BOUNTYGATE: Gregg Williams bounty audio released as Sean Payton, Loomis, Vitt, and New Orleans Saints to meet with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for appeals
A speech recorded by a documentary filmmaker captures former New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams imploring his players to injure specific San Francisco 49ers the night before January’s NFC divisional-round playoff game.
In the speech, a portion of which was captured by filmmaker Sean Pamphilon, Williams delivers a fiery, profanity-laced speech urging Saints players to inflict harm on several 49ers, including quarterback Alex Smith, running back Frank Gore, and wide receivers Michael Crabtree and Kyle Williams.
"At one point Williams says, ‘We hit (expletive) Smith right there’ — then he points under his chin (and continues) — ‘remember me,’ " Pamphilon told Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports. "Then he rubs his thumb against his index and middle fingers — the cash sign — and says, ‘I got the first one. I got the first one. Go get it. Go lay that (expletive) out.’ "
It’s unknown if the NFL got a hold of this audio during its investigation of the Saints’ "bounty" program. The NFL declined comment to NFL.com’s Steve Wyche on whether the audio recording in the Yahoo! story or any other information in the article was evidence it previously had or if it was new.
Pamphilon captured the footage while working on a film about former Saints special-teams player Steve Gleason, who suffers from Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Pamphilon released a statement to The Times-Picayune on Thursday in which he explained how the serious nature of the Saints’ "bounty" scandal prompted him to release the audio.
"If this story hadn’t broken and been made public, I would not have shared this," Pamphilon wrote, not explaining why he chose to release the sound when he did. "I would not have compromised my personal relationships and risked damaging Steve Gleason’s relationship with the Saints. I would have crafted these words and sentiments for another forum, perhaps years down the road."
Gleason, a source told Profootballtalk.com, plans to release a statement saying that Pamphilon was not authorized to publicize what he recorded
Pamphilon believes "there’s no doubt at all" that Williams placed a bounty on Smith. Pamphilon emphasized that Saints coach Sean Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis were not in the room during Williams’ speech.
Williams, now the St. Louis Rams‘ defensive coordinator, was suspended indefinitely by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for his role in the "bounty" program. He did not appeal the punishment.
Goodell will listen Thursday to appeals from the Saints ($500,000 fine, two lost draft picks), Payton (suspension for the 2012 season), Loomis (eight-game suspension), and assistant coach Joe Vitt (six-game suspension).
Loomis and Vitt arrived at NFL headquarters Thursday. Payton was scheduled to arrive later in the day for his appeal.
BOUNTYGATE: Damning audio released of NFL defensive coordinator Gregg Williams telling New Orleans Saints players to harm other players.
The day didn’t start well for Sean Payton (below), the former Dallas Cowboys assistant coach who is (for now) the head coach of the New Orleans Saints.
On the day when Payton and Saints general manager Mickey Loomis are appealing the suspensions handed down earlier by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for their roles in the team’s "bounty" program — one in which Saints players were paid to inflict injuries on opponents — a documentary maker has released an audio tape of former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams addressing players before a playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers.
In the profanity-laced audio, Williams — who has been suspended indefinitely by Goodell — tells his players to go after the heads, knees, and ankles of particular members of the 49ers, including the San Francisco quarterback, Alex Smith; star running back Frank Gore; and wide receiver Michael Crabtree.
Here’s a story from NFL.com.
Excerpts from the tape are below. (Warning: The language is R-rated.)
The full, 12-minute recording has been posted on the Web page of the filmmaker, Sean Pamphilon, but it’s crashing right now because too many people are trying to listen.
Payton was suspended for all of the coming season. Loomis was suspended for eight games. An assistant coach, Joe Vitt, was suspended for six games. The team was fined $500,000 and forced to forfeit two second-round draft picks.
Williams, who left the Saints to become defensive coordinator of the St. Louis Rams, has been suspended from the NFL indefinitely. Unlike the others, he is not appealing.