You got the feeling that if Friday’s Gregg Williams press conference went a few minutes longer he might have gone full Colonel Jessup, the Jack Nicholson character from “A Few Good Men.”
Williams stopped short of telling reporters we want him on that wall and we need him on that wall, but Williams was clearly annoyed at the accusation that he is a dirty coach, and he handled it poorly.
It was a topic of conversation Friday because star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. said Browns players told him Williams had ordered them to injure him during a 2017 preseason game when Beckham was still on the Giants.
Williams was asked to respond to that accusation. After delivering a bad “Odell who?” joke, Williams gave an astonishing answer.
“We don’t do that,” Williams said. “Never done it anywhere I’ve been. We don’t do anything to hurt the team.”
This is from the man who was suspended by the NFL for his role as the ringleader in “Bountygate” with the Saints. This is from a man who was caught in an audio recording telling his players in New Orleans to hit players with known concussions and take out someone’s ACL.
Despite apologizing for participating in the bounty program in 2012, Williams questioned his suspension on Friday.
“Was that right or wrong?” he said when asked about his suspension from the NFL. “I don’t want to talk about that. Let’s talk about Cleveland.”
He then yelled, “Next.”
You get the feeling that like Col. Jessup, Williams believes everyone else is wrong, not him. That we are just soft. This is football. What would a bunch of pansies who type for a living know about hitting someone? Like Jessup ordering the Code Red, you’re damn right Williams gave those Saints players $1,000 for “cart-offs” and $1,500 for “knockouts,” and he probably would again if he thought he could get away with it.
“It’s not professional flag football, OK?” Williams snarled Friday.
This is what the Jets signed up for when they hired Williams in January to run the defense. He brings energy and discipline to his defenses, but he also has more baggage than LaGuardia. They wanted his attitude, even if it means holding their noses when it comes to the rest.
Why do you think Williams never lasts anywhere longer than two or three years? The initial burst of bluster and energy is intoxicating. But like a good buzz, that wears off quickly.
The stunning part of Friday was Williams thinking he could lie about never wanting to injure players. He apologized for his role in Bountygate in 2012 when Roger Goodell suspended him indefinitely, which ended up being just a year.
“It was a terrible mistake, and we knew it was wrong while we were doing it,” Williams said at the time. “Instead of getting caught up in it, I should have stopped it. I take full responsibility for my role. I am truly sorry.”
Beyond the apology, there was ample proof of what Williams did, including an audio recording that documentary filmmaker Sean Pamphilon released of a speech he said Williams gave the Saints before a playoff game with the 49ers in 2012.
According to Pamphilon, Williams pointed to his chin while telling his players to hit San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith “right there,” and then, while rubbing his fingers together to make the cash sign, said, “Remember me. I got the first one. I got the first one. Go get it. Go lay that [expletive] out.”
He also told them to target 49ers receiver Kyle Williams, who had concussion issues.
“We need to find out in the first two series of the game, that little wide receiver, No. 10, about his concussion,” he says on the audio. “We need to [expletive] put a lick on him right now. He needs to decide. He needs to [expletive] decide.”
I wonder how Michael Crabtree felt Friday when he heard Williams has never told his players to injury anyone.
“We need to decide whether Crabtree wants to be a fake-ass prima donna, or he wants to be a tough guy,” Williams says. “We need to find out. He becomes human when we [expletive] take out that outside ACL.”
Yep, never coached it anywhere.
On Friday, Williams was the one who couldn’t handle the truth.
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