Weeks after St. Louis Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was suspended indefinitely, which includes the entire 2012 NFL season, audio has emerged of him instructing his team to physically take players out of the game.
"We've got to do everything in the world to make sure we kill [running back] Frank Gore's head."
"We need to decide whether [wide receiver Michael] Crabtree wants to be a fake-ass primadonna or wants to be a tough guy. We need to find out. He becomes human when we [expletive] take out that outside ACL."
Sound like a passionate war cry from a lieutenant to his platoon before going to battle? Or maybe an excerpt from Saving Private Ryan?
The audio came from Sean Pamphilon, who was filming a documentary on players with ALS, and then gave the snippet to Yahoo! Sports' Michael Silver.
WIlliams didn't stop at Gore and Crabtree. He would go on to point out to his team how they hit quarterback Alex Smith hard on the chin, and it was something the 49ers quarterback remembered. According to USA Today, Williams then rubbed his thumbs against his middle index finger, signaling the cash sign, and said, "I got the first one. I got the first one. Go get it. Go lay the [expletive] out."
He also referenced wide receiver Kyle Williams, who suffered a concussion weeks prior.
"We need to find out in the first two series of the game, the little wide receiver, No. 10, about his concussion. We need to put a [expletive] lick on him right now."
Most NFL pundits and fans initially knew "Bounty Gate" was inappropriate and something the league should crack down on. However, putting a voice and specifics behind the cash offered for hard hits makes the case against Williams downright troubling.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has made player safety his platform while in office. He has changed rules, increased fines and handed out suspensions for illegal hits. So don't expect him to sit idly by at the surface of the the new audio clips of Williams.
Goodell was obviously mad when he suspended Saints head coach Sean Payton for a year and Williams indefinitely. How do you think he's going to take it now hearing exactly how vile the conduct of the locker room was?
Probably not too good.
According to a report by CBS Sports' Gregg Doyel more than a year ago, every season a player spends on an NFL roster, his life expectancy decreases three years. As Doyel points out, the average American male lives to be 75. The average NFL player's career lasts about four years, who will live on average to be around 55.
I don't want to insert myself into this column too much, but I love nasty, hard and gritty football. A defensive player leaving it all on the field to smash a running back or the quarterback is about as good as it gets. Yet, there is a difference between that and targeting the heads of players with a history of concussions.
As a fan, you want a defensive coordinator crazed with big hits to make the opposing offensive uncomfortable and cause turnovers. As a human, you do not want a psychotic coordinator in charge of 300-lb men recklessly ruining other people's careers and lives.