Skip to content

Bills deny Pettine’s use of “kill ’em”


Chris Berman is right.  Nobody circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills.

Especially when it comes to keeping the NFL out of their business.

The team, which somehow escaped bounty scrutiny last year despite its previous employment of Gregg Williams as head coach, is scrambling to clean up a mess made by Mario Williams, who said on Thursday of defensive coordinator Mike Pettine:  “He usually says ‘Kill ‘em or hurt ‘em.’  That’s what I always hear.”

Williams now says he has heard the term not “usually” or “always” or, in fact, ever.  The Bills also have addressed the situation, via a statement from coach Doug Marrone.

“Mike has assured me that he has never used the word ‘kill’ in his terminology regarding our defensive strategy,” Marrone said, via the Associated Press.

“He has used the word ‘hurt’ as a term that essentially means beating the running back to a spot in a pass-rushing drill and not in a physical sense,” Marrone said. “Mike is aware that the term ‘hurt’ could be taken out of context, and he is changing his terminology.”

Frankly, that explanation hurts my brain.  And by “hurt” I definitely don’t mean the explanation beat my brain to a spot in a pass-rushing drill.

Marrone also said that the Bills have made player safety a priority, which ignores the reality that the game is inherently unsafe, and that there’s a natural incentive to apply clean, legal hits in a way that knocks a key player out of the game.

No matter what the league, its teams, and/or their coaches and players say or don’t say, that incentive remains a very real part of the game.

Permalink 59 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Buffalo Bills, Rumor Mill, Top Stories
59 Responses to “Bills deny Pettine’s use of “kill ’em””
  1. chickenneck says: Jun 14, 2013 4:15 PM

    Sounds like a cover up. 1 year ban on all coaches inc.

  2. buddysguys says: Jun 14, 2013 4:15 PM


  3. literofcola says: Jun 14, 2013 4:16 PM

    small minds and big muscles….Bad combination.

  4. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Jun 14, 2013 4:16 PM

    Are we seriously upset about a coach telling his players to “kill” the opponent? I’m sure he doesn’t mean to literally do it. Can anyone find a coach anywhere (with the possible exceptions of Tony Dungy and Leslie Frazier) who has not used this terminology?

  5. peytonsneckl8 says: Jun 14, 2013 4:17 PM


  6. GenXJay says: Jun 14, 2013 4:20 PM

    “murder ’em.”

  7. skoobyfl says: Jun 14, 2013 4:20 PM

    I’ll take hunt with a side of stalk with intent please, everyone gets powderpuff dolls as well.

  8. seaeagle707 says: Jun 14, 2013 4:23 PM

    I gotta be skeptical that anyone on the Bills coaching staff ever told a player to “kill ’em or hurt ’em”. I say that simply because when we (The Seahawks) played them in Toronto, last year hardly anybody on the Bills touched us all day. You may remember that game as the one in which our undersized QB, ran for three touchdowns during the first half.

    They even had Tavaris, our deep-cover covert QB, for “inside” info on our team. Not that they would ever resort to tipping or anything like that. (cough! cough!)

  9. grogseal says: Jun 14, 2013 4:23 PM

    Who in their right mind would ever believe anything that comes out of Mario William’s mouth?

  10. thegreatgabbert says: Jun 14, 2013 4:23 PM

    “Doug” Maroon believes the exact term used was “render them unto a lifeless state, incapable of hostile response.”. Which is obviously not at all the meaning suggested by Stupor Mario.

  11. catquick says: Jun 14, 2013 4:24 PM

    Every team, every one, uses similar language. I’m tired of the brooding and whining from Saints fans. Get over it. You situ was different. Do coaches need to parse their language or hire an attorney before trying to teach solid play? The greatest defensive players, Butkis, LT, Deacon Jones, etc were all fairly vicious. That’s what made them great.

  12. allaboutkubrick says: Jun 14, 2013 4:25 PM

    So worse case, he said “kill ’em”.

    If he did, doesn’t anybody really believe he meant go out there and end their lives?

    Come on.

  13. jack3dsd says: Jun 14, 2013 4:25 PM

    this is so dumb coaches And players have to find ways to explain they are not trying to hurt other players in an obviously physical game….only in America

  14. filthymcnasty1 says: Jun 14, 2013 4:26 PM

    People are so naughty.

  15. b3nz0z says: Jun 14, 2013 4:29 PM

    i mean, everyone knows that it doesn’t feel good to get tackled, right? like, it hurts.

  16. thegreatgabbert says: Jun 14, 2013 4:30 PM

    Hahaha, Dougie Moron. Where do they find these guys? Schneider the Little Weiner. Chipmunk Kelly. Idjit John. What a waste of large salary.

  17. noring4youstill says: Jun 14, 2013 4:30 PM

    There is no way, I mean NO WAY! Any other team has or will ever use violent phrases when speaking of opposing teams.

  18. egomaniac247 says: Jun 14, 2013 4:36 PM

    Please intercept his body’s path with your body’s path using a magnitude of momentum and authority guys! Now let’s get out there and get ’em!! GOO TEAM

  19. bmoreravens1012013 says: Jun 14, 2013 4:39 PM

    This effort to be politically correct has really, really disgusted me. It’s PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL, NOT LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL!!! Give me a freekin break already….I could care less if they tell them to decapitate the guy, arnt they all adult enough to decipher reality and fantasy? If not , then the NFL has a bigger problem than “terminology issues”. This is another example of Roger Goodell putting panties on the sport the same way he wants them on quarterbacks. I just wish he would go away and continue to make his 30 million in 1 year “salary”.

  20. anactualnflowner says: Jun 14, 2013 4:44 PM

    Its embarrassing to see this. Somehow the pansies have infiltrated football and now coaches can’t even use exaggerated words to describe defeat. Who are the morons who actually think he means to inflict a mortal wound to a running back?

  21. pioniere says: Jun 14, 2013 4:49 PM

    “Frankly, that explanation hurts my brain. ”

    Your attempt to try and turn this into something sensational is hurting mine.

  22. andrewsteindione says: Jun 14, 2013 4:49 PM

    You have got to figuratively kill ’em!!!!!

  23. zeke2517 says: Jun 14, 2013 4:50 PM

    I guess we can’t speak figuratively anymore. It’s a shame that football has turned into the Real Housewives of the Gridiron.

  24. alehleha says: Jun 14, 2013 4:51 PM

    Man my back is killing me.

    WAIT. Whoops! Sorry guys. Didn’t mean to say a naughty word there.

    Unbelievable SMH. Who cares? As long as he’s not telling players to go for so and so’s knee an try to hit this guys head because he’s concussion prone, then shut up. It’s not an issue.

  25. surfinbird1 says: Jun 14, 2013 4:54 PM

    Man are we gettin’ sensitive. I can remember Dick Butkus saying he used to dream about hittin’ a guy so hard ,his head would come off and roll down the field.

  26. rhamrhoddy says: Jun 14, 2013 4:55 PM

    “Big game tonight fellas. Best rushing offense in the league. Now I want you to GET OUT THERE and STOP EM! But most importantly be careful. Make sure you record the tackle but for the love of God, just be GENTLE with them cuz at the END OF THE DAY, WERE ALL BROTHERS!!!! Lets GOOOOO!!!”

  27. irishjugalo says: Jun 14, 2013 5:00 PM

    Some things are inherently not meant to be PC. Football is one of them. What happens on the field is for the public to witness. What happens in the locker room and other team-only settings isn’t. Neither are team names that are 75+ years old. This nonsense is discussed/debated/investigated/disciplined so frequently that I’m beginning to think that I generally just hate people.

  28. officialgame says: Jun 14, 2013 5:07 PM

    Just fine the Saints it was there idea anyway.

  29. twilson962 says: Jun 14, 2013 5:16 PM

    Stop the presses!!!!!! A defensive coach told his players to knock the snot out of the other team?!?! This cannot be!!!

  30. fanofevilempire says: Jun 14, 2013 5:17 PM

    this is over kill.

  31. bvolke says: Jun 14, 2013 5:18 PM

    This has to be the dumbest witch hunt in NFL History. Can we rename it stupid-gate?

  32. rushbacker says: Jun 14, 2013 5:22 PM

    Cripes’ sake. What’s he supposed to say? “Okay guys, go out there and tackle them as gently as you can!”

    Wrap ’em all in bubblewrap, and have done with.

  33. prmpft says: Jun 14, 2013 5:23 PM

    get friggin’ over it – it is football until they destroy it!

  34. NOLA in Focus says: Jun 14, 2013 5:24 PM

    Dumb Saints Hater Logic:

    Blah blah blah Doug Marrone coached under Payton in New Orleans, so blah blah blah obviously he’s guilty. Blah blah blah Favre.

  35. wwwmattcom says: Jun 14, 2013 5:27 PM

    Profootball will be a thing of the past. As will “talk” about it.

  36. EJ says: Jun 14, 2013 5:41 PM

    Really? Does any player or coach really have to explain their terminology in such a physical and dangerous sport like football? Obviously he meant hurt as in hit them where it hurts and kill them by not allowing any points. Nobody actually believes that when a Coach says kill them that they ACTUALLY mean KILL them.

  37. hor2012 says: Jun 14, 2013 5:44 PM

    catquick says:
    Jun 14, 2013 4:24 PM
    Every team, every one, uses similar language. I’m tired of the brooding and whining from Saints fans. Get over it. You situ was different. Do coaches need to parse their language or hire an attorney before trying to teach solid play? The greatest defensive players, Butkis, LT, Deacon Jones, etc were all fairly vicious. That’s what made them great.

    No, the situation wasn’t different stupid. It was football talk. And, I’m one of the Saints fans that you’re talking about. But, I do agree. It’s time to give this a rest and let’s move on

  38. randomcommenter says: Jun 14, 2013 5:44 PM

    Can we dial back the PC nonsense? I know the NFL is currently pretending they care about player safety in order to get players to play 18 games, so they are looking at stuff like this. That’s fine but there’s a huge difference between offering cash prizes for injuring opponents and using a generic phrase like kill them.

    What’s next? Do we alert homeland security when the offensive coordinator calls for a long bomb?

  39. mancave001 says: Jun 14, 2013 5:54 PM

    You know, the fact he said “that’s what I *hear*” coupled with their denials actually makes me buy the explanation. After Greg Williams I don’t think anyone is going to be so stupid.

  40. Waffle 2.0 says: Jun 14, 2013 5:58 PM

    This PC witch-hunt madness is getting out of hand. In an effort to sanitize the image of the game and limit the exposure of the NFL to the concussion lawsuits Goodell and the powers that be have taken this bounty sh*t to the next level.

    I am against the paying of players that purposefully hurt others but when my coach tells me to kill a guy I shouldn’t have to translate what he meant to the media so they don’t jump the story like a blond in Italy.

    This is getting gayyy.

  41. kingdm8 says: Jun 14, 2013 6:05 PM

    Much ado about nothing.

  42. j1stat says: Jun 14, 2013 6:25 PM

    Has it really come to this. its absurd on so many levels. Isn’t figuritive speech still one of our protected rights?

  43. Eric Broz says: Jun 14, 2013 6:29 PM

    Why is this even an issue? Are players and coaches going to get fined for saying “It’s gonna be a war.” or “It was a war out there?”

    The object of football has always been to break the will of the other team. This game is getting ridiculous, and I blame the ginger in charge.

    Let them play. And let them talk.

  44. godblessfootball says: Jun 14, 2013 6:29 PM

    Oh c’mon, what jack-ass actually believes he meant that literally? This is so stupid. Everybody just take a salt tablet and relax!

  45. chaunceysboys says: Jun 14, 2013 6:42 PM

    Everyone does realize that Pettine has never coached a single game for the Bills, right? He hasn’t even coached a scrimmage. The only players Pettine-coached Bills defenders have faced are other Bills players.

  46. thestrategyexpert says: Jun 14, 2013 6:54 PM

    “Guys, listen up, we are not going to focus on violent instructions any more because our words keep getting taken out of context.

    From now on, just knock these guys backwards and gangbang them hard in the rear!”

  47. richc111 says: Jun 14, 2013 8:07 PM

    I was there when he said it, what he said was when you get to the guy with the ball, I want you to gently hold him down and lower him to the ground making sure that you don’t in any way try to do and harm or even inflict emotional distress. That is the way to play football. If you have to carry a pillow with you and place it under his head when you set him down so he is not to bump his head, that would be even better.

  48. smartestpackerfan says: Jun 14, 2013 9:00 PM

    Silly Bills, that is a Saints thing! Super 44 Champs*


  49. mackcarrington says: Jun 14, 2013 9:51 PM

    Did Deacon Jones just now roll over?

  50. monstersofthemidway545051 says: Jun 14, 2013 11:00 PM

    Hurts my brain line is great Florio.

  51. youcantmakemepickausername says: Jun 14, 2013 11:14 PM

    Jeez, everything is so literal now. Pettine better not ever tell these guys to go “balls to the wall”…Sounds painful.

  52. thegreatgabbert says: Jun 14, 2013 11:21 PM

    No doubt the next time we see Pettine in public he will be wearing a Van Dyke beard, horn rimmed glasses, and a tweed coat. Carrying a briefcase. From the Gregg Williams school of re-invention.

  53. angelheartsbuckeyes says: Jun 14, 2013 11:25 PM

    Next up, participation Lombardis for everyone!

  54. urabozoo says: Jun 15, 2013 1:39 AM

    **NEWS FLASH** Coaches are no longer able to use the term “Knock their blocks off” as it offends the media and Legos. What a soft, pathetic and stupid society we have become. I pity the future generations.

  55. hedleykow says: Jun 15, 2013 2:23 AM

    Drew Brees demands an explanation from Obama. I mean this is ridiculous. First Obama wants your guns, then he wants to turn out the lights on the Redskins franchise name, and now you are telling me that the Obama vocabulary gestapo are no longer permitting NFL coaches to say mean stuff? I knew this was going to happen. Dang it all to hell.

  56. jpmelon says: Jun 15, 2013 6:37 AM

    “When you’ve got the chance, you’ve got to murder them”….”murder them like they’ve never been murdered before”

  57. peanutele24 says: Jun 15, 2013 10:25 AM

    O c’mon . The NFL is killing me,O wait .

  58. sbubandit says: Jun 24, 2013 3:39 PM

    Won’t be long before a D-lineman, coming unblocked will have to yell “Mr. Brady, do I have permission to initiate contact upon your person?” As they shoot the gap.

  59. thesteelers says: Jun 26, 2013 2:42 PM


Leave a Reply

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