Gregg Williams is making an apparent power play

Getty Images

When former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams signed a sworn statement on September 14, months after the bounty investigation had ended and days after the first wave of player suspensions had been scuttled, obvious questions arose regarding whether Williams had gotten anything in return for his cooperation.

Now, he’s possibly looking for something in return for his cooperation.

Before Thursday’s Texans-Lions game, Jason La Canfora of CBS reported that Williams has asked to have his reinstatement hearing moved from February to December.  Not coincidentally, the request comes at a time when the NFL must, as a practical matter, produce Williams to testify or risk having his sworn statement excluded from the proceedings.

So, basically, Williams is making a power play.  If the league wants him to show up and testify, the league will have to accelerate the reinstatement process.

The shift from February to December would, if Williams is reinstated, give him a chance to look for a new job in the event the Rams opt not to keep him.  If he’s not reinstated until February, most of the jobs likely would be taken.

Then again, it’s unlikely any NFL will hire Williams to coach players.  Apart from his cartoonish “kill the head” antics and his ongoing use of a pay-for-performance system at a time when Williams knew the NFL had investigated the situation, plenty of players believe Williams “snitched” on Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, which will make it difficult if not impossible for Williams to ever have credibility again in an NFL locker room.

Still, if the NFL wants Williams to show up and testify, the NFL would be wise to do what Williams wants.  Otherwise, the NFL will have to make its case against Vilma with the testimony of former Saints assistant Mike Cerullo, whose testimony could collapse under aggressive cross examination.

32 responses to “Gregg Williams is making an apparent power play

  1. The NFL needs to end this instead of sitting on their hands and hoping everyone would forget everything that transpired. The general public isn’t as stupid as the NFL think we are.

  2. With all of this power play business by both ends , (NFL and Williams ) how can his testimony carry and merit? Seems to me like he’s only going to say what ever will most likely land him a job back in the NFL. I know it’s not the same as coerced testimony but its awfully close to it. I just don’t see how you can believe anything he says, for either side.

  3. Williams will do what he will. It’s of little bearing on the league’s case. Williams’ declaration details how the program at issue was operated. However, each player has already admitted to participating in that program.

    Just like the players Williams has never used the word “bounty.” Instead, he and the players have admitted to a program that included rewarding players for hits that resulted in opposing players being forced to leave the game because of injury.

    When Vilma gave his description of the program in court, Judge Berrigan commented that Vilma had just admitted to what Goodell accused him of.

    There’s very little factual dispute left. The players ran the program alleged by the NFL. The dispute lies in the fact the players don’t feel they should be held accountable for a program that created a financial incentive to injure the opposition.

    The NFL/Goodell doesn’t need the testimony of Williams, or even Cerullo for that matter. They have something far more compelling: the admissions of the players themselves.

  4. Nonsense. The threat of not showing up to testify puts him in a position for a “power play”? Let’s not forget that if he were to fail to cooperate any chance of reinstatement would go up in smoke. Not to mention that Williams would look even worse to any potential future employers by acting like even more of a schmuck than he already does. The “power play” is implausible.

  5. the only power play he can make is getting a front job in the nfl office bec no teams going to pick a coach who started a bounty system then testified against the players in which participated in his program by rattin on them to save himself..lol so now ull have no job, respect or pride..3 strikes

  6. CWWGK,

    please spew your trail of lies elsewhere.

    the facts are the NFL has little or no physical evidence, the only confession the NFL has is from Williams (notoriously signed after a under the table agreement was reached) in the middle of September.

    Hargrove has denied that the voice is his on the alledged video tape of the saints huddle

    Vilma never made your claimed admission in court

    NFL has a prior record, under TAGS, of supporting – or at least looking the other way on a well publized bounty program run by Reggie White and friend in Green Bay.

    It is hte league that is trying to ‘suddenly find JESUS’ and trying to look like it cares about the safety of the game (in front of the avalanche of concussion suits now being filed by former players)

    If the NFL did care of player safety, testing would be by an independent doctor, players would not play on 4 days rest and be subjected to flying thousands of miles to LONDON then play a game only to return home – all for the glorification and POCKETBOOK OF THE NFL…

  7. cwwgk, I don’t think you really understand what the NFL is accusing them of vs what they have admitted to.

    The players admitted to pay for performance, but denied pay to injure. The league does not differentiate between the two. The league takes admission of pay for performance as admittance of pay for injury. To anyone with common sense, these are separate issues. The league would seem a lot more “fair” in this case if they did differentiate between the two.

    For example, if a player left the game for a play or two because he had the wind knocked out of him, the Saints players were rewarded. However, if the player was “injured” in the sense that he had a serious injury, the Saints players were not rewarded. Vilma, in particular, was specifically asked by Mary Jo White if he rewards were given for plays on which players were injured, and Vilma very clearly stated that no rewards were given if a player was injured (in the sense that they were seriously hurt) or if a penalty was committed. They were, specifically NOT PAID if the player was serious injured or if a penalty was committed.
    Greg Williams comments seem to back that up to, at least in regards to penalties, and he’s differentiated between pfp and pay for injury as well, stating that pay for injury was not his intention, although he now realizes that may have been an unintended consequence of his actions).

    While Greg Williams did use extreme terminology like “kill the head” and “cart off”, etc, the players and Greg never thought of knocking a guy out of the game for a play or two as “injuring” the player. The league does. The PfP program specifically did not reward players if the opposing player was hurt in a serious manner (e.g. would miss extended playing time) or if the play resulted in a penalty.

    Simply put, to the league pay to performance IS pay to injure in this case. To the players, they are very different things, as I’m sure Vilma and co have tried to explain over and over.q

  8. Another article that makes no sense.

    Williams has zero leverage, the NFL hold all the cards on whether he works or doesn’t work in the NFL ever again.

    So where is his “power” in this so called power play?

  9. I have a great idea. bring Williams back to the Bills. He needs a job just as bad as they need a defensive coordinator. I bet he would even work there again and they would even hire him. perfect match

  10. I have a feeling Williams knows something that would hurt the NFL if they did not cooperate. Something like the whole deal of Roger’s falsified evidence. The NFL could loose their zzz in court.

  11. Gregg Williams ran the same ‘bounty’ program in Washington, Tennessee, etc and that is his key to regaining a coaching job. Jeff Fischer and Roger Goodell would rather have Williams return as Rams DC than have him write a book about how this happened elsewhere with Fischer’s endorsement and with Goodell ignoring a systematic problem and then trying to blame it on one team.

  12. Why does it seem that “the truth” will turn out to be the victim in Roger Goodell’s famed bounty case.

    This jockeying for position by Williams might be a tip off that he is willing to say anything, if it benefits his own cause.

    Evidence taken under such circumstances would never be allowed in a court of law…but this Roger Goodell’s kangaroo court…where anything goes, just to save face.

    Worst thing to happen to the NFL?…hiring Roger Goodell.

  13. @genericuser8888, you can’t have it both ways. You cannot argue that there was no pay-to-injure program at all and then say that Williams realizes it may have been an unintended consequence of his actions. If it didn’t happen at all, it can’t be an unintended consequence of anything. If it is an unintended consequence then by definition, it exists and it happened. It seems you are simply trying to rationalize “cart-offs” or at least minimize their impact.

  14. Cooperation = not telling the truth in this case with Gregg Williams.

    The testimony from Williams does not have any credible corroboration….so what is it; a liar who went over the line and now wants his career back.

    Goodell and the NFL are using the Williams’ testimony to assist in their own lack of a credible investigation into this so called bounty fiasco.

    This really helps the NFL brand Roger (sarcasm)

  15. bangithard says:
    Nov 24, 2012 9:42 PM
    CWWGK,

    please spew your trail of lies elsewhere.

    ____________________________

    CWWGK is one of the most honest and accurate posters on this forum. His descriptions of the situation is extremely accurate.

    It seems to me that most of those who are refusing to accept the facts and spread trails of lies, half truths and word smithing are those that have an agenda for the Saints*….

  16. CWWGK,

    You need to go back a read what the Saints were accused of on March 3 and March 21.

    You also need to hear from Roger’s mouth how the league defines bounty. You can search Goodell’s speech at the owners meeting or his interview with Adam Schein and Jim Miller prior to the draft. He clearly defines bounty in both instance.

    I do agree that terminology like “cart-offs” or “knockouts” were twisted later to justify the punishments, but the problems is what they actually did is common place in the league (albeit against the rules), and not what they were initially accused of doing.

    The whole problem with this mess is extreme punishment and faulty allegations that justified the punishment were based on the Saints targeting Cam Newton or Aaron Rodgers. Also Sean Payton and Mickey Loomis having an elaborate scheme to cover up 3 years of trying to hurt other players. When in reality the Saints had a defensive coordinator who used a ton of hyperbole, and had a pay for performance program.

    Maybe Gregg Williams would be better suited to be a Drill Sargent, but the facts are the facts, the Saints didn’t play dirty or hurt people, in fact they were punished for illegal hits.

  17. I can’t imagine any team ever trusting GW again. He may be selling his soul for a job in the NFL, but it won’t be as a coach. He’s done.

  18. Silly people think GW cant get employed agin..IF Mike Vick, Belichek, Plex, Tom Cable, etc can bend, break, & assault rules ..why cant a SB winnin DC be able to get a gig in the NFL again?
    He’ll be back & hopefully the year off doesn’t make him too much better than he was for opponents.
    Demonizing him for something as commonplace as this is silly but good for webviews & publicity!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!