Williams testifying with Vilma, Smith present

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After months of legal maneuverings, Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma and defensive end Will Smith finally are getting answers from the man who crafted the pay-for-performance system that resulted in multiple suspensions of players and coaches.

Per Larry Holder of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is testifying on Friday at the appeal hearing convened by former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue — and Vilma and Smith are present to watch and listen.

I wonder if they were frisked for eggs.

Williams’ testimony comes a day after former Saints assistant Mike Cerullo testified.  Though no one is saying anything about what was said (so far), Cerullo undoubtedly was grilled regarding his motivations for blowing the whistle more than a year after he was fired, the accuracy of his recollections, and the creation of those controversial notes listing the pledges made to the Brett Favre bounty pool, especially since the notes show that interim head coach Joe Vitt kicked in $5,000, something for which he never was investigated or punished.

There’s also a major discrepancy regarding the cash that Vilma supposedly displayed to his teammates.  Cerullo says the money was given to Williams for safekeeping; Williams says he didn’t.In the end, Tagliabue will make a decision based on his scrutiny of the evidence, including the performance and demeanor of the witnesses.  And it all will be subject to further scrutiny from Judge Helen Berrigan, who reminded everyone on Thursday that she is ready to issue rulings — and that she’s apparently leaning against the league’s position.

28 responses to “Williams testifying with Vilma, Smith present

  1. Seriously, who is going to hire Gregg Williams after this? The PR will be a mess, and players on the team wont respect him because they will view him as a snitch. He’s done coaching in the NFL.

  2. Gregg Williams testifying against the players he coached…truly pathetic, players will never show respect to him ever again if he’s reinstated in the league.

  3. I am a Viking 4 life since 1968 (translated means glutton for punishment), I’ve seen every play of every game since then and needless to say I’ve done an awful lot of dying, even the Buffalo Bills came within a missed field goal by five feet of being a Super Bowl Champion. We weren’t even competitive in any Superbowl-we were completely dominated but that’s another story for another day. Having said all of this as I watched the Championship game between the New Orleans Saints and the Minnesota Vikings (2010) there was a very strange feeling I had from the kickoff. I thought that the Saints were incredibly motivated but I couldn’t figure out how or why. It was a most unusual feeling because I thought the Vikings battled despite repeatedly shooting themselves but were never going to get over this hump. I thought it very strange that Brett Favre was subject to a lot a brutal cheap shots where if it were Tom Brady or Peyton Manning the Saints would’ve wound up with at least 150 yards worth of penalties. Obviously I can’t prove a thing but without question it was a very strange game and The New Orleans Saints got away with a lot.

  4. @truthfactory

    Seriously? Since he’s pulling the strings via his son in St. Louis, he’s already the Rams DC in spirit. Once the suspension’s up, he’s there officially.

  5. I wonder what the “courtroom” looks like. Do they have separate entrances for Williams and Vilma? If not, that could be awkward. I wonder if they hired security in case somebody gets a little rowdy. Does Tags sit behind a raised bench? Does he wear a robe? They really should televise this, it would get great ratings. They could call it Real Football, or Desperate Players. Come up with a better name if you don’t like those.

  6. It doesn’t really matter at this point.
    Goodell won.
    He torpedoed the Saints season this year and crippled them to the point of no repair.

    Good job Goodell.
    Who says tyranny is dead?

  7. If Tagliabu after hearing testamony and seeing the evidence rules just like the NFL did, then that means Vilma costs his team the season not anyone else. He could have taken his medicine and missed the season but dragged the team and everyone else in it.
    If he is found guilty hopefully he has to miss all of next year instead. HA HA HA

  8. When the Supreme Court refuses to hear an appeal of the appeal of the appeal … and so on, this will finally be over. Until then Vilma’s attorneys are ringing up billable hours. Cha-ching Baby!

  9. @truthfactory

    Don’t kid yourself. It’s a handfull of Saints players that have a problem with Williams and the turnover in the NFL is so quick most players won’t even know or care about bounty-gate soon. They will care about getting paid and winning.

  10. “without question it was a very strange game and The New Orleans Saints got away with a lot.”

    @sterling7 – The Saints defense attacked the quarterback in all three of their playoff games. In the playoffs, the referees let the players play a lot more than they do during the regular season. The Saints had learned that hard lesson against the Bears a few years before. There were two borderline roughing calls and one or two borderline non-calls. You expect those in a close, tense, hard-fought game. Mistakes and all, that was as good as football gets. I was wrung dry afterward.

  11. Doesn’t matter. Saints season is over, goal accomplished, really.

    And its a good thing. Yeah there are Saints fans who can’t see the forrest from the Trees

    And there are some misguided NFL fans who still like sport primarily for the violence, and probably like the idea of bounties anyway.

    But overall, I think anyone looked at this from a normal POV understands that the Saints were TOLD TO STOP, and they didn’t.

    The warning given, and not heeded.

  12. Do you people even realize that Williams refused to snitch and cooperate with the NFL until the NFL presented him with the evidence they had on him? After that, he relented and began to cooperate with the investigation, more than likely to avoid a lifetime ban. Both Cerullo and Williams are proven liars when they have tried to protect themselves. Which explains why they are contradicting each other on who was holding Vilma’s money. One of them is lying to protect his own image. More than likely, Williams. However, they both agree on the fact that Vilma gave the 10,000. So just because they both have lied in the past (when protecting their own image) it doesn’t mean they always lie. If you believe they are lying you have to prove they had reason or motive to do so. So the question is? What motive does either have in saying Vilma gave the money when he didn’t? What kind of vandetta do they have against Vilma?

  13. Ok, which is it? Is Williams bad because he is a snitch, he lied, or if he testifies against the players? He can’t be a snitch if nothing happened. Why is his credibility bad if he says something contrary to what the players claim but he is credible (and a hero) if he “stands up to Goodell” and says nothing happened?

  14. ilovefoolsball says:
    Nov 30, 2012 12:29 PM
    It doesn’t really matter at this point.
    Goodell won.
    He torpedoed the Saints season this year and crippled them to the point of no repair.

    Good job Goodell.
    Who says tyranny is dead?


    I am truly and respectfully asking this question. What reason would Goodell have to torpedo the Saints? It was a beautiful story for them to win the Superbowl after the Katrina devastation. It was a pride and glory thing for the whole NFL organization. Why would anyone want to ruin that?

  15. Goodell should have stopped at the suspension of the coaching and administrative staff and half million fine to the franchise.

    From the evidence it is not known that players knew about the investigation and the request by the league to cease and desist. But his punishment of the players, designed to send a message to the NFLPA that he meant business, is what causing this lingering bickering. He underestimated the players’ willingness and ability to make a stand.

    IMHO, someone (Payton?) in the Saints organization double-dog-dared the commissioner to act against a practice deeply entrenched in the tradition and currently widespread use of professional football. To teach that someone a lesson, Goodell took it public by making the Saints the poster child of P4P (now conflated with play-to-injure.)

    In hindsight, Goodell may regret making it an issue for public consumption. He botched this.

  16. The answer to your question, to look good for the sake of the concussions lawsuit and Minnesota needed a stadium deal. Kill two birds with one stone if you hammer the Saints.

  17. “What reason would Goodell have to torpedo the Saints?”

    I don’t think he actually got out of bed saying “I’ll torpedo the Saints season”. The NFL has a serious and expensive problem with multiple lawsuits on head injuries and other injuries. The Saints presented him with an opportunity to campaign on the league’s stance on violence. It was all theater and future courts will recognize it as such.

  18. Because you promised that Los Angeles would have a team within 3 years. So you torpedo a franchise so that their 70year old owner might just want to wash his hands of everything.

  19. footballfan58 says:
    Nov 30, 2012 1:39 PM

    I am truly and respectfully asking this question. What reason would Goodell have to torpedo the Saints? It was a beautiful story for them to win the Superbowl after the Katrina devastation. It was a pride and glory thing for the whole NFL organization. Why would anyone want to ruin that?
    I ask the same question. The only answer even remotely plausible is the concussion suit mitigation argument. I guess it is possible that Goodell is being a bit vindictive due to the refusal to stop the program followed by lies.

  20. Wouldn’t it be funny if in the end the one year suspension was upheld and now lasted into next year thereby ruining 2 saints seasons?

  21. Does anyone other than Drew Brees actually believe Vilma is completely innocent of what’s been claimed or charged?

  22. Does it matter that nothing the Saints did is against the rules? If you read the Judge Berrigan release yesterday, she is asking for the league to show where they have(if ever) proclaimed the pay for performance to be illegal. If the Saints were hitting people illegally, why weren’t they penalized and/or fined? If they were hitting people legally, why were they suspended? This is going to blow up in Roger Goodell’s face like nothing in the history of professional sports. This is also going to impact RG’s ability to arbitrarily fine players for hits the league deems to be excessive, though they’ve not provided the players clear direction on how to avoid those very same hits.

  23. @Sterling, There was nothing strange about that game. The Vikings turned the ball over several times, Peterson, Harvin fumbled. Farve threw the dumbest pass ever when he should of run. Childress comes out of a timeout with too many guys on the field. The only reason the Saints got hits on Farve was because Williams blitzed every down and Farve always held onto the ball til the last possible second. Even the high/low shot on Farve that keeps getting played over and over was a play that could never be planned. Whether there was a “Bounty” or not, there was a great motivation…. Win and you go to the Super Bowl. Lose and you go home. No amount of money could increase motivation for that especially 10k for multi millionaires.

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