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Dennis Allen sees a distinction between “incentive” and “bounty”

Dennis Allen, Nathan Stupar AP

During two of the three seasons when the NFL says Gregg Williams was running a bounty program in New Orleans, Dennis Allen was the Saints’ defensive backs coach. Allen, who is now the Raiders’ head coach, continues to assert that there was no bounty program in New Orleans.

Allen told Jim Rome on Rome that what the Saints had was an incentive program, not a bounty program, and he suggested that he feels sorry for the people who have been suspended over a program that was merely designed to give incentives for hard play.

“We obviously had an incentive program,” Allen said. “It’s unfortunate the things that have gone down there. I’ve got a lot of great friends there. I really respect those players, those coaches, and that’s some of the best memories I’ve got in the National Football League.”

So what’s the difference between an incentive and a bounty?

“I think when you really look at it, at no time was anybody ever trying to intentionally go out there and hurt anybody,” Allen said. “And that’s the way that we played the game. Our guys were motivated to go out there and play hard, and that’s what we felt like they did on a day in, day out basis.”

And so Allen is saying what many others associated with the Saints in the last three years have said: Yes, there were incentives, but no, there were not bounties. That’s an explanation NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell doesn’t accept.

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63 Responses to “Dennis Allen sees a distinction between “incentive” and “bounty””
  1. descendency says: Aug 8, 2012 7:13 PM

    Distinction or not, both are illegal under NFL rules.

    I agree that it might not be the “right thing” but it’s what the rules currently are.

    Maybe an incentive doesn’t merit a year long suspension, though.

  2. hyzers says: Aug 8, 2012 7:15 PM

    So I guess Williams was just using colorful language in his pregame speeches?

  3. ilovefoolsball says: Aug 8, 2012 7:16 PM

    Goodell isn’t going to back down now, even if he is wrong, which he is.

    No matter what happens, haters will continue their hatred.
    Before this “scandal” rival fans would pathetically try their hardest to mock the saints, pointing at their losing ways of the past or Drew Brees’ birthmark.
    Even with all of that nothing could stop their team’s defense from getting utterly embarrassed by the Saints offense.
    Now this has given them new life and they have dusted off their keyboards and taken to the message boards like a frenzied lynch mob.

    It doesn’t matter what the facts are to “these people”. They will hide behind the shroud of Goodell and claim they are the righteous ones and that their football club would never, ever sin.

    Until their little pride and joy comes crumbling down, they will find their lonely souls backing away from the keyboards, and never to be heard from again.

    There will be those who shall continue the crusade against the hated saints, and even in humiliating defeat will proclaim that they may be losers (which they are) but at least their teams are noble!

  4. 808raiderinparadise says: Aug 8, 2012 7:18 PM

    I’m sure “incentives’ are piling up for Manning & Rivers this year.

  5. nineroutsider says: Aug 8, 2012 7:19 PM

    Doesn’t matter much to me what it was, the Saints are going to be rocking with or without all of those suspended coaches/players. I’m over it (by that I mean the Crabtree tape and their 9er hate) and look forward to football.

    I usually hate the HOF game and never watch it, but I recorded it because I wanted to see the one series with Brees and I ended up watching the whole 1st half. Anyone who thinks they are going to struggle is wishful thinking. Brees is a player-coach and can run that offense by himself. Spags will have his hands full a little, but the offense will help him out.

    I’m fired up for this season and fully expect another 9ers/Saints epic showdown in January. Needs to be at home again. That was one heck of a football game, perhaps the best in a while.

  6. mushin9 says: Aug 8, 2012 7:22 PM

    “That’s an explanation NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell doesn’t accept.”

    Are you guys running an over/under pool on how many “Drew Brees needs and explanation” references you can get with that softball?

    Well you got at least one now. And put me down for $50 on the over.

  7. dasmol says: Aug 8, 2012 7:24 PM

    Pride, paycheck and competiveness aren’t incentive enough?

  8. purpleguy says: Aug 8, 2012 7:24 PM

    Semantics. Why do I keep harking back to visions of Bill Clinton’s intern boinking depositions where he tried to squirm out of responsibility for messing around with an intern by engaging in word definition shenannigans.

  9. nygmenruleny says: Aug 8, 2012 7:25 PM

    Incentives or bounties, the end result is the same. Players paid and encouraged when other players were hurt. Semantics mean nothing in this. It is just a different (and nicer) way of saying that they got paid to injure players.

  10. chief67 says: Aug 8, 2012 7:29 PM

    Money for taking another player off the field on a stretcher is a bounty .

  11. gloryfromheaven says: Aug 8, 2012 7:29 PM

    Love football, but to tell you the truth I believe Goodell is half way there ruining the NFL. Every single player out there realizes the consequences in playing this game but the league apparently is so sensitive that they continue to add stupid penalty’s to “certain hits.” Bounty’s or not, this is FOOTBALL. Who honestly cares about bounty’s or playing incentive, the game will always be a rough sport. But unfortunately, we’ll all be watching flag football in 5 years…

  12. youaredelusional says: Aug 8, 2012 7:36 PM

    IMO an incentive is something like a bonus for a good clean hit, PD, sack, INT, etc… A bounty is pay for injuring others with hits to the head, chin, ankles, or ACLs.

    They can’t hide the fact that there was unpermitted pay for performance anymore so now those once affiliated try to distinguish. I don’t buy it.

  13. realitypolice says: Aug 8, 2012 7:37 PM

    Intelligence is measured not only by what you say when you talk, but your ability to realize when you shouldn’t talk at all.

    Here’s a guy who managed to skate out of this whole mess scott-free, and he voluntarily thrusts himself back into the middle of the debate?

    Just because someone asks you a question, it doesn’t mean you have to answer it.

  14. jaltreality says: Aug 8, 2012 7:38 PM

    I agree. I think the Saints have an issue of circumventing the salary cap. That’s it.

  15. nolahxc says: Aug 8, 2012 7:40 PM

    nineroutsider is on point.

    never got a chance to tell him “good game” after the playoff game last year (mostly because of shame and depression). we had some good “back-and-forths” going into the game.

    aside from that, it’s painstakingly clear how stubborn Goodell is and I wish he would honestly re-assess the punishments he’s issued.

    To me, suspensions are justified because incentive systems ARE NOT legal in the NFL. However, I don’t understand how a 4 game suspension for both Payton and Vilma aren’t considered. (Of course I’d be thrilled if everything was just completely overturned!!)

    Like Malcolm Jenkins said on the Jim Rome show today: it’s all because of the concussion lawsuits, and the NFL is setting fires so that they can be seen putting out the fires.

  16. vbe2 says: Aug 8, 2012 7:46 PM

    Isn’t an “Incentive” program also against the rules in this salary cap system though? So he’s admitting to breaking the rules.

  17. mitchdms says: Aug 8, 2012 7:50 PM

    Please tell me a Giants fan isn’t scolding players for trying to injure players. Sorry, $1000 doesn’t separate right from wrong.

    As far as the distinction, it is there. Goodell allowed this to be portrayed as far more sinister than it was in reality, and in the process he damaged and destroyed reputations. Breaking minor rules while playing clean should have never ended this way, and anyone honest with themselves knows it.

  18. tatum064 says: Aug 8, 2012 7:50 PM

    Uh, Coach …. just try to give some “incentive” to that 27th ranked defense … you needed bounties in Oaktown for about a decade already. The less said on that topic, and the more coaching and discipline, the better.

  19. drgreenstreak says: Aug 8, 2012 7:51 PM

    They are just not gonna stop the denial.

    It’s become very insulting to fans.

    I am coming to dislike everyone in the NFL who tries to make this go away with retarded explanations.

    I hope the Raiders win at least 4 games and Allen is canned for stupidity.

  20. geniusfan says: Aug 8, 2012 7:54 PM

    The fact that the Saints (and ex Saints) are continuing to deny these bounty allegations when Greg Williams and Sean Payton both said that they did in fact take place is starting to get really old and to be honest quite pathetic.

  21. silentcount says: Aug 8, 2012 7:57 PM

    Goodell made the wrong call. The instant replays are proving it. His only supporters are the fans of other teams who want a better chance of beating the Saints. How sad they look desperately ignoring the obvious, and eagerly believing Goodell’s word as fact. Shame on them.

  22. conormacleod says: Aug 8, 2012 8:13 PM

    The best part about all this is the fact that the Saints defense was so bad that even with bounties they couldn’t knock guys out of games. Actually, that’s the Saints fans’ excuse. “There couldn’t have been a bounty because the Saints didn’t have a lot of penalties and didn’t knock guys out of games”. No, that just means they were really lousy as bounty hunters.

  23. gothwolf says: Aug 8, 2012 8:14 PM

    Quote

    “Love football, but to tell you the truth I believe Goodell is half way there ruining the NFL. Every single player out there realizes the consequences in playing this game but the league apparently is so sensitive that they continue to add stupid penalty’s to “certain hits.””

    ———-

    What you need to realize is that the only way the NFL could ever seriously decline would be through litigation. We’re seeing it already with the concussion lawsuits. If the NFL can’t prove that it takes player health very seriously, they could be open to huge penalties and be forced to make rule or equipment changes that would seriously degrade the quality of the viewing experience. Goodell is doing what he’s doing for the good of the game. That’s pretty easy to see if you can get over being hurt that your team was stung by the new stricter enforcement of the rules.

  24. saintsfan26 says: Aug 8, 2012 8:22 PM

    drgreenstreak says:

    I am coming to dislike everyone in the NFL who tries to make this go away with retarded explanations.

    _______

    Well my friend im not sure who your team is, but i can probably guarantee that somebody on your team has said some “retarded” explanation as well. I would be willing to bet that your team probably also supports Vilma and the rest of the Saints who were punished.

    So if you continue to dislike everybody who is speaking out against Roger Goodell, then soon you will find out that its just you and Roger Goodell against everybody.

    Football was around long before Goodell, and will be fine long after Goodell. If thats your guy, then i say go be with him. He needs your support right now.

  25. captainloaded says: Aug 8, 2012 8:36 PM

    Dear Roger,

    Your case is blown….But, you can always save a little face by threatening the Saints with the IRS. Suspension or getting your books getting blown open…….
    IRS>NFL.

  26. bucrightoff says: Aug 8, 2012 8:38 PM

    Saints fans are acting like their incredible motivated and pissed off team is going to steamroll everyone…

    Conveniently forgetting every other team is pissed off at them, and might be motivated for revenge. The Saints will be fine, but more like 10-6 fine, not 15-1 fine. That defense is still atrocious. Lest we forget the pathetic Bucs and Rams beat them last year.

  27. purplegreenandgold says: Aug 8, 2012 8:44 PM

    nygmenruleny says: Aug 8, 2012 7:25 PM

    Incentives or bounties, the end result is the same. Players paid and encouraged when other players were hurt. Semantics mean nothing in this. It is just a different (and nicer) way of saying that they got paid to injure players.
    ======================================
    since the Saints finished near the back of the pack in injuring players from other teams… they sure botched that program.

  28. psychoraider904 says: Aug 8, 2012 8:45 PM

    who cares? get our defense in the top 15 and that’s all that matters.

  29. raiderinva says: Aug 8, 2012 8:48 PM

    808raiderinparadise says: Aug 8, 2012 7:18 PM

    I’m sure “incentives’ are piling up for Manning & Rivers this year.
    —————————————————————-

    (99) Houston I think we have a mission….

    Time to unleash our own version of 7+ quarters of terror?

  30. nawlinslady1970 says: Aug 8, 2012 8:55 PM

    Youaredelusional writes:

    Aug 8, 2012 7:36 PM
    IMO an incentive is something like a bonus for a good clean hit, PD, sack, INT, etc… A bounty is pay for injuring others with hits to the head, chin, ankles, or ACLs.”

    If they were making hits to the head, chin etc. they would be fined by Goodell much more than what the bounty would have been so why would they risk it. Your twisted logic doesn’t make sense. If our defense made illegal hits they were fined but over the last three years on the game tapes there was little activity to support the NFLs allegations. Our defense was one of the least penalized in the league.

  31. scratchnpost1234 says: Aug 8, 2012 9:17 PM

    ilovefoolsball
    A little dramatic there aren’t ya buddy?

  32. andrewfbrowne says: Aug 8, 2012 9:30 PM

    says the guy whose hands are most likely dirty…

  33. geauxsaintsforever says: Aug 8, 2012 9:33 PM

    geniusfan says:
    Aug 8, 2012 7:54 PM
    The fact that the Saints (and ex Saints) are continuing to deny these bounty allegations when Greg Williams and Sean Payton both said that they did in fact take place is starting to get really old and to be honest quite pathetic.

    ___________________

    WRONG! Sean Payton and Gregg Williams did not admit to a bounty system. They only admitted to a pay for performance system. Nowhere in their apology does it state that a bounty system was in place. Not to mention, they knew that the only way to get reinstated was to placate Mr. GODell. Who Dat!

  34. t8ertot says: Aug 8, 2012 9:41 PM

    Only the raiders would hire this guy..horrible franchise

  35. yourignorancespreads says: Aug 8, 2012 9:55 PM

    Nygmen If you can’t understand a topic then maybe you should stick to things you do know like biased opinions and pure ignorance

  36. musicman495 says: Aug 8, 2012 9:56 PM

    chief67 says: Aug 8, 2012 7:29 PM

    Money for taking another player off the field on a stretcher is a bounty .
    ——————————–
    You’re right. Too bad that never actually happened.

  37. psychosteeler says: Aug 8, 2012 9:57 PM

    the only bounty hunter ever in pro football was billy cole in “the last boy scout” hahahahaha are nfl players paid?yes.do guys get hurt every week?yes.does the presence of bounties or incentives change this fact and has it ever made a difference in 100 years of football? no.this is now a non story .when i played football id hit you in the head or below the knees for free,and my incentive was i wanted to hurt people cuz i liked it.i took out the coaches own son in practice right in front of him cuz he was a pampered punk who got the job cuz he was the coaches son.so i fixed it,i demotivated him lol didnt caught anyone a dime but felt like a million bucks to me lol come crying back here in about a month when james harrison ends peyton mannings career for good in denver.sorry im out of kleenex,wusses.

  38. psychosteeler says: Aug 8, 2012 9:58 PM

    cost anyone a dime ooops

  39. psychosteeler says: Aug 8, 2012 10:02 PM

    if you hate the opponent you dont need bounties,just the willingness to inflict pain and rain hell down on the other team.getting paid to get the chance to do it is incentive enough.its like getting 60 minutes a week to commit felonious assault on another person and get away with it.which is awesome.

  40. musicman495 says: Aug 8, 2012 10:03 PM

    vbe2 says: Aug 8, 2012 7:46 PM

    Isn’t an “Incentive” program also against the rules in this salary cap system though? So he’s admitting to breaking the rules.
    ———————————
    People were not suspended a year because of a salary cap violation, which other teams have been fined for. They were suspended a year because of the hysteria over charges of paying to injure opposing players, for which the NFL has provided zero evidence.

    Sorry, the NFL does not get to say they are suspending players and coaches for a horrific “pay to injure” system (one that it took the league three years to decide was bad), then when the evidence doesn’t hold up, say “Oh, we meant it was for a salary cap violation and for not cooperating with the investigation.” Baloney. And I hope the Federal Judge says so.

  41. robgilman says: Aug 8, 2012 10:17 PM

    whats all this bounty business about?

  42. ninerdynasty says: Aug 8, 2012 10:21 PM

    So wait.. the millions they make is not enough incentive? what about the bonuses they get if they make the playoffs or superbowl? not enough? hmmm smh

  43. LoCoSu@%s says: Aug 8, 2012 10:30 PM

    I guess football coaches don’t really think things thru outside of football.
    Apparently Dennis Allen found nothing wrong in the Saints’ behavior?

  44. flipx99 says: Aug 8, 2012 10:34 PM

    vbe2 says:Aug 8, 2012 7:46 PM

    “Isn’t an “Incentive” program also against the rules in this salary cap system though? So he’s admitting to breaking the rules.”

    Do you not understand that he knows that? Think about it.

    This has been going on for months, there is absolutely no way that he does appreciate that by speaking out he is admitting he knew of a practice that is against the rules.

    It’s like Fujita said — if the NFL wants to punish them for what they actually did that is one thing. It’s an entirely different thing to exagerrate and lie simply to justify harsher punishments.

    I don’t know why people don’t get that.

  45. mullman7675 says: Aug 8, 2012 10:37 PM

    Incentives are a part of everyday life- from bonuses in the corporate structure to giving your kid $5 to mow the lawn.

    I fully believe there is a difference between bounties and incentives.

    That guy who rag dolled McMahon back in the day, now THAT was a bounty hit. The Saints were playing tough, physical football- no more, no less.

    Go RAIDERS!!

  46. rubicon202 says: Aug 8, 2012 10:47 PM

    Hey coach how ever you package it, make it consumable to the PG-13 football fans…me I don’t care what you call it! Seek & destroy…

  47. sdisme says: Aug 8, 2012 10:55 PM

    descendency says:Aug 8, 2012 7:13 PM

    Distinction or not, both are illegal under NFL rules.

    I agree that it might not be the “right thing” but it’s what the rules currently are.

    Maybe an incentive doesn’t merit a year long suspension, though.
    ____________________________

    Distinction is very important. Goodell is not allowed to suspend players for pay for performance.

    He is having to use “contract detrimental” which the judge referred his interpretation to as “borderline ridicules” and “slicing the salami thin”

  48. nflofficeadmin says: Aug 8, 2012 10:59 PM

    “we’re gonna see about that outside ACL”…

  49. tahoenflfan says: Aug 8, 2012 11:11 PM

    Seriously, what kind of ‘incentive’ is a couple grand to players who take home 5-6-7 figures every week?!?!
    The whole ‘is it an incentive or is it a bounty’ question is moot. Both are illegal.

  50. bittersportspills says: Aug 8, 2012 11:13 PM

    The league has glorified big hits since, forever. The NFL sold thousands of “Biggest Hits” videos. Most of us fans love big hits. Unfortunately its a new era; accountability and legal remediation has put the league in a bad place. The glorification of what a bunch of weasels call “violence” has put the league in a bad situation…legally.

    Saints fans, I like your team, but Williams on tape talking about gunning for certain players body parts? You can’t do that. Especially when the league’s already REPEATEDLY told you about it. Especially when they are being sued by former players for NOT taking precautions against

    We all know there’s perception and reality. While the reality there was no rewarding players for hits intended to maim opposition players, the perception is there. Perception is how juries rule against someone in a court of law. The NFL had to do something, lest it be seen as culpable.

  51. larryjames836 says: Aug 8, 2012 11:13 PM

    Action speak louder than words so the Saints are going to put their action to work for them, talk what you may these wins is what we want people’s are going to talk. So we just want to win we not looking nor listening at what other fans may say about other team we going to stay focus and continue to win with or without our head coach.

  52. hoodatnva says: Aug 8, 2012 11:34 PM

    Payton and Williams, and all the players — none of which said a “bounty” program was in place. 11 sworn federal affidavits so far, and impeachable testimony in federal court, not to mention any proof AT ALL….how can anyone believe the NFL anymore? The NFL “says” that someone “said”…..but won’t produce who the “someone” was. Payton and Williams never said in any statements there was a bounty program. The NFL “said” that they “said” it, but have denied it. So, where is the proof? A weak defense fails over last few years — where is the proof there was a pay for injury/bounty program? If it was on paper and in locker rooms, it sure did fail miserably.

  53. brenenostler says: Aug 8, 2012 11:43 PM

    Well he’s not going to admit it because then he’ll get suspended for not reporting it to the NFL.

  54. jerryrip says: Aug 9, 2012 1:24 AM

    EVERY NFL team has s9ome kind of incentive program. The Saints just happened to be the team that the NFL caught, and are now the team that the NFL wants to make an example of. It is downright despicable. What is the NFL going to do next, find a team that was guilty of illegal salary-cap practices and suspend their head coach for a year? What a joke.

  55. youaredelusional says: Aug 9, 2012 1:25 AM

    nawlinslady1970 says:
    Aug 8, 2012 8:55 PM
    Youaredelusional writes:

    Aug 8, 2012 7:36 PM
    IMO an incentive is something like a bonus for a good clean hit, PD, sack, INT, etc… A bounty is pay for injuring others with hits to the head, chin, ankles, or ACLs.”

    If they were making hits to the head, chin etc. they would be fined by Goodell much more than what the bounty would have been so why would they risk it. Your twisted logic doesn’t make sense. If our defense made illegal hits they were fined but over the last three years on the game tapes there was little activity to support the NFLs allegations. Our defense was one of the least penalized in the league.

    ——————————

    1) That was in reference to Williams’ tapes.

    2) I’m sure some players risk illegal hits if they think they can get away with it. It’s the same logic as taking banned substances. Why would players take them and risk suspension if they didn’t think they could get away with it? Most don’t but some do.

    3) Simply not being penalized for the hits doesn’t mean they didn’t happen or NOR didn’t try to make them. This whole issue isn’t about actual hits made or injuries caused. It’s about setting up system that encouraged them.

    4) Why would Williams and Peyton not dispute NFL’s findings?

    Stop being a homer and look at things objectively.

  56. chachanola says: Aug 9, 2012 2:38 AM

    I was a trainer in school. I can admit that coaches that were also taught some of the classes that I was required to take uhh used some of the same language. Ohhh and don’t forget that Football Dad either that wouuld cuss his son out if he didn’t make a play. I like how everyone talks out that side of their mouth when nine times out of ten your probably guilty of the same thing with your own kid. Ha!

  57. pat8316 says: Aug 9, 2012 6:59 AM

    Sorry, most of you on here who equate a bounty with incentive have no idea what you are talking about. Every team in the league does incentives, usually not for every game, but definitely divisional matchups or bigger games such as MNF or SNF. You’d have to suspend every team, coach, player in league. I know this because I have been in room and participated in contributing to game incentives. Not once, was there an incentive for injuring a player at all. Incentives included: Sacks, INT, Forced Fumbles, Recover Fumble, Def. TD, Touchdown, 100 Yard Rushing or Receiving Game, 300 Yard Passing, No Sacks(for the OLINE)…

    I’ve never posted on here, but its annoying reading ignorant comments

  58. zaggs says: Aug 9, 2012 8:21 AM

    Thats like saying there is a distinction between bull and s**t.

  59. sb44champs says: Aug 9, 2012 8:56 AM

    hyzers says:
    Aug 8, 2012 7:15 PM
    So I guess Williams was just using colorful language in his pregame speeches?
    ————————————-
    I guess you conveniently forgot about the part of the recording that the NFL intentionally edited out where Greg days to keep everything ‘LEGAL’ and ‘don’t hurt the team’!!!!!

  60. whynotusecommonsense says: Aug 9, 2012 9:44 AM

    Incentive or bounty who cares? I think the reason the punishment was so severe was because they were warned to stop and they didn’t. Their arrogance cost them.

  61. bmadccp says: Aug 9, 2012 11:08 AM

    If you have to incentivise (bribe) your players to give 100% on each and every play, maybe you need some new players.

  62. radrntn says: Aug 9, 2012 7:38 PM

    well now it is all beginning to make sense…maybe that is why they wear helmets, and put on pads….until the commissioner gets his way, i think this still might be a contact sport….and hear is to incentives for Manning, Rivers, and Casell. GO RAIDERS!

  63. open1337 says: Aug 13, 2012 1:20 AM

    As over paid as some of these athletes are, do they really need an incentive? Whether its 500 bucks or not how about doing your job and tackle.

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