On Thursday, while NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was hearing the appeals of New Orleans Saints’ staff members who received suspensions for their roles in the BountyGate scandal, a new piece of evidence was released. Gregg Williams’ final pre-game speech as a member of the Saints, before their playoff loss to the 49ers, was released to Mike Silver of Yahoo revealing specific exhortations to Saints’ players to target 49ers players, including targeting specific injuries.
Williams’ speech was captured by filmmaker Sean Pamphilon, who is working on a documentary about former Saints player Steve Gleason, who is suffering from ALS. Pamphilon released the tape on Thursday, which is viewable below.
Williams is heard saying, “Kill the head and the body will die.” He specifically told them to target members of the team. “We’ve got to do everything in the world to make sure we kill Frank Gore’s head,” Williams told his players. “We want him running sideways. We want his head sideways.”
He also specifically names 49ers quarterback Alex Smith, laying, “We hit [expletive] Smith right there. (While pointing to his chin)” and followed that statement saying, “Remember me, I’ve got the first one. (Williams rubs his fingers together indicating cash payment)… Go lay that [expletive] out.”
Williams also referenced targeting specific injuries. Wide receiver Kyle Williams, who was recovering from a concussion, was called out when he said, “We need to find out in the first two series of the game, the little wide receiver, number 10 [Kyle Williams number], about his concussion. We need to [expletive] put a lick on him right now.”
He also referenced taking shots in a pile of players after the whistle, something that Vikings running back Adrian Peterson accused the Saints of doing earlier in the season. Williams said, “Every single one of you, before you get off the pile, affect the head.”
The NFL elected not to comment on the video released on Thursday. In an email to PFT, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello wrote, “We are not commenting on specific pieces of evidence that we have other than what we have released in our statements.”
Williams has received an indefinite suspension due to his role in the Saints’ pay-for-performance program, and he has not indicated that he is appealing the decision. Williams left the Saints shortly after their season ended and signed as the defensive coordinator for the St. Louis Rams.
The appeal meeting in New York Thursday was for Saints’ head coach Sean Payton, general manager Mickey Loomis and assistant coach Joe Vitt. Payton received a one year suspension from the league, Loomis received eight games, and Vitt received six games. Pamphilon did clarify that Payton and Loomis were not in the room when he recorded Gregg Williams delivering his speech.
A decision on the appeal was expected to be delivered on Friday.