Just about everybody is up in arms about Gregg Williams and the bounty program he instituted during his time with the New Orleans Saints. It hit a high point on Thursday, when audio was released of Williams prior to the NFC Divisional Playoff matchup against the San Francisco 49ers, in which Williams, in so many words, gave his players incentive to injure and knock various opposing players out of the game. Simply put: cash reward for injuries.
There's very few interpretations of the audio, which includes multiple references to injuring Frank Gore's head and testing just how concussion-prone Kyle Williams happens to be, but Williams is not without supporters. He's already had one on the 49ers, in recent signing Rock Cartwright, and apparently has another in current 49ers defensive back Carlos Rogers. Make the jump for some quotes.
According to the National Football Post, Rogers doesn't look at it as a straight-up "cash for injury" situation, and even if it was, tends to believe that Williams had nothing to do with it. Or, at the very least, he believes Williams didn't instigate the program:
"It wasn't a bounty system. I'm close to Gregg, and I'm not trying to be biased. He's one of the coaches I admire and would always love to play for," Rogers said. "But, it wasn't a bounty system."
In the piece, Rogers says that it was something that players came up with. The players would come up with something, and they'd take fine money, and put that into a pool, and pay out for things like interceptions and, apparently, big hits. It still sounds bad the way he tells it, really.
Rogers goes on to talk about how easy it is to take a player out. He suggests that if they really wanted to take a player out, then that player would be out. He talks about how they could just bring in someone who doesn't play much, have him go low, get fined, and they'd pay his fine and that player would be out. What he says definitely makes sense - that seems like a perfectly rational reason as to why this all may be a little overblown.
Except I don't believe Rogers fully, and believe he's just trying to help out his old coach. The audio of Williams is damning and always will be, and some former players making light of the situation doesn't change that. While every locker room will use the words "hurt" - loudly and passionately - I sincerely doubt their defensive coordinator is making cash money hand signals while he's doing it.