Oh, well, let’s move on.
The one important thing missed in all of this is that the bravado and locker-room culture that has been brought to light in the Saints’ situation is essentially not much different than what goes on in defensive locker rooms every week in the NFL.
It’s as if the fines we see each week are almost acceptable in some people’s eyes because there wasn’t a “bounty” attached it.
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley spoke to that when he told NFL Network, “If you think about it, when you say there’s an extra incentive, the ‘bounty,’ that’s like people having incentives in their contract. You get a certain amount of sacks, you get an extra bonus. Is that considered a bounty?
“You’re still going to go out there to make the plays in order to get some extra money. Is that putting that much more pressure to go out there and want to hit a quarterback because you know you have a $100,000 bonus coming if you do this?”
While the latest words from suspended Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams made headlines at the end of last week, overlooked in it all were the words of filmmaker Sean Pamphilon, who released the audio of Williams’ rant the night before the Saints played the 49ers in the playoffs this past season.
Despite challenges to go after Frank Gore’s head and Michael Crabtree’s knee and Vernon Davis’ ankles and Kyle Williams’ head, there was apparently no evidence that it actually happened during the game.
While claiming to Yahoo! Sports writer Michael Silver he believed Williams’ words “carried tremendous weight with his players,” Pamphilon then acknowledged he didn’t “believe Williams’ speech translated into any actual harm to San Francisco players.”
Pamphilon said, “I was two feet behind the Saints’ bench, and it looked like they were trying to kill each other every play. But I’ve watched about 15 NFL games from the sidelines, and I didn’t see anything different in that game than I’ve seen in any other football game. To me, they’re all trying to separate guys from the ball and all trying to get big hits that land them on ‘SportsCenter’ – on every play.”
As Woodley explained, “When I’m going to hit the quarterback, I’m not thinking, ‘I should hit this guy soft.’ I’m thinking, ‘I’m about to take this dude down to the ground.’ With a running back going through the hole, he’s trying to lay a hit on you; I think everybody is out there trying to lay a hit on somebody.”
Baltimore Ravens safety Bernard Pollard isn’t pleased with the approach being taken by commissioner Roger Goodell. Pollard said on KILT Radio in Houston, “From what I see, we’re gonna be running around with helmets and flags on in about seven years.
“It’s getting out of hand. This is not powder-puff football; this is not flag football. This is a violent sport. And it’s a fun sport — we all love playing this game. And we’re blessed by God to even go out there and display our talent to the world, but at the same time you can’t sit there and say, ‘We want guts, we want glory, we want heart.’
“You can’t give a player heart but at the end of the day you tell him, ‘Well, hold on but be careful when you go to make that hit.’ We wear helmets and shoulder pads. That means you’re supposed to go knock somebody around. We ain’t wearing flags.”
Finally, there is this from Indianapolis safety Tom Zbikowski, who left the Ravens to sign with the Colts and play for new head coach Chuck Pagano, who previously was Baltimore’s defensive coordinator.
At the start of the team’s offseason program, players were given shirts that say, “Building the monster.”
Zbikowski told NFL Network he takes that to mean putting together a team that can “beat the crap out of people.”
Guess that’s OK as long as you don’t have a financial incentive to do that.
What’s in a Name?
Tackle Demetress Bell became Buffalo’s left tackle when Jason Peters was traded to the Eagles in 2009, although injuries prevented him from establishing much continuity. Now, with Peters having suffered a ruptured Achilles in offseason workouts, Bell will try and fill his shoes again. Philadelphia moved quickly to sign Bell, who had been an unsigned unrestricted free agent. Talk about fortuitous timing. Bell also used the occasion to change the spelling and pronunciation of his first name.
Through his first four years in the league, he was known as Demetrius, but a recent check of his birth certificate revealed the proper spelling. After saying his first name is pronounced “duh-ME-tress,” Bell noted that some reporters had claimed he had changed his name. Bell joked, “You all are making me feel like Chad Ochocinco.”
Call Me ‘Coach’
When the Buccaneers were 10-6 in 2010, no one said anything about the supposed negatives of coach Raheem Morris’ laid-back approach. No one said anything when the Bucs began last season 4-2. But when a trip to London started a 10-game losing streak (they didn’t win again), Morris lost his job, and now come the stories of how the new coaching staff’s approach is what the team needs.
Cornerback Ronde Barber told the Tampa Tribune of the staff led by head coach Greg Schiano, “They have a very direct purpose. The ship’s a little bit tighter than it was last year, but that’s a good thing. We needed direction. We have a bunch of young men that need guidance and (Schiano) is giving it to them. He’s very direct about it and I think that’s the way it should be. I like the approach and I think it’ll work well for us.”
Players usually referred to Morris by his first name or even called him “Rah.”
So it was that Barber was talking about re-signing and meeting with Schiano and general manager Mark Dominik, and said, “I got together with Mark and Greg, or coach Schiano I should say, and we had a conversation.”