Kurt Warner not surprised about bounties

Kurt Warner was one of the quarterbacks the Saints had a bounty for. Though he says the news was disappointing, it wasn’t suprising.

“It’s definitely disappointing, but I won’t say that I’m completely surprised,” Warner told Burns & Gambo of KTAR in Phoenix. “And, again, not necessarily the Saints, but I’m not surprised that there were teams out there doing those kinds of things behind closed doors.”

“I hate the mindset and thought process that I’m going to go out and injure someone. That being said, it’s not rare for individuals to go out and target certain individuals, whether they have an injury and they’re targeting that injury, or whether they’re significant players and they’re trying to target them for a competitive advantage. It probably happened on teams that I was on.”

“I believe it’s something that’s gone on for a long period of time,” Warner said.

Warner is no fool, and his words corroborate what we’ve heard from other current or former players. Like Brett Favre, he recognizes that he’s a target, but he’s disappointed opposing players were attaching a monetary reward to his body.

Below is his full interview:

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Darren Sharper calls allegations of Saints bounties for hurting players ‘ridiculous’

On Friday, Gregg Williams faced accusations surrounding an alleged bounty system that he had in place during his three seasons as Saints defensive coordinator. Darren Sharper, who played under Williams as a safety for the Saints in 2009 and 2010, has flatly denied those claims. While Sharper acknowledges that there were incentive-based bonuses doled out to players, he says they were only for clean, legal plays.

“I think this is something that, from when I got in the league in 1997, has happened thousands and thousands of times over,” Sharper told NFL.com. “It’s ridiculous that someone is trying to say that we made bounties on knocking guys out, when basically all it was is that when a guy gets an interception, then he might get paid. That’s something that guys do amongst themselves.”

It seems as if Sharper may want to get his story straight with Williams, who has already issued a statement acknowledging and apologizing for what the NFL’s investigation unearthed. Given that other NFL players who never played under Williams are essentially shrugging their shoulders at the allegations and calling bounty systems commonplace in NFL locker rooms, Sharper’s remarks come off as a little surprising.

H/T Pro Football Talk
Photo credit: Derick Hingle, US Presswire

Gregg Williams was Saints bounty snitch

Many NFL players have said that the bounty system run by the Saints is nothing new, and that it’s something that happens throughout the league. A lot of people are focusing on how the word about the bounties became public. They’re trying to find out who the snitch is.

Well I’ve got news for some of you: The snitch is none other than former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.

In the 2009 season, the Saints battered Kurt Warner and Brett Favre in the playoffs. Next up was Peyton Manning and the Colts, and Williams explicitly said during a radio interview that his defense planned to take shots at the MVP quarterback.

“The big thing is that he throws the ball so early that we’re going to have to do a good job of finding ways to get to him and when we do get to him we’re going to have to make sure he gets a couple ‘remember me’ shots when we get there,” Williams told 104.5 The Zone.

Williams also made it clear he was willing to accept a few 15-yard penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct as long as Peyton felt the hits.

“When you put too much of that type of worry on a warrior’s mind, he doesn’t play all out,” Williams said. “If it happens, it happens. And the only thing you’d like for me to say is that if it happens you hope he doesn’t get back up and play again.”

That attitude is nothing new for Williams. From the moment he was hired by the Saints, his goal was to instill a tough, aggressive attitude with his players. This quote comes from an article published on May 5 2009 in the New Orleans Times-Picayune:

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Brett Favre ‘not pissed’ at Saints for bounty ‘it’s football’

Brett Favre was one of the opposing players targeted by the New Orleans Saints’ bounty program. The Saints particularly went after Favre during the 2009 NFC Championship Game, hitting him mercilessly and bruising him severely. Favre doesn’t hold a grudge against them, saying it’s part of the game.

“I’m not pissed. It’s football. I don’t think anything less of those guys,” he told SI’s Peter King. “Said or unsaid, guys do it anyway. If they can drill you and get you out, they will.”

Favre’s not stupid. He knows opposing teams are targeting him, and he’s right — that’s football. But again, paying players bounties goes against the spirit and integrity of the game, and that’s why the NFL is addressing it. It won’t stop defensive players from going after offensive stars, but it might stop the excessive/dirty hits.

Chris Harris, Damien Woody say bounty programs are commonplace in NFL

The NFL revealed Friday that the New Orleans Saints ran a bounty program from 2009-2011. The program was led by defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, and the NFL says at least 22-27 players and one assistant coach were involved. While some people are outraged — and probably surprised that the program was approved throughout the franchise — some NFL players are shrugging their shoulders at the revelations.

Below is an exchange on Twitter between NFL defensive back Chris Harris and reporter Darin Gantt. There is also a tweet from former Pro Bowl offensive lineman Damien Woody, who says the same thing as Harris.

Just because bounty systems are commonplace doesn’t mean the Saints should be excused. We all know their objective is to pressure quarterbacks like Brett Favre and Kurt Warner, but there’s a difference between rattling a quarterback legally, and intentionally trying to injure one. It’s the second part that’s a problem.

H/T Business Insider via Hot Clicks, Shutdown Corner

Also See:
Gregg Williams apologizes for Saints bounty system ‘We knew it was wrong’
Saints defense ran bounty system, targeted Kurt Warner, Brett Favre

Gregg Williams apologizes for Saints bounty system ‘We knew it was wrong’

Former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams apologized for running a bounty system while he was with the team. Williams’ statement was released shortly after the NFL’s investigative findings about New Orleans’ system was published.

“I want to express my sincere regret and apology to the NFL, Mr. Benson, and the New Orleans Saints fans for my participation in the ‘pay for performance’ program while I was with the Saints. It was a terrible mistake, and we knew it was wrong while we were doing it. Instead of getting caught up in it, I should have stopped it. I take full responsibility for my role. I am truly sorry. I have learned a hard lesson and I guarantee that I will never participate in or allow this kind of activity to happen again.”

Williams knew it was wrong at the time, but do you think he and his players regret it? They won a Super Bowl by going after opposing quarterbacks and star players. I’m not sure they do. And how much will Williams be penalized now that he’s a coach with the Rams, not the Saints? I hope it’s at least a hefty fine. They need to come down hard on the Saints if they want bounty systems to stop.

Saints defense ran bounty system, targeted Kurt Warner, Brett Favre

When Gregg Williams (pictured) took over as defensive coordinator of the Saints, the players and media raved about the new attitude he brought to the team. Williams ran a swarming defense that got after opposing players. Little did we know he was promoting a bounty system all those years.

An NFL investigation revealed that the Saints have operated a bounty program the past three seasons — all since Williams became their defensive coordinator. As part of the bounty program, players were rewarded for knocking opponents out of the game. According to the report, the program paid players $1,500 for a “knockout” and $1,000 for a “cart-off,” with payouts doubling or tripling during the playoffs.

The investigation says the Saints specifically targeted former Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner and former Vikings quarterback Brett Favre. Anyone who watched the NFC Championship Game between the Vikings and Saints could get that sense, and the pictures of the beat-up Favre support the findings.

Team owner Tom Benson reportedly directed GM Mickey Loomis to stop the system but was unsuccessful. Coach Sean Payton reportedly knew about the system but did not stop it.

Commissioner Roger Goodell notes that the system jeopardizes player safety and competitive integrity — two key components of the league. There are also specific rules against players being rewarded for injuring opponents.

The Saints will be penalized for the bounty program and could face fines, suspensions, and the loss of draft picks. Even though the job of defenses is to stop offenses, placing bounties on opposing players goes against the spirit, integrity, and sportsmanship aspects of the game.