October 31, 2010; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams walks off the field with Courtney Roby (15) after their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers the Louisiana Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook - US PRESSWIRE
I gotta say, this Gregg Williams audio is some disturbing stuff. I know, I know. This is football and it's a violent game. I shouldn't be surprised by this stuff. I read the NFL's investigation of the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal and much of it surprised me -- the intent to injure other players, the bounties and the lying to the NFL.
But the Williams audio -- which you can listen to here (warning: some language in there) -- is the smoking gun. Saints players who have tried to defend Williams in the past can no longer do so. It's all right there in the audio -- the explicit intent to injure with an apparent reward at the end.
As I said on 610 Sports yesterday with Danny Parkins and Carrington Harrison, it's that the Saints institutionalized the bounty program -- by that I mean bringing in the coaches -- that makes it even worse than a group of players conducting a bounty program on their own.
Those involved continually lied to the NFL about the existence of the bounty program, and others, like head coach Sean Payton, did nothing to stop it. It's disturbing that the NFL told the Saints about their investigation before that playoff game against the 49ers, and Williams still encouraged injury and apparently insinuated payment for injuring players.
It's the NFL. It's a violent sport. We know that. But that's precisely why the NFL can't have players doing things that makes the game even more dangerous than it already is. This, I think, is why Roger Goodell issued such a harsh punishment to those involved in the Saints bounty scandal -- to help change the mindset of the NFL.
Other teams have done similar things as the bounty program. We also know that. But it's disturbing to actually hear it play out in front of you.
By the way, the Saints are appealing their suspensions today. How do you think that appeal goes now that this audio is out?