A newly released recording purports to capture former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams telling players to “put a lick” on San Francisco’s Kyle Williams to see if the receiver has lingering effects from an earlier concussion.
Filmmaker Sean Pamphilon, who had access to Saints meetings for a documentary on football, has posted the audio on his website. Pamphilon initially shared the content with Yahoo Sports, telling the website that while he was not bothered by much of Williams’ profanity-laced speech, he was troubled by comments about the previously concussed player.
“I thought, ‘Did he just say that?'” Pamphilon said in an article posted Thursday, April 5. “That was the red flag for me.”
Williams, who is suspended indefinitely for his admitted role in overseeing a bounty system that offered Saints defenders cash for big hits, did not immediately respond to a phone message and email left with his foundation in Missouri on Thursday.
Pamphilon made the recording during a meeting before the Saints lost to the 49ers in a divisional playoff game in January.
When the Giants defeated the 49ers a week later in the NFC title game, several Giants players made similar comments about wanting to get hits on Williams, who fumbled twice in the game, because they knew he had previous concussions.
In Pamphilon’s recording, Williams also tells his players to set their sights on running back Frank Gore, quarterback
Alex Smith and receiver Michael Crabtree.
“We need to decide on how many times we can beat Frank Gore’s head,” he says.
Williams also implores his charges to “lay out” Smith and later adds, “We need to decide whether Crabtree wants to be a (expletive) prima donna or he wants to be a tough guy. He becomes human when we … take out that outside ACL.”
Pamphilon also described Williams pointing to his chin when he said, “We hit (expletive) Smith right there.”
Pamphilon said Williams then rubbed his fingers together as one might do when doling out cash, saying, “I got the first one,” which Pamphilon understood to mean the defensive coordinator had placed a cash bounty on Smith.
The NFL has said Williams’ bounty system offered off-the-books cash payments of $1,000 or more for hits that either knocked targeted opponents out of games or left them needing help off the field, and the Saints have been punished heavily for allowing such a program to endure for three seasons.