George Henshaw coached for 20 years in the NFL including time as offensive coordinator of the John Elway-led Denver Broncos, and Dan Reeves’ New York Giants. He was part of the same Titans coaching staff as defensive coordinator Gregg Williams from 1997-2000, and he was a coach on Sean Payton’s Saints staff in 2006 and 2007. LBS spoke with Henshaw, who now serves as an NCSA college recruiting expert, about the Saints bounty program, and he expressed surprise and disappointment over what went on in New Orleans.
Asked if he had heard anything about bounties while he was on the coaching staff with Williams in Tennessee, Henshaw said no.
“That didn’t go on with the Titans,” Henshaw told Larry Brown Sports. “I coached for 38 years, 20 of them in the NFL, and never heard anything like this. That’s why it was so shocking. I don’t think [bounties] goes on except for this case, unfortunately.”
“I was very surprised in the beginning,” Henshaw said when asked for his reaction to the news. “Then after I found out they were telling the truth [about the bounty program], I became disappointed that people in the same profession made those judgments.”
“I thought the penalties were deserved. Not just because of the bounties, but there are consequences for lying and trying to cover it up,” he said.
“It really surprised me that apparently [Sean Payton] knew about it. When it first came out, I said there is no way Sean Payton or Mickey Loomis could know anything about this. That is what I thought.”
Henshaw was a running backs coach on Sean Payton’s Saints staff for two years, including Payton’s first with New Orleans (before Williams became the team’s defensive coordinator). He described Payton as someone who aspired to get the Saints to the same level as the elite teams in the NFL. He also said Gregg Williams was “totally committed to football,” and “not really interested in anything else except for football.”
“It surprises me that any coach would go out there and do those things. I think it’s in absolute poor judgment when you go out and reward people for going out and trying to injure players,” Henshaw said. “I think there’s no place for that in any sport.”
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