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Saints, Gregg Williams reunion coming tonight

Williams AP

Two years ago, the Saints’ season became derailed by the cartoonish comments and conduct of defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who brought to the Bayou a so-called bounty program that he reportedly used with other NFL teams.  In lieu of venturing down the proverbial rabbit hole, the NFL plugged it with cement, threw the book at the Saints, and moved on.

Williams moved on, serving a one-year suspension before landing with the Titans in 2013 and now with the Rams, in the same job he held when the suspensions was issued.  Tonight, Williams and the Saints will have one of the more awkward reunions in NFL history.

“It’s not a big topic,” Saints coach Sean Payton recently told reporters.  “Our players are playing a preseason game.  We are trying to get the right guys evaluated.  It is not even a big deal at all.  What’s important is just getting our guys ready to know what they’re doing, putting their best foot forward and playing well.  It’s about the players and us preparing.  I don’t see it being a big deal.”

That’s fine, but it is a big deal.  Or perhaps more accurately, it could end up being a big deal.  And Larry Holder of the New Orleans Times-Picayune suggests that the Saints would be wise to sit all starters against the St. Louis starting defense.

For good reason.  During the hearing conducted regarding player discipline, Saints linebacker coach and assistant head coach Joe Vitt blasted Williams, in multiple ways.

“Gregg Williams had a program, a bounty program in to try to hurt opposing coaches on the sideline,” Vitt said, for example.  “In other words, when you miss a play on the sideline of a tackle, you would get a bonus for knocking the coach down and knocking out his knee.”

While it’s only a preseason game, Williams and the Saints welcomed 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh to the job during the 2011 preseason by blitzing the San Francisco starting offense into oblivion.  The 49ers later would get their revenge, beating the Saints in the divisional round of the playoffs, the day after Williams’ over-the-top rant about injuring San Francisco offensive players was recorded and eventually given to the media.

That game was the last one Williams coached for the Saints.  Tonight, he’ll encounter them again for the first time since.  It’ll be the closest thing to must-see TV that ever happens in any preseason.

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61 Responses to “Saints, Gregg Williams reunion coming tonight”
  1. unclebluck says: Aug 8, 2014 10:58 AM

    Williams is a piece of garbage….

  2. 700levelvet says: Aug 8, 2014 10:58 AM

    But he still is employed by the same corporation that banished him… The NFL… Weird…

  3. brokebackbrees says: Aug 8, 2014 11:02 AM

    Ever since the saints got busted using the bounty program, they haven’t been the same.
    Nothing relevant since bounty program.

  4. mburkett1980 says: Aug 8, 2014 11:02 AM

    Don’t forget that this is Rob Ryan’s “return” to STL as well, after leaving the job literally days after starting it to go to New Orleans.

  5. 87hollywoodhorn says: Aug 8, 2014 11:06 AM

    Well the saints got hate for gregg williams? Cuz we won an SB with that man!
    And yes we should have Rob Ryan but yes we should have the bounties its just that simple the best of both worlds.
    The defense being a clique of hardhitters and taking out the opposition, do your job collect bounty $$$

  6. sbc85 says: Aug 8, 2014 11:07 AM

    I think it is important to note that Vitt also said he told players trying to knock out opposing coaches or whatever Gregg said was unacceptable, and that never actually happened with the Saints.

  7. vdogg says: Aug 8, 2014 11:10 AM

    Yeah I’m sure all the players on both teams circled this one on their calendars.

  8. brokebackbrees says: Aug 8, 2014 11:11 AM

    If the game was in New Orleans, Williams would be enshrined into the Saints HOF. After all, his bounty program won the saints a super bowl.

  9. 4thqtrsaint says: Aug 8, 2014 11:11 AM

    I’ve always thought it was funny that Payton got suspended 1 year, while Williams was “banned”. Apparently, those two words mean exactly the same thing .

  10. ariani1985 says: Aug 8, 2014 11:11 AM

    The aints are back!

  11. pacificnw7722 says: Aug 8, 2014 11:15 AM

    I for one think the ban SHOULD have been a lifetime.

  12. 667s650w says: Aug 8, 2014 11:16 AM

    Drew Brees better watch his back…

  13. doubleogator says: Aug 8, 2014 11:22 AM

    Drew Brees isn’t playing…

  14. 6ball says: Aug 8, 2014 11:24 AM

    .
    Greg Williams makes more than a million dollars per year. He’s laughing all the way to the bank.
    .

  15. yippiekyyaymf says: Aug 8, 2014 11:26 AM

    Bre

  16. tigersfandan says: Aug 8, 2014 11:34 AM

    Somehow I doubt Gregg Williams was the only guy doing this.

  17. codythao35 says: Aug 8, 2014 11:35 AM

    We’ll see if he sets bounty against his old team. This guy should be out of the league already. Goodell is a moron.

  18. codythao35 says: Aug 8, 2014 11:37 AM

    We’ll see if he sets bounty against his old team. Wanna see Brees get pounded like when they did to Favre. What a moron. This guy should be out of the league already. Goodell is a fool.

  19. robert831 says: Aug 8, 2014 11:42 AM

    Payton & Williams should have both been banned for life!

  20. robert831 says: Aug 8, 2014 11:44 AM

    Two worst NFL scandals are: 2009 Taints & 2001 Pats

  21. nostalgicsound says: Aug 8, 2014 11:51 AM

    Payton and Williams. Two dirty coaches. How the refs let that go in the NFC championship is beyond me. I’m no Vikings fan, but I do feel sorry for them for getting cheated out of that one. The saints only Super Bowl win will forever have an asterisk beside it. If the vikes won that game, they would have beat the colts in the SB.

  22. schmitty2 says: Aug 8, 2014 11:51 AM

    I’m a Rams fan and I definetely didn’t like Williams leading the bounty but lets be honest, he is one hell of a defensive coordinator.

  23. boisestatewhodat says: Aug 8, 2014 11:57 AM

    WHO DAT!!

    XLIV!!

    TIME TO ROLL!!

    Good luck catching the Saints this year ladies!

  24. boisestatewhodat says: Aug 8, 2014 11:59 AM

    Nostal…5 fumbles, 2 picks, 12 men in the huddle…you feel bad for them? They got beat fair and square! No bounty program was ever proven…it can’t be…every team either has done it or does it. Teams don’t cheat in the NFL…that is ridiculous.

  25. brokebackbrees says: Aug 8, 2014 12:01 PM

    Brees is faking an injury for a reason. He’s scared to go up against a team that seems to have his number.

    The new and “improved” bounty program the saints have installed needs the preseason to work out the kinks.

    Nothing relevant since past bounty program, if their new one works out, look out!

  26. numba1wiscosportsfan says: Aug 8, 2014 12:02 PM

    Ew

    >

  27. xbam1 says: Aug 8, 2014 12:04 PM

    hope Brees sits this one out! LOL

  28. bcajun says: Aug 8, 2014 12:06 PM

    Why was his punishment the same as payton??…should be banish FOR GOOD

  29. whodat5150 says: Aug 8, 2014 12:06 PM

    The reason that Gregg Williams was allowed back into the league was because the Paul Tagliabue investigation couldn’t substantiate many of the more egregious findings from the NFL’s investigation, that led to the various suspensions. The Tagliabue investigation could NOT substantiate the NFL’s findings, that Saints players were INTENTIONALLY trying to injure the opposing players. But to deliver the biggest LEGAL hit possible, that MAY result in that player not coming back, to that particular game; nothing serious or permanent. In fact, the Tagliabue investigation completely EXONERATED Scott Fujita.

  30. alonestartexan says: Aug 8, 2014 12:08 PM

    Didn’t Williams have his reunion game against the Saints last year? As a member of the Titans?

  31. MichaelEdits says: Aug 8, 2014 12:13 PM

    Bounty on Gregg Williams

  32. boisestatewhodat says: Aug 8, 2014 12:13 PM

    Didn’t play the titans last year.

  33. Straight Cash Homie says: Aug 8, 2014 12:33 PM

    I love all these Saints haters still crying about 2009. Feed me your tears I love them!

    And the Saints not relevant since the alleged but never proven “Bountygate” is laughable. They only missed the playoffs once since then and that was the year SP and Williams were suspended. What have the Vikqueens done since then? Well here it is: 2010 6-10, 2011 3-13, 2012 10-6, 2013 5-10-1. That’s even worse than the Cowboys. So do you really want to talk about relevance? Enjoy another top 5 draft pick.

  34. saints12013 says: Aug 8, 2014 12:36 PM

    Wowww lots of haters, but the fact that somebody can really say the Saints have been irrelevant since the so called bouty scandal is just ignorance and lack of NFL knowledge. We’re in the playoffs every year and are a Top 5 team every year. And the year we won the SB, we DOMINATED THE LEAGUE that year. We were 13-0 and got lazy the last 3 weeks and then turned it back on in the playoffs. We destroyed Arizona, we beat Minnesota pretty much cause we caused turnovers, and we beat Indy convincingly.

  35. dodohead418 says: Aug 8, 2014 12:48 PM

    Let’s home Gregg’s D scheme knows zone now instead of man coverage always!

  36. micknangold says: Aug 8, 2014 12:51 PM

    Must see TV? This is completely irrelevant. You know what actually is must see TV in the preseason? Johnny Football. You either love him and want to see him tear it up or hate him and want to see him lay an egg.

  37. bcajun says: Aug 8, 2014 12:58 PM

    If thats the case they found nothing then why did we lose picks…goodell playing favorites…as usual …shoulda sued

  38. skawh says: Aug 8, 2014 1:03 PM

    Why is this scum serving a lifetime ban from football?

    Is it because he has knowledge of the Commissioner’s complicity in the cover up of the real story, that he was issued a very short suspension by the league?

  39. tpayneful says: Aug 8, 2014 1:21 PM

    Forgiveness is in short supply here. The guy did his time and has gotten a second chance. He hath not sinned throw the first stone.

  40. orivar says: Aug 8, 2014 1:59 PM

    Why are people acting surprised? This is football, it is NOT A NICE SPORT! Players talk about trying to ‘accidentally’ hit coaches all the time, a lot of coaches don’t care about that either.

    Stop with the whole ‘class’ illusion, it doesn’t exist. Those of us that play the sport know this.

  41. brokebackbrees says: Aug 8, 2014 2:18 PM

    Look no further than the cheap shots on Warner and Farve during the bounty program. Face the facts, they were out to cheat, got caught, got multiple suspensions… End of story.

  42. madddogg365 says: Aug 8, 2014 2:29 PM

    brokebackbrees says:Aug 8, 2014 11:11 AM

    If the game was in New Orleans, Williams would be enshrined into the Saints HOF. After all, his bounty program won the saints a super bowl.

    Actually it was Brett Farve who won the Saints a Super Bowl. OUR HERO!!!!!!!!!!!! kmsl

  43. nowillrepeat says: Aug 8, 2014 2:33 PM

    The fact of the matter is the “12 men in the huddle” penalty might be the most egregious of all time.

    If not for it, they run AP into the line twice and kick the game winning field goal, bounties or not.

    No one to blame but themselves #sadbuttrue

  44. kcar28 says: Aug 8, 2014 2:36 PM

    12 men on the field in the final drive on the NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
    #SKOL
    #Cassel/Bridgewater/Ponder
    #3-13 for the next decade

  45. BigAlHeBDMan says: Aug 8, 2014 2:39 PM

    Straight Cash Homie says:
    Aug 8, 2014 12:33 PM
    I love all these Saints haters still crying about 2009. Feed me your tears I love them!

    And the Saints not relevant since the alleged but never proven “Bountygate” is laughable. They only missed the playoffs once since then and that was the year SP and Williams were suspended. What have the Vikqueens done since then? Well here it is: 2010 6-10, 2011 3-13, 2012 10-6, 2013 5-10-1. That’s even worse than the Cowboys. So do you really want to talk about relevance? Enjoy another top 5 draft pick.

    The part those minnie soda mouse fans always leave out is the rematch the 1st game of the following season when the Saints trounced them a 2nd time. Talk about some crybabies. I’ve never seen any like them in NFL history.

  46. madddogg365 says: Aug 8, 2014 2:45 PM

    Warner & Farve BOTH stated they saw NOTHING wrong w/the hits they received. & if u actually paid attention…AL CHARGES WERE DROPPED for LACK of evidence. End of story…Like the 2009 Vikings.

  47. ilovefoolsball says: Aug 8, 2014 2:56 PM

    12 men in the huddle for a game deciding play in the NFC championship game!

    Didn’t they work on that in preseason?

  48. saints12013 says: Aug 8, 2014 3:07 PM

    I just wanna know if all these ignorant Saints haters know the difference between an incentive to play hard and actual cheating ? Cause like I said in my other post, we DOMINATED that year and as far as I know our Offense didn’t run any type of bounty program and nobody could stop it. And oh ya, our Defense that year was 2nd in the league behind only Green Bay in forced turnovers. Oh let me guess, our defenders were using stick em’ ?

  49. larryjames836 says: Aug 8, 2014 3:15 PM

    It not going to matter if Greg Williams is on the sideline for the St.Louis Rams, the New Orleans Saints going to play they game of football on tonight. Like Sean Payton said its know big deal what the Rams defense better do is have some speed in they back field if not Brandin Cooks going to run by them like a rocket. The Saints have to much talent players on they offense the Rams are not ready for the Saints offense, all you Saints HATERS watch the game. You guys talked about Jimmy Graham is soft watch out for Jimmy Graham this year he going to be a bomb on the field. New Orleans Saints tasting the 2014 Super Bowl and the NFL knows it anytime you have a team that in playoff mode every year will sooner are later going in and win the Super Bowl.

  50. madddogg365 says: Aug 8, 2014 3:25 PM

    Any1 missing. I wonder why? lol #SKANK…I mean #SKOL lol

  51. sneadon says: Aug 8, 2014 3:51 PM

    Ray Ray Armstrong will single-handedly be the reason a fight breaks out tonight. You heard it hear first.

  52. brokebackbrees says: Aug 8, 2014 3:57 PM

    Oh yea, the saints “dominated” last season… Got beat by the Jets/ crushed by Seattle/ crushed by the rams/destroyed by Carolina(score don’t show it but they got dummied) oh yea, and a Loss to patriots. Only 2 playoff teams they beat regular season were fluke 3 point 49er win, and Carolina. Then fluked one out vs Philly in playoffs only for a trip to Seattle to fail miserably in true Saints fashion.

    Don’t mind people calling them an average/ good team, but “dominant” is truly an overstatement.

    No bounty program= No relevancy.

  53. sb44champs says: Aug 8, 2014 4:11 PM

    Anyone that thinks the Saints should have an * by their Super Bowl 44 Championship remember its only in y’all little minds… The rest of America with a decent IQ know the Saints won hard-fought playoff games against future HOFers Warner, Favre and Manning. Furthermore, Warner and Favre both agreed on record that it had nothing to do with ‘bounties’ lol… BOO-YAH!!!!!!

  54. kcar28 says: Aug 8, 2014 4:42 PM

    The big bad bounty scandal caused significant damage to players in every game.
    *youtube’s every saints game from 2009, finds that literally one player hurt his ankle as he was hit as soon as the ball was released, but missed no time in that game*

    Yet Donte Whitner had 4 helmet to helmet shots that year and 49ers defense is praised for their hard hitting.

  55. saints12013 says: Aug 8, 2014 4:58 PM

    Please, please, and please again learn how to read or pay attention. I said we DOMINATED the 2009 season. And how did we get beat sooo bad against Carolina ? If I remember correctly we had the lead for a good amount of time in that game and the Panthers came back and won on the final drive. I’m talking about NFL football here, not CFL. And let me see, Brees vs Foles in a playoff game ? Hmmmm ? Saints D shut down McCoy, Keenan Lewis BLANKED DeSean Jackson. But we fluked out a win ??? Like Nemo’s Dad Marlin said to Dori, “Something’s wrong with you”

  56. ilovefoolsball says: Aug 8, 2014 5:34 PM

    “brokebackbrees” is Minnesota’s version of “Uncle Rico” from Napoleon Dynamite.

    “If I could do it again, I’d take State!”

    He even ordered one of those Viking Superbowl Champion t-shirts that were shipped to Honduras.

  57. canmannac says: Aug 8, 2014 5:40 PM

    Give me a break with the Vikingesque types here and crying over losing in NOLA in the NFC final in 2009. You lost. 12 men in the huddle. 5 fumbles two picks and you continue to WHINE. You aren’t Vikings, in fact Scandinavian countries should start a petition from you using their name, because you insult their culture! They kicked butt, you can’t even kick a 56 yrd field goal cause y’all too busy pondering passing!!!!!! lol. You are the margarine of Vikings, quasi Vikings, the diet coke of Vikings, just one calorie and not quite Viking enough!

  58. boobsmcgoo says: Aug 8, 2014 6:05 PM

    It’s preseason. C’mon, man. No story here.

  59. codythao35 says: Aug 8, 2014 6:49 PM

    Whether they found evidence of intentional or not we the whole world know for sure it was. That’s all that matters. Super Bowl winning means nothing when you know you’re cheating. The Saints will always be known as cheaters!!!!!!!

  60. saints12013 says: Aug 8, 2014 9:31 PM

    Oh God another person that is too ignorant to know the difference between incentive to play hard and cheating. Hay here’s a newsflash to all you people that watch ESPN for 7 minutes and think you know all about sports. Almost every team in the NFL, COLLEGE football, and even high school have some type of incentive to play hard. It is the culture of competitive sports. Packers, Titans, Redskins, Bills, Ravens, Steelers, 49ers, Jaguars, and probably other teams have all had some type of incentive to play hard. So stop being naive like the Saints are the only team in the history of the world to engage in such acts.

  61. madddogg365 says: Aug 11, 2014 12:34 PM

    codythao35-You will always be known as delusional…& on the losing end. Why don’t you google Brett Farve’s interview on the matter. Or does facts mean as much to you as winning. Sorry. You don’t know about that either.

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