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Gregg Williams finally says “uncle,” will testify in bounty appeal hearing

Greg Williams AP

It was known that, on Thursday, former Saints assistant Mike Cerullo will testify in the bounty appeal hearing conducted by former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

It wasn’t known (or, at a minimum, it wasn’t accepted by some in the media) that former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams would testify on Friday.

After weeks of suggesting that Williams might not show up, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com finally has acknowledged that Williams will appear.

Williams, as we’ve been saying all along, has no choice.  His indefinite suspension allows him to apply for reinstatement after a year, and the extent to which he cooperates with the league’s internal bounty-related proceedings is an express factor that the league will consider when considering whether to reinstate him.

So if Williams had refused to appear, the NFL quite likely would have refused to reinstate him.

And so the stage has been set for a pair of compelling days of testimony, with Cerullo and Williams initially tracking the terms of sworn statements that clearly were drafted by lawyers and then both getting separately grilled by attorneys Peter Ginsberg (who represents Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma) and Jeffrey Kessler (who represents Saints defensive end Will Smith, Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, and free-agent defensive end Anthony Hargrove).

Adversarial proceedings are aimed at using opposing forces to get to the truth.  In the end, Tagliabue will be the one to decide whether and to what extent Cerullo, Williams, and all other witnesses are telling the truth.

And I’d love to be a fly on the wall for the proceedings.  (Actually, I’d prefer to simply have a microphone in the room.  Being a fly on the wall means being a fly, which means having to eat a fairly wide range of nasty stuff.)

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40 Responses to “Gregg Williams finally says “uncle,” will testify in bounty appeal hearing”
  1. thecashcartel says: Nov 29, 2012 11:31 AM

    What a clown. He orchastrates the whole thing and now is ratting out his own players? Hope this guy never sniffs a job in his life again. SNITCH

  2. fuglyflorio says: Nov 29, 2012 11:31 AM

    Yes, but can any amount of truth convince St. Drew ?

  3. sterilizecromartie says: Nov 29, 2012 11:32 AM

    Drew Brees is right. This whole process is just a mess. The NFL should just pretend it never happened and let everyone move on with their lives.

  4. daknight93 says: Nov 29, 2012 11:39 AM

    wait a minute..he will appear in court friday, but his uncle will testify on his behalf..this crap stinks from head to toe and should not be allowed in court…the kangaroo court crap is back again led by puppeter Paul Taglibeau and Godell is still pulling the strings behind the scenes.

  5. cowboyscanada says: Nov 29, 2012 11:39 AM

    I trust that Brees will finally stop yapping after Williams testifies. Brees is a joke!

  6. bigjdve says: Nov 29, 2012 11:41 AM

    well this should be interesting. something that I have been thinking about is that with this, williams got suspended. So he has been paying the piper so to speak, his punishment isn’t getting reduced. With his testimony, it will be hard for him to get a coaching gig with any team, so why would he lie about what the players did?

    I mean it is one thing to lie to try to get off the hook, but what does he gain by throwing the players under the bus after being suspended?

  7. justintuckrule says: Nov 29, 2012 11:45 AM

    If I’m the players’ lawyer, I don’t ask Williams ONE question about the bounty. I just grill his rear end incessantly about why now all of a sudden he is stepping forward to testify. If he’s painted like a rat, fink who will say ANYTHING to get back in the league, nothing out of his mouth can be believed including bounty-related testimony. It’s criminal defense 101.

  8. phrancheyez says: Nov 29, 2012 11:50 AM

    I still don’t get how the NFL is getting away with scheduling the Cerullo hearing today while the only two players who are directly affected by these hearings (As they’re the only ones playing right now) can’t be present. It seems to me, like this was scheduled this way on purpose…there’s no other way to look at it. Tagliabue could have chose any day out of the 365 day year, and he picked a day that they couldn’t be there. There’s no way you can tell me that’s a coincidence.

  9. Stiller43 says: Nov 29, 2012 11:54 AM

    Im so tired of all this bounty crap and the “yes you did!!” “no i didnt!!!” crap. I dont care for or against the saints.

    But something in me wants the nfl to look ridiculous after these proceedings…just think it would be funny to see goodell have to explain why he ran such a sham for so long.

  10. mvp43 says: Nov 29, 2012 12:20 PM

    Williams is out to save his own butt. I don’t think he really cares if he rats out any of the players.

  11. mattolikesthevikes says: Nov 29, 2012 12:25 PM

    Brees still cant grasp why this is happening and wants an explanation from the commish.

  12. geauxjay says: Nov 29, 2012 12:48 PM

    Before we go through the imbeciles spewing the same stupid hate again, please remember:

    1. Gregg Williams never “confessed.” The NFL issued a statement and slapped Gregg Williams’ name on it. He later said he didn’t say that.

    2. The locker room speech from the 49ers playoff game is ridiculous, BUT IT IS NOT PROOF OF A BOUNTY. Nowhere in his speech does he say “if you injure Alex Smith or Michael Crabtree, you will get a cash reward.”

    3. His “sworn statement” only came after the NFL lost, directly contradicts much of Cerullo’s testimony, and was only done because he was saving his own rear end so he could get back in the NFL.

    But go on. Tell us more about Drew Brees is an idiot and the Saints are “obviously” guilty.

  13. lawyermalloy says: Nov 29, 2012 12:50 PM

    Talking about being in a tough spot. If he testifies against Vilma, he gets reinstated by no one will hire him as there will be a trust issue with players. If he backs Vilma, he doesn’t get reinstated. Decisions, decisions!

  14. uglynora says: Nov 29, 2012 12:58 PM

    I think Williams’ quickest way back into the league might be to push Goodell under the bus so hard that the owners have no choice but to get rid of him(RG). Come out and tell the truth. Tell Tags that Goodell made him say the things he said and the league crafted the affidavit and forced him to sign it. Then he gets protection under the whistle blower laws and would also have some legs in a lawsuit against the league. That’s about the only way he salvages ANY credibility with the players he’s going to have to coach.

  15. mvp43 says: Nov 29, 2012 1:01 PM

    Here’s an idea………….just speak the truth, whatever it is.

  16. thejohnsmith1122 says: Nov 29, 2012 1:02 PM

    Personally, I think Williams is doing the correct thing and WILL find someone in the NFL to hire him if reinstated. I mean, what’s so bad if he tells the truth? They’re basically all busted already. I’ve seen people take the blame and receive felony charges for their “friends” (this is almost as bad because of his indefinite suspension) and can barely find a decent job now with a felony on their record.

    I bet if Williams was reinstated today and the Saints didn’t want him back because he “ratted” them out, teams like the Eagle would hire him. They got the pieces and just need a good coach.

    He just has to work ethically and honestly and there’s nothing to hide or nothing to worry about (for both Williams and his future teams, players, owners).

  17. realitypolice says: Nov 29, 2012 1:03 PM

    People need to be reminded that this is a not a criminal court case. It’s unlikely that lawyers for the players will even be allowed to question Williams. He will be questioned by Tagliabue only most likely.

  18. keepounding1234 says: Nov 29, 2012 1:04 PM

    daknight93 says:
    Nov 29, 2012 11:39 AM
    wait a minute..he will appear in court friday, but his uncle will testify on his behalf..this crap stinks from head to toe and should not be allowed in court…the kangaroo court crap is back again led by puppeter Paul Taglibeau and Godell is still pulling the strings behind the scenes.
    ____________________________________
    Lol. I hope you were being sarcastic about his uncle.

  19. comeonnowguys says: Nov 29, 2012 1:08 PM

    This is working out perfectly. Saints will be eliminated from the playoff run and proved guilty within a few weeks of each other.

  20. gochargersgo says: Nov 29, 2012 1:13 PM

    While there may or may not be enough evidence for the case to hold up in a *court of law*, anyone who sits here and says the Saints are completely innocent are absolutely ridiculous.

    The locker room speech cant be used as definitive evidence of a bounty program. Fine. But only a moron would try to argue that nothing more than “pay for performance” was going on. To me, the person who lost the most credibility throughout this entire process is Drew Brees.

  21. hor2012 says: Nov 29, 2012 1:26 PM

    To all NFL fans. If Greg Williams takes the stand and says that he was running a bounty program out of his own mouth. I will not post another statement concerning this bounty issue. If he admitts to it, as for as I’m concerned that would be set, game, and match. But, if he doesn’t use those words then I hope the Saints fight this until hell freezes over.

  22. cwwgk says: Nov 29, 2012 1:36 PM

    If the first hearing is taking place today then Judge Berrigan either denied, or chose not to grant, the NFLPA’s/Vilma’s motion to to have Tagliabue removed as arbitrator and someone else appointed by the Court.

    Interesting. Time will tell whether she again exercises judicial restraint when these matters enter back into her courtroom.

  23. tcmiller30 says: Nov 29, 2012 1:37 PM

    Let the witch hunt name dropping begin!!

  24. dexterismyhero says: Nov 29, 2012 1:44 PM

    @geauxjay says:Nov 29, 2012 12:48 PM

    But go on. Tell us more about Drew Brees is an idiot and the Saints are “obviously” guilty.
    =================================

    Ok, Drew Brees is an idiot and the Saints are “obviously” guilty.

    geauxaway…………..

  25. wikipediasaidso says: Nov 29, 2012 1:48 PM

    Can’t bring myself to care about the bounty soap opera anymore (bountied out about 3-4 months ago).

    But that picture of Williams picking something out of his molars is awesome.

  26. insidej0b says: Nov 29, 2012 1:54 PM

    People need to be reminded that this is a not a criminal court case. It’s unlikely that lawyers for the players will even be allowed to question Williams. He will be questioned by Tagliabue only most likely.

    ______________________

    Oh, is that why the cross examination is already scheduled?

  27. goodellgate says: Nov 29, 2012 2:30 PM

    ***bigjdve says: I mean it is one thing to lie to try to get off the hook, but what does he gain by throwing the players under the bus after being suspended?***

    A chance to be reinstated.

  28. mnvikes7897 says: Nov 29, 2012 2:44 PM

    Satan?!

  29. bmacwillconn says: Nov 29, 2012 2:49 PM

    Was the last sentence of your article really necessary? You’re a corporate guy now. No to wheel out the bathroom humor as though your writing for Jet’s Weekly

  30. 3kdad says: Nov 29, 2012 3:03 PM

    Reasonable people: You are in a no win situation. If Williams did not show up the loons would say it’s because he didn’t want to get caught lying. He shows up and he’s lying to get his job. Save your breath sane people.

  31. FinFan68 says: Nov 29, 2012 3:04 PM

    I hope they squash the whole semantics argument. Williams needs to confirm or deny exactly what happened. That needs needs to be compared with the statements of the others involved, determine who is lying (if applicable) and base the decision on the facts rather than the semantics or stigma of the word “bounty”.

    Regardless of what happens, the “other” side won’t believe it anyway.

    Seriously, Vilma could stand up and say that he put $10K on Favre but it wasn’t a bounty and several people on this site would use that as proof there was no bounty program.

  32. bigjdve says: Nov 29, 2012 3:06 PM

    goodellgate: getting reinstated doesn’t mean much if teams won’t hire you or players won’t respond to you.

    So lying wouldn’t really help in this case, when the lie, is that you were doing crime.

    I haven’t really ever heard that many people lying about committing a crime when there is no discernible upside other than being able to get a job in a field that won’t hire you.

  33. tommysaint1 says: Nov 29, 2012 3:06 PM

    No player will ever buy into anything GWill puts out there if he is reinstated. Dead career walking. he would do better to make Goodell out to be the incompetent one.

  34. dadindebt6 says: Nov 29, 2012 3:51 PM

    All four players admitted that ‘cart offs’ were part of the ‘pay for performance’ system. Goodell and the judge have agreed that being rewarded for injuring another player is a bounty. Even if the injury was unintentional, the fact that a reward was given for the injury constitutes a bounty. Goodell points out in one of the suspension letters that all four players admitted to the ‘cartoffs’ during their earlier hearings. None of the players challenged that statement. So, they have all admitted to pay for performance for cartoffs. That is admitting to a bounty. Case closed.

  35. brenenostler says: Nov 29, 2012 3:55 PM

    Drew, after year of denying a bounty program, why would Williams admit it now and accept his punishment if there wasn’t a bounty program?

    I can’t stand this guy anymore. He’s one of them. Had us fooled for so long.

  36. macbull says: Nov 29, 2012 4:05 PM

    Come on man…EVERYONE knows that Williams is going to say whatever the NFL wants him to say or he will never coach in the NFL again.

    Greg Williams creditability is zero only because he knows he must give the NFL (Goodell) the testimony he (Goodell) wants or Goodell will keep Williams suspended indefinitely.

    Williams is in a no win situation…

  37. threedeep1998 says: Nov 29, 2012 4:10 PM

    “wait a minute..he will appear in court friday, but his uncle will testify on his behalf..this crap stinks from head to toe and should not be allowed in court…the kangaroo court crap is back again led by puppeter Paul Taglibeau and Godell is still pulling the strings behind the scenes.”

    This is why Saints fans are the least intelligent fans in the NFL. I certainly hope it’s sarcasm. Maybe this kid needs an explanation on how “uncle” is an expression…

  38. totallyuselessme says: Nov 29, 2012 4:34 PM

    Why exactly should we believe a word Williams says?

    The guy’s obviously just ratting and throwing Vilma to the dogs (whether it’s even true or not) to get himself out of his own situation.

    It’s despicable and it’s pathetic.

  39. drbob117 says: Nov 29, 2012 5:26 PM

    Williams is screwed. Either he testifies and gets reinstated but never hired by another team because no NFL player will ever trust him again, or he doesn’t testify and never gets reinstated. He would have been better off suing Goodell like Vilma did and letting the chips fall where they may.

  40. bearnmind says: Nov 29, 2012 6:09 PM

    At this point, no one is ever going to feel like the truth came out. Half the fans will think the Saints were railroaded and half will think they were guilty. The one thing everyone should be able to agree on is that this was a PR nightmare for the NFL and the blame for that lies solely with the Commissioner

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