Smoking Gun Audio: Gregg Williams Put Bounties on Some 49ers Prior to Playoff Game

Posted by on Apr 05, 2012 at 10:13 am

This is just devastating. If former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams had any hopes of ever coaching again in the NFL, consider those hopes dead.

The night before Gregg Williams’ final game as the New Orleans Saints’ defensive coordinator, the since-suspended coach gave a fiery speech to the team’s defensive players during which he made specific references to inflicting physical punishment upon several San Francisco 49ers in a postseason game the next day.

In the speech at the team’s hotel near the San Francisco Airport, Williams – according to documentary filmmaker Sean Pamphilon – at one point made a hand signal suggesting he would personally pay for a ferocious shot on 49ers quarterback Alex Smith.

Williams also referenced the prospect of his players inflicting a severe knee injury upon San Francisco wideout Michael Crabtree and exhorted them to “put a lick on” backup receiver Kyle Williams in an effort to “find out” if he was still suffering from the effects of a late-December concussion.

Williams’ speech, delivered less than two months before the Saints’ bounty scandal became public, was revealed to Yahoo! Sports by Pamphilon, who had access to various team functions for much of the 2011 season.

Pamphilon, who directed the critically acclaimed “Run Ricky Run” documentary for ESPN, is working on a project featuring former Saints special teams ace Steve Gleason, who is suffering from ALS. Pamphilon has released an audio recording of the profanity-laced speech (also obtained and listened to by Yahoo! Sports) on his website and said he believes “there’s no doubt at all” that Williams put a bounty on Smith in the meeting.

Said Pamphilon: “At one point Williams says, ‘We hit [expletive] Smith right there’ – then he points under his chin [and continues] – ‘remember me.’ 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.’

Coach Sean Payton and GM Mickey Loomis are scheduled to appeal their suspensions today.

Don’t bother, guys. Here’s the audio clip (language warning):

Update: Full audio clip is here, but currently disabled due to high volume of traffic.

10 Responses to “Smoking Gun Audio: Gregg Williams Put Bounties on Some 49ers Prior to Playoff Game”

  1. Paula on 5/05/12 at 11:00 am

    As a woman who has never played organized football but is a huge fan of the sport, this tape is what I always thought these speeches sounded like. Profanity laced, full of machismo and of hitting the other team where they hurt. I am not shocked or surprised to find this out. I guess I am in the minority.

  2. Calvin on 5/05/12 at 11:10 am

    Paula, I agree with saying to go out and give ’em hell or what not, but telling them where a player is most likely to get hurt and telling them to hit them there is cowardice. This whole thing is dirty.

    I hate these sissy party rules about hard hits but intentionally aiming for joins to injure someone is so wrong. If you end some rookie’s career is that $2000 really worth it?

  3. CK on 5/05/12 at 11:15 am

    I’ve heard this talk in the locker room before … there were a couple of point where he could be heard going over the line – when he talked about physically hurting players (going after someone’s ACL and rolling up in Davis’ ankles) and when he made the implication of paying for the first hit on Alex Smith.

    Football is a contact sport, and players will be injured. But when a player or coach is deliberately out to cripple someone for some extra cash, that’s over the line. Gregg Williams will be lucky to find a job as a coach at the Pee Wee or Pop Warner level of the game…

  4. thefred on 5/05/12 at 11:39 am

    As a Niners fan, the best part is that the Saints defense gave up two touchdowns in the final four minutes to lose the game! Do they pay bounties when they lose?

    Who’s got it better than us? NOBODY!!!!!

  5. Paula on 5/05/12 at 11:56 am

    I am not saying that I think this is right, but I am saying that this is what I would have EXPECTED to hear in locker room speeches/meetings, etc.

    I’ve lived under the assumption that teams did this, yes even the going after an injured player part. Do I want them to do this? Absolutely not. But am I surprised to hear this happens? Absolutely not.

    And if anyone thinks this same kind of speech isn’t going out all around the NFL every week, pull your head out of the sand. Or in the NBA, NHL and MLB. Know a guy’s been hit on the hand with a pitch, throw in tight and scare him.. Sid Crosby just came back from concussion problems, hit him hard and see what happens.

    I am a Cowboys fan and remember watching Aikman in the ’90s when he was dealing with back troubles and also with multiple concussions. I saw many teams deliberately go after his head and his back. He knew it too. Why do you think teams/players try to keep as quiet as possible about injuries? Don’t expose your weakness to your opponents.

    As I said before, maybe I was in the minority who just assumed that this was the way pro sports works.

  6. teamplayer on 5/05/12 at 12:37 pm


    You seem to be under the illusion that you are making some kind of insightful or worthwhile point. No one cares that you are not shocked about coaches encouraging their players to intentionally injure other players. The point is that this is unquestionably malicious and dirty, and the practice should be prohibited and the guilty parties involved punished.

  7. Blue Hen on 5/05/12 at 1:04 pm

    Good news. The coach and GM are going to appeal on the basis that they’re now members of the new (and improved!) black panthers. And apparently bounties are okay when they do it.

  8. Paula on 5/05/12 at 1:06 pm

    Wow, didn’t realize there was a new rule on blogs that comments had to be insightful or worthwhile. Guess I’ll have to note that before I make my next comment. Oops, guess I missed again.

  9. teamplayer on 5/05/12 at 1:39 pm


    Nope, they don’t have to be. But when you choose to insult others in the middle of your pointless rantings, you should expect someone might decide to call you out on it.