Gregg Williams, Joe Vitt Talk Friendship After Involvement in Bountygate Scandal

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 13, 2019

New York Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams participates during the NFL football team's practice in Florham Park, N.J., Thursday, May 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Seth Wenig/Associated Press

New York Jets assistant coaches Gregg Williams and Joe Vitt were on opposite sides of the Bountygate scandal during their time with the New Orleans Saints, but both men maintained that they've remained friends.

"Is this a National Enquirer question?" Vitt asked after being questioned on the topic, per Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. "I like Gregg. He's a friend."

Williams agreed.

"Not a question. Next question," he said. "He's a great friend of mine. He'll always be a great friend. I don't care what you've written. Go ahead, somebody else [ask a question]."

Both Vitt (six games) and Williams (11 months) were suspended by the NFL for their roles in the Bountygate scandal, in which Saints coaches and players were accused of taking out paid bounties on opposing players in 2011.

During Vitt's testimony as a part of the NFL's investigation into the matter, he called Williams a liar on several occasions and a "narcissistic" person, per Larry Holder of The Athletic, and didn't speak highly about the defensive coordinator. 

"And the first time we brought Gregg Williams, we said, 'Jesus Christ, this guy is nuts,'" Vitt said at the time. "You know, I mean, talking about himself, talking about his accomplishments, talking about his money, talking about how he should—you know, the guy had a pretty bad track record in being a pretty good defensive coordinator."

But Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reported in February after the pair were hired onto Adam Gase's staff with the New York Jets that they "buried the hatchet a few years ago."

Williams is serving as the Jets' defensive coordinator, while Vitt is coaching the outside linebackers.

Mehta added in February that "People close to Vitt and Williams maintain that they have a healthy respect for each other. They insist that there is no lingering animosity."

The two men seemed to confirm as much Thursday and clearly aren't interested in talking about their relationship and history beyond that.