|Shanle thinks the term 'bounty program' is an unfair characterization. (US Presswire)|
There's probably some people who are sympathetic to the Saints issues outside of New Orleans, but not many. It's easier to find people who dislike the NFL's recent actions inside the Bayou.
Like, for instance, Saints linebacker Scott Shanle, who said in a recent interview with Mike Triplett of the New Orleans Times-Picayune that the phrase "bounty program" was an unfair description of what the Saints were doing.
"There's been this picture painted that [Jonathan] Vilma was standing in front of the defense before every game picking out players to go after and offering money," Shanle said. "It was blown up to be something more than it is."
Shanle believes that the term "performance-based pool" would be more accurate than "bounty program" and that the things that Gregg Williams said were meant to be taking figuratively.
"Gregg said crazy stuff," Shanle said. "If you take him literally, you're going to be locked up. But he was the best motivator I've ever been around."
Despite having a pretty clear bias, Shanle makes some interesting points. "Bounty program" creates a much spicier headline than "performance-based pool." And maybe Williams didn't actually mean for someone to rip another person's head off. But there's audio evidence of Williams' fiery pregame speech, which isn't going to do much to push people away from the notion that the Saints were aggressively pursuing violent performance.
And Shanle might legitimately feel that the Saints are being mischaracterized. But it's going to be pretty difficult for someone who's actually a member of the organization to shift the public perception of the bounty scandal.
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