This is purportedly a tape of the pre-game speech former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams gave at the team hotel prior to his defense going onto the field against the San Francisco 49’ers and getting beat in a pinball game.
The language would make a sailor blush, so we’ll apologize in advance for it. But Williams has a lot to apologize for. For a pregame speech, where you’d normally expect the coach to go over the X’s and O’s of the game plan, to focus on the specific players the coach wants to injure is pretty graphic stuff.
If this thing is authenticated, and it sounds like it can be, since the guy who put it on YouTube is a filmmaker who was working on a documentary about Steve Gleason, Williams is finished as a football coach – and the Saints are smart to unload as many of their defensive players as possible, because the NFL is going to suspend them and rightly so.
What’s more, a resolution by Rep. Cameron Henry (R-Jefferson) which passed the Louisiana House of Representatives and yesterday sailed through a Senate committee declares that the penalties leveled against the Saints by the NFL are excessive.
Frankly, that resolution needs to get killed on the Senate floor. The state of Louisiana shouldn’t be put in the position of defending this behavior even in a tangential fashion.
Here’s the audio. Remember that the NFL told the Saints to knock this stuff off back in 2009.
Are there other NFL teams who do this stuff? Yes, there are. Should they get hammered the same way the Saints have been? Without question.
But what happened to the Saints was justified. And while we’re the biggest Sean Payton fans around, he can’t hide from the fact that half his team was engaging in behavior which made the franchise and the city is represents look like thugs. A good case can be made for Payton’s firing, though we won’t make it out of respect for the ring he brought to this franchise three years ago (maybe that’s unjustifiable, but we think Super Bowl rings merit a shot at redemption).
What’s worst about this isn’t that the Saints’ defense was trained to be a bunch of thugs and play dirty football. What’s worst is that they spent their effort and focus trying to hurt players when they were fundamentally unsound and not a good defense in the first place.
The whole thing is embarrassing.
Just get Drew Brees signed, replace as much of that defense as possible, deal with this year’s punishment and move on. And never pay bounties for hurting opponents’ players again.