Disgraced defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, suspended indefinitely by the NFL for his role in the New Orleans Saints’ bounty scandal, urged his players to take shots at the head, knees and ankles of specific San Francisco 49ers before a playoff game in January.
In an obscenity-laced speech to the defense at the Saints’ hotel the night before the game, Williams indicated with a hand gesture that he would personally pay for a shot to the head of 49ers quarterback Alex Smith. The speech was videotaped by documentary filmmaker Sean Pamphilon, working on a project about Steve Gleason, the former New Orleans special teams standout now suffering from ALS.
The contents of the speech were first reported by Yahoo’s Mike Silver. (Warning: Explicit language can be heard in this clip of Williams addressing the Saints.)
In the talk, Williams repeats his mantra -- “Kill the head, the body will die” -- and implores: “We’ve got to do everything in the world to make sure we kill [running back] Frank Gore’s head. We want him running sideways. We want his head sideways.”
On receiver Kyle Williams, who has a history of concussions, Williams said: “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 [expletive] put a lick on him, move him to decide. He needs to decide.”
Urging his players to go for the knee of receiver Michael Crabtree, Williams said: “We need to decide whether Crabtree wants to be a ... prima donna or he wants to be a tough guy. We need to find that out, and he becomes human when you [expletive] take out that outside ACL.”
Williams, hired after the season as defensive coordinator in St. Louis, has been suspended indefinitely by the NFL. Saints Head Coach Sean Payton is appealing his one-year suspension. The NFL has yet to announce individual player sanctions.