him throw him under the bus,” Jenkins said. “He played a pivotal role in my career and learning the game of football. What I do on the field is a direct reflection of his coaching.”

According to the league office, one of the most egregious offenses ever committed in the NFL was a reflection of Williams’s coaching. But that’s not how his former players see it.

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16 Responses to “Saints still support Gregg Williams”
  1. themonster49 says: Jun 9, 2012 12:03 PM

    I side with the league on this one, not former players of Gregg Williams. In fact, besides reading football articles, I dont give a damn what they think.

  2. nathan702nelson says: Jun 9, 2012 12:09 PM

    Of course they do, to stop supporting him now would show they’ve been lying this whole time.

  3. pooflingingmonkey says: Jun 9, 2012 12:22 PM

    I wonder what they’ll say when they’re no longer playing?

  4. jerrysandusky1 says: Jun 9, 2012 12:23 PM

    I can understand why the players still have his back; Gregg Williams’ defense deserves as much credit if not more for that N.O. Superb Owl run. That defense was ferocious in ’09.

  5. dzor22 says: Jun 9, 2012 12:24 PM

    Lets see– the players that deny any program existed (and demand evidence to prove it) support the guy who admits the program existed; which is part of whatever proof existed. Ya gotta love the Saints. Stay classy NO.

  6. MichaelEdits says: Jun 9, 2012 12:24 PM

    Hard to believe the positive opinions of Gregg Williams are unanimous, considering what a disaster he was as head coach of the Buffalo Bills.

  7. wtfru2 says: Jun 9, 2012 12:30 PM

    I love the headline! And they will support him for the rest of his life, because no one else will have him…..

  8. dirtybirds233 says: Jun 9, 2012 12:33 PM

    Fact of the matter is, Williams admitted to it. Why would he lie to get himself in trouble? The players are only lengthening this process by not just admitting to it as well. And for the organization to back him? They’re just starting to embarrass themselves.

  9. fusion3450 says: Jun 9, 2012 12:33 PM

    dzor22 says:
    Jun 9, 2012 12:24 PM
    Lets see– the players that deny any program existed (and demand evidence to prove it) support the guy who admits the program existed; which is part of whatever proof existed. Ya gotta love the Saints. Stay classy NO.
    —————–

    go back and actually READ the articles and what was said

  10. fusion3450 says: Jun 9, 2012 1:04 PM

    dirtybirds233 says:
    Jun 9, 2012 12:33 PM
    Fact of the matter is, Williams admitted to it. Why would he lie to get himself in trouble? The players are only lengthening this process by not just admitting to it as well. And for the organization to back him? They’re just starting to embarrass themselves.
    ————————-
    go back and actually READ the articles and what was said

  11. captatl says: Jun 9, 2012 1:49 PM

    What the players are saying is clear. It is just as clear as to what is driving these statements. They fear that Gregg Williams will roll on them in testimony or a book, if he hasn’t already.

  12. booker1974 says: Jun 9, 2012 3:35 PM

    Williams admitted to running a “pay for performance” system. The players have admitted this much from the beginning, and that Williams had a filthy mouth and had over the top rhetoric. However, as has been repeated many times, there’s been no admissions of a “pay to injure” scheme, which is what the league has alleged and punished everyone for, and the players have all disputed.

    The coaches were told to shut up or they’d never work in the league again, though Vitt has on a couple of occasions stated that they were punished for the “spoken word and not the clenched fist” and that they never took the field with the intent to injure anyone.

    Pay for performance is still against the rules and does fall under the league’s “bounty” rules, but I don’t think anyone can sincerely dispute that rewarding players for legit good play is far different from taking the field with the specific intent to take out opposing players. The former is what the team did, the latter is how the league framed it.

  13. dryzzt23 says: Jun 9, 2012 4:50 PM

    Here is the crux of the matter, the NFL and players are bound by the CBA. In the CBA the NFLPA AGREED to give Goodell all the power over disciplinary issues.

    The NFL is not compelled by any document or law, to give any “evidence” over to the players. The NFL is a business and should never be compelled to hand over anything to a union that is well known for doing whatever it takes to get headlines and create drama solely to advance the agenda of De Smith.

    Williams should be given a second chance, just like every black player is given 2nd/3rd/4th/5th chances in the NFL. If Ray Lewis and Mike Vick aren’t banned for life, then Williams shouldn’t be either.

  14. jjbadd says: Jun 9, 2012 7:25 PM

    Yea, I think Williams got the crap end of the stick on this one. Every coach in the league uses terminology like him. If the NFL can give an accomplice to murder, a dog killer, a wife beater, a couple rapists, several potheads a 2nd chance, the certainly Williams deserves one. What Williams did probably didn’t even amount to anyone getting hurt anyway, he and the Saints were just used to make an example of. The whole thing was blown way out of proportion. I’m not a fan of the Saints, but they were treated unfairly.

  15. sb44champs says: Jun 9, 2012 8:12 PM

    “It goes on in a lot of locker rooms around the league. No one took him literally. It was a way to get you to play fast, violent, nasty and together.
    —————————————————————
    That’s exactly what Saints fans have been trying to drill in all of the haters’ very thick skulls… Saints players have never been penalized for ‘whack’ or ‘bounty’ hits and every single play of every game is reviewed every week. That should say more than enough that this is all to save face from the pending lawsuits the NFL has to deal with. GODell tried to make everyone believe he was all about safety a few months after trying in vain to jam the ‘impossible to remain healthy’ 18 game schedule down the players throats!! Godell is obviously about the $$$, not player safety!!!!!

  16. sb44champs says: Jun 9, 2012 8:17 PM

    Dirtyturd says:
    And for the organization to back him? They’re just starting to embarrass themselves.
    —————————————-
    An Atlanta fan actually talking about ‘embarrassment’. I’m embarrassed for you…lol!!!

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