MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Dolphins can breathe a sigh of relief Thursday morning that they didn’t hire Jeff Fisher to be head coach and have to be involved with the increasingly ugly New Orleans Saints bounty scandal.
Thursday morning, audio from then Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who was immediately hired by Fisher when he took the Rams job, caught him on tape talking about the bounties and the intent to hurt members of the San Francisco 49ers.
Williams was caught on tape by documentary filmmaker Sean Pamphilon who was working on a movie about former Saints player Steve Gleason who is battling ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
“Kill the head and the body will die,” Williams said early in his speech to the Saints. “We’ve got to do everything in the world to make sure we kill Frank Gore’s head. We want him running sideways. We want his head sideways.”
“Little 32 (referencing running back Kendall Hunter), we want to knock the *expletive* out of him. He has no idea what he’s in for,” William said.
“We hit *expletive* [49ers quarterback Alex] Smith right there,” Williams said as he pointed to his chin.
“Remember me, I’ve got the first one, I’ve got the first one,” Williams said while rubbing his fingers together indicating a potential cash payment. “Go lay that *expletive* out.”
Williams also instructed his players to intentionally hit other players in the head when they were involved in a pile-up while going for a loose ball or tackling a member of the other team.
“Every single one of you, before you get off the pile, affect the head,” Williams said. “Early, affect the head. Continue, touch and hit the head.”
Wiliams also talked about trying to find out if 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree was ready to play after suffering a concussion in a recent game.
“We need to find out in the first two series of the game, the little wide receiver, number 10, about his concussion,” Williams said. “We need to *expletive* put a lick on him right now. He needs to decide. He needs to *expletive* decide.”
“We need to decide whether Crabtree wants to be a fake *expletive* prima donna, or he wants to be a tough guy. We need to find it out,” Williams told Saints defenders. “He becomes human when we take out that outside ACL [referencing the anterior cruciate ligament in the knee].”
Williams continued talking about running back, and former University of Miami star, Frank Gore, saying, “We need to decide how many times we can beat Frank Gore’s head.”
“We need to decide how many times we can bulrush and we can *expletive* put [49ers tight end] Vernon Davis’ ankles over the pile,” Williams said.
The audio is the most damning evidence that has been revealed so far by either the NFL or the NFL Players Association regarding the bounty program. Saints fans, and even the Louisiana Legislature, have been pleading with the league to ease up on the punishment of the team.
Saints fans have pointed to Spygate, which involved the New England Patriots spying on other teams for a competitive advantage, as reason for the NFL to ease up on the punishment. The difference though is the Patriots didn’t try to injure other players and that’s why Coach Bill Belichick wasn’t suspended like Saints coaches were.
Based on the audio released Thursday, it’s unlikely that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will show any mercy on the Saints based on their bounty program.
Commissioner Goodell has yet to reveal the punishment for individual players involved in the bounty program to intentionally injure other players, but the penalties may not be as severe as the ones for the coaches and front office staff who knowingly let the program continue.