49ers’ Whitner thinks Williams’ actions were “really disgusting”


Count 49ers safety Donte Whitner among the NFL players who aren’t buying the “everybody does it” defense for Gregg Williams.

Whitner told Alex Marvez and Jim Miller on SiriusXM NFL Radio that he was appalled to hear that Williams, the former Saints defensive coordinator, encouraged his players to injure players on the 49ers prior to their January meeting.

“Those are my teammates,” Whitner said. “If those things are true, I think it’s really disgusting and something should be done about it to a higher extreme than what is [already done]. You’re out there intending to hurt guys. This is their careers and how they take care of their families.”

It was Whitner who ended up dishing out the hardest hit in that Saints-49ers playoff game, knocking out Saints running back Pierre Thomas with a legal helmet-to-helmet shot. Whitner said he believes in playing tough, physical defense — as he did when he drilled Thomas — but plays within the rules.

“I didn’t go out intentionally to hurt him,” Whitner said. “Whenever I play and somebody has the football, I want to hit them as hard as I possibly can without injuring myself and intentionally injuring them. But I want to hit you as hard as I can. It’s my job.”

Williams went far outside the bounds of his job.

81 responses to “49ers’ Whitner thinks Williams’ actions were “really disgusting”

  1. “Williams went far outside the bounds of his job.”

    He surely did. That hit not only knocked Thomas out of the game, it caused him to fumble. Was Whitner in the scrum for the loose ball? No, he was walking toward his sideline with his hands raised in exultation at what he had done. Does it really matter what his intent or motivation was? Could it have been any more clear? Would it have mattered if he pocketed another $100 from his locker room pool? To whom?

    This thing has never been about player safety or the integrity of the league. NEVER.

  2. Watching the game you’d think the 9ers were the ones with a bounty system. Not to say they were playing dirty, but they were laying the hammer consistently all game. Williams and Payton are arrogant scumbags, i’m glad Whitner came out and said this.

  3. Ah, NOW we start hearing from the PLAYERS!!! Game’s on NOW tuff boys. Saints are gonna get DRILLED this year!!! Get em, 49ers and many others! LEGALLY. DROP EM DOWN A FEW PEGS. 

  4. hard hits are okay but the league needs to send a message to people who do these kinds of things. targeting specific boby parts because of a prior injusry is wrong and has no place in the game.

  5. ….and here come the Saints fans whining about the Whitner hit. SMH

    1) Clean Hit.
    2) No intent to injure. Thomas was at the 1 and Whitner was trying to keep him out.
    3) Thomas lowered his head as well.

    MANY, MANY Saints fans seem to think the Saints are being punished for hard hits. They complain that the hits were legal so why the punishment.

    They are being punished because a coach PAID players to INJURE other players. They were told to stop 3 years agao and the tape now shows that they were STILL doing it as of January. This didn’t happen “all of the sudden”. The public only got wind of it “all of the sudden”.

    It does put an extra little something into the memory of this game tho. Love that the Niners torched Gregg Williams twice in the last two possessions in what might be the final game of his coaching career.

  6. @robf2010

    YES. Intent matters.
    YES. Getting paid extra matters.

    Whitner had just delivered one of the biggest hits of his career in the biggest game of his career. I’d be pretty freakin happy too. I don’t think he even KNEW the ball was on the ground. He went on on one with a guy with a wide open shot to the endzone and stopped him COLD.

    That ain’t intent to injure. That’s playoff football.

  7. Move the franchise to London and call them The Thamesmen? Aside from that or nuking the site from orbit I’m not sure how this ever gets cleaned up.

  8. Greg Williams seems a bit caught-up in his own ego and power. I think a lifetime ban is appropriate.
    He totally lost focus of the game of football. He needs Dr Drew, Dr Phil and a dose of Nancy Grace in a closet.

  9. “I dont care if he’s paralyzed for life, I don’t care if a families father comes home, all I care about is the W”

    Greg Williams is sick

  10. @rob2010

    Keep spinning it any way you like, Saints fan. You might actually start believing your own garbage.

  11. After the release of those tapes, it seems inevitable that the Dept of Justice will soon get involved.

    This was an employee of a business putting out contracts to injure employees of other businesses across state lines, over a period of years. How many federal laws were violated? I can think of at least a few, not even counting the potential racketeering charges. Throw in the Ornstein connection (and sports gambling), and the Saints organization should be very concerned.

    Gregg – it’s time to lawyer up, because your problems have just begun. And a suspension from the NFL may be the least of his concerns soon.

  12. I bet some of the defensive players that this past year was fined heavyly and even suspended for being dirty players are shaking their heads at how the Saint players are now calling foul. Saints should lower their heads and keep the lips tight,discrace of the league this year.

  13. If things continue the way they are going, then “Hitting someone as hard as you possibly can” will be illegal as well.

    Offensive players will be able to run as hard as they possibly can, but defenders will only be able to try and wrap a ball carrier up as they get run over. The era of 6,000 yard passers is right around the corner.

  14. @marvin49 – The Saints and 49ers had the SAME EXACT INTENT. Hit the opponent as hard as they can. The Saints had a pool. We’ll never know if the 49ers had one because no blew a whistle and they were never investigated. The pool is against the rules. They should be punished for that … but only that.

  15. 49ers have a history in 2011 of hurting people Kellen Clemons Tony Romo lots of RB’s Should listen to comments by Carlos Rodgers. Full of it

  16. Williams said to hit Gore in the head. Gore is a running back and it is legal to hit a runner in the head. He told his guys to hit Crabtree in the knees. This is also legal. With high hits on receivers illegal and fined by the league, knee shots seem to be encouraged. Guys playing with injuries do so because the league forces teams disclose these injuries.

  17. This is the last guy who should be talking. He aimed for Pierre Thomas’ head. If PT wouldn’t have turned at the last minute it would have been an intentional helmet to helmet. But ok.

  18. As a fan, I NEVER want to see guys injured on the field. I’m a Seahawks fan, and the last thing I want to see is a 49er player injured when we play them.

    I would pay anything to see Alex Smith crying after he throws a game-losing INT against the Seahawks. But I never want to see the man carried out on a stretcher, worried about his family and livelihood. Any fan that would want to see that is a sick sociopath.

  19. nice timing to have this audio surface the same day Payton goes to see The Commish.

    As a Niners fan and Bay Area resident, I find Williams and the Saints actions repulsive.

    Can’t wait to play them this year.

    Bunch of PUNKS.

  20. We’re all breathlessly waiting for Drew Brees to step to the podium again to defend the organization, the players, the coaches and especially his buddy Sean Payton. This whole bountygate keeps getting better and better, talk about a bunch of cajun rednecks, emails as evidence, audio and testimony of Vilma offering $10G, video and audio taping of their intentions and illegal actvities, trying to cover it up for over 3 years, lying to the Commish and yet the Taints fans continue to live in denial. With today’s revelations, Goodell needs to rethink his punishment of these jackals.

  21. @twodat

    …and that would mean something if someone could show proof of the Niners coaches PAYING players extra to hurt other players and then lying about it for 3 years.

    …until then…

  22. Oh well Whitner didn’t do his damage “intentionally” and that wasn’t what he was “paid to do”, so he’s obviously not guilty of injuring another human being like other NFL players.

  23. @pgui88

    If Thomas had gotten all the way around it would only have been an even BIGGER collision.

    I guess thats OK tho because it’s the offensive player getting the best of it. Can’t flag THOSE guys.

    It only count when evil defenders lower their head.


  24. @rmc1995

    He also said that he would pay the first guy to knock Alex out if a game.

    NOT legal.

  25. pgui88 says: Apr 5, 2012 6:31 PM

    This is the last guy who should be talking. He aimed for Pierre Thomas’ head. If PT wouldn’t have turned at the last minute it would have been an intentional helmet to helmet. But ok.


    So at least you admit that it wasn’t intentional. It’s a start. Both players sunk for contact simultaneously and ended up helmet to helmet. He had no time to “aim”. The still photo makes for a sexy argument, but it doesn’t hold water when you watch the play at full speed. If Whitner stayed high he would have been run-over and he didn’t have enough time to get lower and take out his legs. This illustrates why there’s no penalty for going helmet to helmet with running backs.

  26. Isn’t football suppose to be smashmouth tho? I understand that no players should be hurt intentionally, but it’s part of the reason I watch the game because I enjoy the intensity. I just hope future years don’t continue to turn NFL into a flag football league.

  27. For all the talk about the Saints being evil career murderers, everyone seems to not realize that the Saints never caused a serious injury to another player. They did not end a career, they were one of the least penalized teams in the league over the past 3 seasons, and the Giants players came out and said that their coaches told them to do the very same thing. Once again, no one is ripping and bashing the New York Giants. The NFL doesn’t seem to be pursuing the new claims from players on different teams that say, “By the way, we had bounties and our coaches told us to knock guys out of game”. I mean seriously, the players aren’t even coming out as anonymous. Is NO ONE going to even bother looking into this? No. Of course not. They have their scape goat. And now the Saints fans will have to suffer through a load of stuff that they don’t deserve from every other fan base pretending to be on some fictional moral high ground. Giants fan on another website was talking about how anyone who ever targets the head should be permanently thrown out of the league. This on the same day that several Giants defenders admitted that their coaches instructed them to do the same thing that Gregg Williams said in the video footage. As soon as I linked him to the article, he immediately changed his mind. How convenient. So when you’re out there bashing and ripping and telling everyone you can that the New Orleans Saints are demonic, baby-eating hellspawn who should be lined up and killed by a firing squad, internet tough guys, maybe you can think about the fact that you’re lucky that the NFL seemingly has chosen to pin the bounty label on the Saints and the Saints alone. Because tomorrow, or maybe the next day, someone on YOUR favorite team will come out and admit that this same thing happened on their sideline. Their coaches instructed them to aim for the players dealing with injury. You are all lucky that the NFL has chosen not to investigate the many confessions that have come from several members of various teams from around the league. If they did, maybe then you’d realize that the Saints fanbase has done nothing wrong. When its your own team that is on the headline of every tabloid and on the end of everyone’s curses, maybe then you’ll realize that its natural to be defensive about your own hometown heroes. In no way will I defend Gregg Williams. The man seemingly will be suspended for a long, long time (possibly forever) and deservedly so, based on the evidence suggested. But let’s stop pointing the vitriol at those who don’t deserve it. Let Saints fans try to recover and move on, rather than tearing open fresh wounds every time you get an opportunity. Next season will certainly be hard enough.

  28. @pgui88
    Hey bitter saints fan… Thomas caught the ball and was a RUNNER!! That means he is fair game when it comes to helmet to helmet hits. Yeah he went for the head, but when reciever starts running, it happens! Tired of hearing Saint fans b**ch about that hit… Thomas got LIT THE F*CK UP only 2 yards away from the endzone. Best hit of the year in my opinion, and it didnt get flagged why?? Cuz it was legal… Niners hit hard, not dirty! Rematch this year, and i guarantee Harbaugh talks bout this sh*t all week and niners beat em down!

  29. eknirb says:
    Apr 5, 2012 6:34 PM
    nice timing to have this audio surface the same day Payton goes to see The Commish.

    As a Niners fan and Bay Area resident, I find Williams and the Saints actions repulsive.

    Can’t wait to play them this year.

    Bunch of PUNKS.


    I don’t ordinarily play this game, but I’m bored, so I’ll bite.

    You shouldn’t find the actions of Gregg Williams repulsive, you should be thanking him on bended knee. If he doesn’t call the stupidest defensive calls in the history of football with a minute to go in the divisional playoff game, you don’t win that game. And as for playing the Saints next year, its going to be a VERY different story. The 49’ers will be in the Superdome. Alex Smith won’t even put up 21 points. Not only will the Saints destroy the 49’ers, but the fans in the stadium will actually avoid spitting on the visiting fans and their daughters, which is something that the folks at Candlestick were unable to accomplish.

  30. everyone acts surprised that this was going on. i mean some people get caught for speeding and some dont. but dont act like it isnt happening..WHO DAT!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. The Saints didn’t have anyone carted off in SF. SF had a Saints player carted off.

    Saints players are dirty and mean.

    SF players are celebrated.

    Player safety, yeah, you guys are a bunch of hypocrites. Period.

  32. stropcityram says: Apr 5, 2012 7:15 PM
    everyone acts surprised that this was going on. i mean some people get caught for speeding and some dont.

    And one Defensive Coordinator teaches his players how to hit a player with a history of concussions and all the other ones don’t.

  33. Saints all got off easy for lying cheaters with a tainted championship… They should have lost at least 3 first round picks & possibly 3 years of franchise tags, one for each year we have confirmation they intentionally cheated & lied. Williams should be banned for life.

  34. Get over it folks, and get used to seeing the Saints kick butt this season. Delude yourselves if you wanna, the Saints are coming to get ya, NFL!!!

  35. basically what i see here is all the homers of every other nfl team praying all of this does what their teams couldn’t do, make the saints less competitive. not going to happen guys. as a non-saints fan, this team is SCARY good. if williams was so effective, how come that defense got torched so often? spags figured out a way to slow that juggernaut. the ‘lowly’ bucs were a dropped pass from losing to the saints and the 49ers would have been bounced from the dome. be careful what you wish for people. nothing like an ‘us against them mentality’! praying my pack doesn’t have to get through them to the sb. 😦

  36. Hmmmm so this is what the Goodell and the rest of you are doing, cut off the Saints head and the body will die. Just not happening ya heard.

  37. I’m sorry, did he just say legal helmet-to-helmet hit? In this age of football there is no legal helmet-to-helmet hit.

  38. I love that half of this stuff is coming from a fan base that while playing the Raiders in preseason. Shot their own live action episode of OZ in the stands….Brava San Fran fans Brava

  39. Is it just me, or does robert831 copy& paste the same dumb comment on every thread. Get out of your mamas basement lose 100 pounds and actually go meet some women OR men in person. In other words, get a life.
    Copy and paste DAT!

  40. can’t wait for that San Fran regression though..cause what Randy Moss shows up to play…You gonna need “straight cash homey” to get him to get balls. I’m a girl and can air it out better than Alex Smith. You forget you have to come to NOLA. I’d pack peanut better and jelly. And whatever you do stay away from the red gravey..hahah

  41. hey IDIOTS..we already know greg williams talks like that..what we are saying is the players didnt carry out any hits tards..watch the tape instead of making up stuff..alex smith didnt get hit in the chin despite getting sacked 5 or 6 times.crabtree did not get hit in his knees all night..frank gore didnt suffer any hits to the head..neither did kyle williams..until he played the giants the next week as the giants own players said was their plan..wheres kyles daddy talking about that?

  42. Nice job there Saints Fans. Say what you will but any “so called” Candlestick behavior that a lot of you are trying to use to make your point..Ive seen comments about this all over the sites today by the way. You have GOT to be kidding me??? Since when have the Saints’ Fans been any more courteous towards the opposing teams fans?? This crap is getting really old. And by the way..no matter what any of you say ABSOLUTELY NOTHING that is out in public is as disturbing as having a sociopathic moron runnin your defense..excuse me…that was runnin your defense. And further more…the comments that have been made about our field not being adequate, extra holes to trip up players? So what if we did? That’s why they call it HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE. So you can be comfortable on your own field. Next you will be blaming us for the rain that day too.

  43. sdave1971 says:Apr 5, 2012 8:53 PM

    I’m sorry, did he just say legal helmet-to-helmet hit? In this age of football there is no legal helmet-to-helmet hit.
    Are you being serious or are you intentionally being stupid, of course there is a legal helmet to helmet hit. It happens every week and there has not been a fine yet for a legal helmet to helmet hit.

  44. The post Katrina SB victory was a fantastic story for a ravaged town.I would have ,almost,forgave them for their indescretions considering everything if they would HAVE STOPPED when directed so.

    Feeling bulletproof makes one day heroes into unforgiven cowards.I feel for the people of New Orleans;they got stuck with a no win situation.Being loyal fans betrayed by your heroes.

  45. Has Whitner ever shut up for more than 5 minutes from the day he left his mother’s womb? Can’t believe the Bills wasted a top 10 pick on this overrated blowhard.

  46. The reason the 49ers defense was so good last year is because they play defense correctly. They hit correctly. They tackle correctly. If you look at Donte Whitner’s hit from a different angle, you will actually see that he initially hit with his shoulder, which is fine. Any helmet contact was incidental.

    On the other hand, for all of Gregg Williams’s bluster about big bad defense, how many of his defenses have actually been exceptional? The Saints’ D under him wasn’t anything special. Probably because instead of promoting good technique, he was encouraging his players to do whatever it took to injure their opponents.

  47. Manbearpig says:
    Apr 5, 2012 5:57 PM
    2009 Super Bowl Champions – New Orleans Saints*

     In that case:

    2001 Super Bowl Champions – New England Patriots*
    2003 Super Bowl Champions – New England Patriots*
    2004 Super Bowl Champions – New England Patriots*

  48. Saints fan here. Whitner’s hit on Thomas was a great hit. I don’t know what Whitner is crying about here. Despite Williams’ repulsive comments, the Saints didn’t hit anybody in that game. Vernon Davis ran right through them. Alex Smith ran untouched down the sidelines like it was flag football. Williams’ blitz happy schemes and “motivational” tactics had long since fallen on deaf ears. I was glad he was gone long before this scandal came to light. The Saints should be punished, but this thing is becoming overkill. It turns out it was all pregame rah-rah BS, and poor defense on the field. Injuries? Favre never missed a snap, Warner missed one series.

  49. Look I am a Saints fan and I see nothing wrong with Whitner’s hit on PT. Thomas was a ball carrier attempting to move up field just a few short yards away from the end zone he was going for the TD and Whitner was trying to stop him. He came up with a great hit which I’m that instance helmet to helmet was totaly legal plus Thomas lowered his head into Whitner’s head. It was a great hit and caused PT to fumbel when he became concussed. I don’t think for a second that Whitner was trying to cause PT to get a concussion he was trying to stop Thomas from punching it in for 6.

    It was a great play your not going to hear any complaining about it from this Saints fan.

    Football is a violent game any one that thinks otherwise is delusional.

  50. “count his teammate Carlos Rogers in the group that does it”. I fixed that to agree to a post just a few hours from this one by florio himself where Rogers admits they “knew they had to take out Eli.”

  51. Your Candlestick ettiquette is top notch. I’m surprised no person was impaled and raised above the heads of the rabid beast. Class act fanbase I know you make Montana and Rice proud.

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