One of the biggest questions arising from the audio generated by former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams before the Saints lost to the 49ers in the NFC playoffs is whether the NFL knew about the comments before meting out discipline in response to the bounty system.
The league isn’t saying, one way or the other.
“We are not commenting on specific pieces of evidence that we have,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told PFT by email, “other than what we have released in our statements.”
If the league didn’t know, then the league should reopen the investigation and, possibly, levy additional discipline.
Apart from specific instructions given by Williams on the body parts to target for injury, which instantly conjured images of the scenes from the original Longest Yard where the inmates are being told how to use brass knuckles and to dip their tape in plaster of Paris before putting it on their forearms, the unedited audio includes Williams handing out envelopes containing cash for big plays from the wild-card victory over the Lions, whom Williams calls “weak-ass, phony-ass mutherf–kers.”
And while no specific “knock-outs” or “cart-offs” occurred during the division-round game (other than the 49ers knocking out Saints running back Pierre Thomas), the audio helps cement the notion that the typically unspoken goal of getting the opponents’ best players off the field become express and overt under Williams, who continued to urge the infliction of injury even when he knew that the NFL once again was investigating the situation.