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.