|Gregg Williams has been suspended indefinitely for his role in the Saints' bounty program. (Eye on Football illustration)|
It's been another busy day in an NFL offseason that is now in name only. The league went medieval on the Saints for the bounty scandal, and the man who was suspended indefinitely by commissioner Roger Goodell, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, apologized again Wednesday for his role in a program that paid players to intentionally injure opponents.
“I want to express my sincere regret and apology to the NFL, Mr. Benson, and the New Orleans Saints fans for my participation in the 'pay for performance' program while I was with the Saints," he said at the time in a statement released by the Rams, his new employer. "It was a terrible mistake, and we knew it was wrong while we were doing it. Instead of getting caught up in it, I should have stopped it. I take full responsibility for my role. I am truly sorry. I have learned a hard lesson and I guarantee that I will never participate in or allow this kind of activity to happen again.”
Williams is right -- it'll never happen again because there's a chance he's coached his last NFL game. (The commissioner will reconsider reinstating Williams after one year.) Nonetheless, Williams, keeping the Rams' PR staff busy, issued another mea culpa Wednesday (via PFT):
“I'd like to again apologize wholeheartedly to the NFL, Coach Fisher, the entire Rams organization and all football fans for my actions,” Williams said in a release issued by the Rams. ”Furthermore, I apologize to the players of the NFL for my involvement as it is not a true reflection of my values as a father or coach, nor is it reflective of the great respect I have for this game and its core principle of sportsmanship.
"I accept full responsibility for my actions. I highly value the 23 years that I've spent in the NFL. I will continue to cooperate fully with the league and its investigation and I will focus my energies on serving as an advocate for both player safety and sportsmanship. I will do everything possible to re-earn the respect of my colleagues, the NFL and its players in hopes of returning to coaching in the future.”
New Rams head coach Jeff Fisher hired Fisher this offseason. The two had worked together in Tennessee and Houston, but CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Ron Clements writes that St. Louis won't hire a replacement; instead, assistants Dave McGinnis and Chuck Cecil will share the duties.
Fisher, who also held a Wednesday press conference (hey, everybody's doing it!) to discuss the commissioner's ruling, said Williams has a “passion for (football) and a passion for hard-nosed, aggressive defense” but would never “disrespect this game to the standpoint where you try to hurt somebody on purpose.” Fisher added that he wasn't aware of any bounty program in Tennessee.
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