In the post-bounty NFL, coaches and players aren’t supposed to talk about the incentive that exists even in the absence of envelopes full of cash.
Strategically, it’s useful to attempt to inflict injury on opposing players.
Bills defensive lineman Mario Williams violated that fairly new etiquette point in explaining the philosophy of defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, via Tim Graham of the Buffalo News: “He usually says ‘Kill ’em or hurt ’em.’ That’s what I always hear.”
It proves our point that, even without bounties, players and coaches have every reason to want to knock other players out of games. But the NFL doesn’t want players or coaches talking about it, as we saw last year when the league clamped down on Titans defensive coordinator Jerry Gray for talking about giving opponents a ride on the Gator Truck.
So while the NFL likely won’t be handing out suspensions (that later would be overturned by Paul Tagliabue), look for the league office to make it known to the Bills that talk like that is currently frowned upon in this establishment.
And while we’re in the neighborhood, allow me to reiterate that this is the primary concern Redskins fans should have about quarterback Robert Griffin III. Regardless of when he’s healthy, defenders will be inclined to hit him low in order to give him a third torn ACL.
They’d just be wise not to say so publicly.