Dungy suspects Redskins had a bounty on Peyton

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The two biggest NFL stories of this week will be the Thursday deadline for the Colts to either cut Peyton Manning or pay him $28 million, and the ongoing investigation into Gregg Williams offering up bounties for his players to knock opponents out of games. Those stories may be converging.

Multiple reports over the last three days have suggested that the chronic neck problems that led Manning to miss the entire 2011 season began with a hit he took in a game against the Redskins when Williams was Washington’s defensive coordinator. And former Colts coach Tony Dungy said today on the Dan Patrick Show that he now suspects Williams may have put a bounty on Manning before that game.

“Just listening to their guys talk, it does sound like it,” Dungy said. “When you see Matt Bowen’s comments and [Philip] Daniels’ comments, that ‘This is what we had done,’ yeah, it makes you think that.”

Dungy said he doesn’t believe the hit from Daniels was intended to cause long-term health problems for Manning, but he does believe the hit was against the rules, and he worries about the combination of a defensive player breaking the rules and a coach encouraging players to knock an opponent out.

“It was a penalty, it should have been a penalty and I said it at the time, but I wouldn’t have said this is something intentional,” Dungy said. “But, again, you can’t read into people’s actions on the field. You never know. That’s where this thing is so dangerous, when you get that being talked about, ‘Oh, yeah, for big hits, or for knocking guys out, or for taking star players out of the game, we would do A, B and C, or get paid.’ That’s what puts the doubt in people’s mind and that’s why it’s so dangerous.”

Dungy will have more to say on this and other topics when he joins Florio on today’s PFT Live.

78 responses to “Dungy suspects Redskins had a bounty on Peyton

  1. Tony again didn’t you retire to spend more time with your family, we get it everyone was after Payton……..except the owner of the Colts.

  2. and I suspect that Dungy didn’t actually (really)coach the Colts. How are you going to scream bounty when Manning, along with brady and rodgers, is one of the most protected quarterbacks?

  3. so if the penalty for this is anything like spygate wouldn’t the redskins get penalized their first round pick next year…haha which takes them out of the running for RGIII sweet

  4. Oh Tony please give us a friggin break already, you played the game the defense is always trying to get a good hit on someone and didn’t Peyton play the next week? This whole thing is getting out of control I mean really go back and look at archives of old games I mean during the Butkus, Jim Brown, Ray Nitschke etc., days I’ve seen worse hits back then than anything a players been penalized/fined and or suspended for and those were legal hits then. Think offensive coaches don’t do the same thing with crack back blocks etc., trying to take a defensive player out of the game…it’s the nature of the beast…

  5. watch the hit,its on you tube..as a skins fan watching that game i was pumped i thought he was out..he came back in the next play..i didnt see dungy keeping him out of the game..if he was so worried..6 years later he’s b!tch!ng cmon man..

  6. I thought his neck injury stemmed from a genetic issue that he shared with his older brother, which in turn was the reason his older brother had to give up football.


  7. So, let me get this straight…In Tony Dungy’s “expert ” medical opinion . The reason Peyton has neck problems is because of ONE hit that took place 3-4 years ago . One I might add that he got up from and played the rest of the game and the next two seasons. And of course I guess he was in the locker room when “the Redskins”, not Gregg Williams , according to the headline of this article placed a bounty on his head.

    Thank you Dr. Dungy !!! and the completely unbiased article that PFT has posted .

  8. Wow…this is getting really ridiculous. Manning may have fallen out of his crib as a child, took a hit when he played football at Newman HS or at Tennessee, or during his first year in the league, but to start saying it must be caused by Gregg Williams defense at Washington is absolutely ludicrous, and I’m not talking about the rapper.

  9. I believe Tony to be a credible source here. As a long time Packer Fan, I recall his Viking Coached defenses (B4 Bucs & Colts) always went after Favres knees and ankles. Dump Rush!

  10. Lotsa controversial and divided opinions, but it’s good for the game and the league that the bounty business gets fully aired out.

  11. I suspect that Tony Dungy looks like Marvin the Martian if he ever took off his helmet

  12. Perhaps, offenses should start placing bounties on defensive players? Have an intern sit up in the booth and record all of the cheap shots during a game. Then later, send 2 OL-man to legally chop block their knees. Nice and simple. Cheap pansy defender’s career is over, but it was done in a clean hard-hitting manner.

    That would be fair, right? I mean, it is football.

    We could change this from a hard-hitting game to weekly mobs wars. The TV ratings would be great.

    (sarcasm-for all you hard line idiots)

  13. cowboysallday< no surprise a Cowboy fan dreams of the Redskins getting a draft pick taken, Not going to happen to the Skins, Buffalo or Tenn. Keep dreamimg. If i were you I figure out how the Cowboys are to remain relevent. They have No QB, No OL, and No Secondary. Your team is bismal………..

  14. All the Redskin fans can talk now… but lets recall that the Colts won that game and Peyton Manning didn’t miss a play and threw for 300 yards and 2 touchdowns.

    Bite it bisnitches.

  15. Job Description of NFL Defensive Lineman and Linebackers: Hit the opposing QB as much as you can so he can no longer throw accurately and is rattled in the pocket…the keys to victory before every NFL game including the Superbowl include “knock the opposing QB down.” If their job to hit someone enough times and hard enough so that another player cannot perform their job well anymore, I don’t see the issue. So Williams gave them extra money if they actually pulled it off without getting flagged to many times…big deal..its a full contact sport and these men are paid very well for it….

  16. i suspect Dungy of being a Cry Baby! 6 years later really thats funny.

    and yeah this is on the Refs to make the right calls and eject players from games, like the hit harrision put of the Browns QB- prob not a Bounty there, but that is the type of cheap shot hit that can end careers, and has no business in the game.

    i am all for WR getting tagged (leaglly) going across the middle but you cant aim for the head, its just wrong.

  17. You know, I got my stats wrong. I’m sorry, it wasn’t two scores.

    It was 4.


  18. Tony Dungy, now there’s a real moral authority. He put his family on the backburner for years so he could coach, all the while ignoring his son’s spiraling free fall into depression that eventually claimed his life. And even then he kept working. His image is about as fake and phony as Favre’s. But at least nobody died because of Favre’s diva attitude and serial infidelity.

  19. Kimo Von Olhoffen probably got paid handsomely for taking Carson Palmer’s leg out in the 2005 playoffs. Funny how he retired right after that.

  20. Does the NFL purposely create a scandal for every off season to keep itself in the headlines.

    last year it was the lookout, year before it was qb rapist, before that it was favre retiring unretiring…..seems like more like hollywood movie than reality.

  21. As a Giants’ fan, I’d like to see the Skins go back to the bounty program. It was during this time we won about 47 games in a row against them.

  22. After reading these comments I’m begining to think that the Redskins should be disciplined by the league for having irrational fans.

  23. Skins fans,

    I got the stats wrong because I was getting my regular season games confused. Manning beat them so frequently. Did the Skins ever hold Manning to under 300 yards?

    I know you want to defend your guys. I know you don’t want to believe that your guys can possibly be the bad guys. I know you want to lash out at someone because you can’t lash out at your boys.

    But lashing out at Tony Dungy is pathetic.

    Knowing what we know now about Gregg Williams… and watching that play on youtube… you know, it definitely looks like they were trying to hurt Manning on purpose.

    The problem with that is that it just ticked Manning off and he went Robo-QB on you.

  24. Am I the only one who doesn’t see a problem with a bounty program? They’re a defense in the NFL, they’re supposed to deliver big hits on key players! If Goodell has it his way the NFL will eliminate contact all together and it will simply be a game of catch.

  25. EVERYONE had a bounty for Peyton. Maybe not monetary, but imagine your status after laying out one of the Greatest Of All Time.

  26. how many titles did Dungy throw away by resting in December. His opinion has no value.

  27. Dungy is one of the most overrated coaches of all time. Never inspired a soul, rode Peytons coat tails. Look what Caldwell did the first year he was head coach.

    Colts success = PEYTON MANNING, not coaching

  28. con·jec·ture   [kuhn-jek-cher] verb, -tured, -tur·ing.
    the formation or expression of an opinion or theory without sufficient evidence for proof.

  29. “Dungy suspects Redskins had a bounty on Peyton”

    Who the hell is Dungy?….Kojak? McCloud?

  30. That was a nasty hit (double high & low) against Peyton. He’s always a target, but if you look at records, he’s one of the least sacked QB’s in the league. He has had issues with his neck since then, compounded over the following seasons until all the surgeries took place. As the QB is the most targeted player, it’s still not right to intentionally injure him, for a ‘bonus’ payment or motivation. If I was making millions, that would motivate me just fine. I doubt we’ll see much of Williams this season, perhaps never again in the NFL. The bounty is now on his head!

  31. ham1 says:
    Mar 5, 2012 12:38 PM
    I wish dudley do right would just go away.

    I agree. He’s like the inverse of Warren Sapp.

    Enough already.

  32. This whole thing is getting blown way out of control…guess when Brady got hurt there was a bounty or any player for that matter geez grow up it’ s football it’s a violent sport! Why not just go to flag football at this rate…

  33. WTF? Dungy isn’t allowed to talk football in public at all without a bunch of morons completely losing their cool. He has one of the best winning percentages as a coach in NFL history and now his job is talking football on TV. If he annoys you, perhaps you’d be happier watching tennis. This man has forgotten more football knowledge than any of the haters will ever even know.

  34. IrsaysTwitterThumb says:
    Mar 5, 2012 12:18 PM

    All the Redskin fans can talk now… but lets recall that the Colts won that game and Peyton Manning didn’t miss a play and threw for 300 yards and 2 touchdowns.

    I think your very notion suggests that Dungy’s assumption may be a bit ridiculous. The hit was hard, but not illegal. It looked bad because two players got to him at the same time, but they were just doing what they were contractually hired to do – get to the quarterback. You can’t take every hard hit by the Redskins defense over a 4 year span and blame it on bounties.

  35. Anyone else remember when the Pats manhandled the high powered Colts WRs in the 2004 playoffs and Dungy made such a fuss that they ended up installing the “illegal contact” penalty? Now he claims a legal hit 6 yrs ago was the reason for Peyton’s multiple neck surgeries…so now we can expect the trend of ridiculous “roughing the passer” penalties to carry over from last yr…Dungy should shoulder some of the blame for the perception that the league has gotten “soft”

  36. bfosser – I’m with you 1000%. Not only are defenders paid to make big hits, the program simply doesn’t justify such scrutiny.

    1) The NFL czars review every player’s every play after every game. If any of them took a cheapshot, they would have been fined.

    2) The math doesn’t work. Who will risk a $25K, $50K or more fine on a $10K prize (that was the max…some of those prizes were as small as $500)?

    3) In the 70’s or 80’s when players stayed with the same teams and rarely fraternized, this would be more believable. However, even division rivals go out the night before, pray afterwards, smile together, etc.

    4) The Saints have an offense led by a seemingly humanitarian, humble guy. As a team captain and someone who knows that one cheap shot to the knee could cost someone tens of millions of dollars, I can’t imagine he’d let a true no-holds-barred bounty program go on.

    In all fairness, I get that the idea that a bounty program is despicable. However, unless players were paid for cheapshots, what exactly is the problem????

  37. IrsaysTwitterThumb says:
    Mar 5, 2012 12:44 PM
    Skins fans,

    I got the stats wrong because I was getting my regular season games confused. Manning beat them so frequently. Did the Skins ever hold Manning to under 300 yards?


    Peyton only played the Skins 4 times in his career, winning 3 times…the Skins held him to less than 300 yards twice…now what was your point again?

  38. The only medium through which the Redskins will get fined is Dan Snyders wallet. He’s the only remaining link from that 2006 team. 1 GM change, 2 Coaching changes and 2-3 D Coordinator Changes. No way they punish the current version of the team for a sin from 6 seasons ago.

  39. Andybo53,

    You can’t take every hard hit by the Redskins defense over a 4 year span and blame it on bounties.


    the problem with having your defensive coordinator be a bad guy is that… yes, you can.

  40. If you don’t like Dungy’s religion or politics or whatever,fine,but to say he’s only a good coach because of Manning is silly. He turned a BAD Buccs team into a defensive powerhouse that was extremely tough. Gruden got Dungy’s team a SB ring,then proceeded to do nothing. Dungy meanwhile went on to win his division about 7 times and compete for the SB every year. He only won 1,but that’s 1 more than alot of others. Not a Colts fan,just a realist.

  41. thraiderskin says: Mar 5, 2012 11:57 AM

    and I suspect that Dungy didn’t actually (really)coach the Colts. How are you going to scream bounty when Manning, along with brady and rodgers, is one of the most protected quarterbacks?

    Correct! Partially; review the QB’s who got the benefit of “late-hit” penalties from last year and Brady is near or at the bottom of that list.

    Your larger point is correct- the NFL does want to protect the star QB’s as much as possible, and rightfully so – 99% of fans don’t got to a game to key in on A-gap techniques and responsibilities of O-Linemen

    This does beg the question about how much the NFL KNEW of this bounty stuff all along and if they were trying to Nip it in the bud by over-protecting QB’s more in recent years. Thereby, making the penalties for late hits so hurtful to a Defenses field position, they would counteract and diminish the incentive to deliver the KO blow to a QB.
    Perhaps they’ve been working and working on this issue but somehow could not get that one break in an investigation until only recently?
    thinking out loud

  42. Dungy has a point. When injuries inevitably occur in the NFL it’s important that they be seen as a regular part of the game. The fan base can accept the greusome Joe Theisman injury as unfortunate but normal. But not if LT got a 10k check with “break his leg” in the subject line.

  43. I remember this play like it was yesterday. The Colts’ offensive line broke down and Andre Carter and Philip Daniels simultaneously hit Peyton Manning from either side. It’s called a sack. One might even call it a huge sack. I feel like it made ESPN’s Top 10 the next day. It was not an illegal hit. There was no flag. Dungy is really opening a can of worms here by trying to attribute a good play by a Gregg Williams coached defense solely to bounties. Dungy is forcing us to draw a line in the sand and say because this team used bounties, every play they ever made is BS. By the same logic Tom Brady is not a great quarterback because he rose to prominence during the spygate era.

    Dungy’s comments are actually really harmful to the entire sport of football because he forces the NFL and fans to distinguish between defensive players trying hard and playing well in order to be rewarded with larger contracts and defensive players who try hard and play well in order to be rewarded with bounties. When you think about it the difference really isn’t that big. A defensive end’s job is to be a huge guy who runs really fast and hits a guy on the other team really hard. Philip Daniels and Andre Carter were not trying to hurt Peyton Manning. They were trying to do their jobs.

  44. I just wanted to open the comments on this story to see how many “I hate” Tony Dungy posts I’d see. You losers never disappoint.

    What exactly does this man do to invoke hatred and dislike besides being a good football coach who by all accounts, lives by good Christian values without being overbearing like Tim Tebow who curiously gets many of the same people to cheer for him. Hmmmm….I wonder what it is.

  45. The Bounty is also responsible for Bo Jackson’s early departure from the NFL, Ronny Lott’s amputated finger, and the assasination of Duke Ferdinand.

    Also, I’ll be Gregg Williams knows where Jimmy Hoffa is buried. Just sayin…


  46. The odds of the redskins losing a pick are slim to none there is only 2 redskins players on the team when gregg williams was there fletcher & landry and nobody from that coaching staff is there anymore plus the zorn era so I doubt the league would go out their way to punish the redskins for something that happened 5 yrs ago with an entirely different team.

  47. For all you saying “Defenders are paid to make big hits”, “Football is turning into flag football”, etc., do you not see the difference between making a big hit and paying a guy to take someone out?

    Are you such a coward, or do you have such little confidence in your own team or your own skills that you don’t feel you can win without intentionally hurting someone? That was the objective of this bounty, not to make a big hit, but to hurt someone and take them out of the game. Are you all missing that or are you choosing to ignore it?

    And BTW – the “Everyone does it” argument didn’t hold water for the Pats fans (of which I am one), so I’m not going to let anyone try to pull that now. Not an excuse.

  48. redskinsfreak91 says:

    I doubt the league would go out their way to punish the redskins for something that happened 5 yrs


    That is a pretty good point. Only, the buck does stop with the owner, doesn’t it?

  49. Oh, Tony Dungy. You may now be the ultimate master of passing the sports buck. I am so relieved to find out that it is in no way, shape or form your fault or the Colts’ fault for Manning’s injuries, whether by having a crap offensive line for many years which gave up multiple sacks, by letting Manning throw the ball excessively, opening him up for more sacks, by having a medical staff which either did not do a proper concussion test or which let Peyton play again despite being rather clearly hurt, or by Dungy basically letting Manning run the team and allowing his pride and his streak rather than his health to dictate whether he was fit to continue. All of those things were, ostensibly, under Dungy’s control.

    I am so relieved that Dungy was, in fact, in no way responsible for the injury and that it was clearly Gregg Williams. Once again, a victory for forensic conjecture, brought to you by Dr. Dungy.

  50. Dungy it’s not that hard and you don’t have to come out and say that such and such a team had a bounty on Peyton. Any team that used the bounty system had a bounty on Peyton. It’s so much simpler to just say that.

  51. To be clear, MDS, are any of these reports from someone other than Dungy or by people not responding to Dungy, or is this a case where Dr. D has managed to find a way to blame Gregg Williams for everything bad that has happened to Manning years later, effectively absolving Dungy, Manning and the Colts from any responsibility for Manning’s injuries?

    Next week on Dr. Dungy: how Gregg Williams’ bounties injured Nancy Kerrigan, Joe Thiesmann, Willis Reed and sunk the Titanic.

  52. All this “Bounty” talk from a game perspective is meaningless. Having a bounty on ANYONE is irrelevant…if the rules were followed, they were followed. If not, than there should have been a flag called. The 2 real issues here is 1) are the refs bumbling enough to make the right calls and 2) the NFL certainly can look into the systematic nature of coaches creating a pot for these bounties. Other than that, this issue is mute. As far as how the actual games transpire, it is mute. The plays happen and are either legal or illegal…that is all that matters.

  53. By some of your accounts, if a murderer goes 6 years without being a suspect, once it’s determined he’s guilty…6 years later…it’s too late to prosecute him? Come on, the passage of time is not a defense to any act. I don’t know if the Redskin’s hit had anything to do with Mannings injury, but if it can be proven, he outta sue the heck out of Williams…maybe ever for $28M.

  54. I whole heartedly believe the tom brady and carson palmer hits were intentional. And you can’t convince me otherwise.

  55. First off, Tony Dungy is a certifiable NFL genius. He won it all with Indianapolis and he built Tampa Bay into a powerhouse.

    Folks badmouthing Tony Dungy are typical Tea Party racists. They hate races. Its that simple.

    The reality… for all the KKK posting here… is that “Bounties” and condoning Bounties is a severe danger to the NFL. In that regard the NFL must Act fast. Failure to act, despite having knowledge of intentional harm to players makes the NFL complicit in the wrong. This is big lawsuit stuff. The type of stuff Neanderthal Haters can’t possible understand. It takes an intelligent man like Tony Dungy to realize the magnitude of the issue.

    Go Hate elsewhere Haters

  56. Bountygate is not Spygate. It did not give the Saints a leg up, any more than “remember me” hits give every team a leg up. The NFL is not measurably less fair for the bounty’s existence, nor does Vegas have cause to doubt its science. And yet, the league is going to come down hard on Williams, and on the Saints, much harder than they did on the Patriots. Part of that is how damaging to “competitive integrity” Spygate actually was, and wanting to put it out of mind as soon as possible. (Remember how quickly the league destroyed the videotapes?) The rest is good old-fashioned public relations. Goodell has an example to show how proactive the league is on player safety, and he’s more than willing to let the media worry the bone of a scandal that isn’t particularly scandalous.

  57. DjDalton- quite possibly the dumbest comment I have heard in a while. You are a racist if you disagree with Dungy? What in the hell is this world coming to? We are questioning the thought here not the color and while you are at it, keep piling on the tea party and showing your ignorance of their aims. The most insulting thing is knowing you will be cancelling my vote this fall.

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