I have tried to stay out of this because I have been embarrassed that the Buffalo Bills have any association to Gregg Williams, but now with the new stories developing this week, I have to rant. Am I the only one to question the validity and intentions of Williams and his written statement that he signed this past weekend confirming that Jonathan Vilma was pooling $10,000 before the NFC Championship game against the Minnesota Vikings ?
I won’t get into the details leading up to this week because we have all heard about the Bountygate allegations, whether we wanted to hear about it or not, for the past year. My issue with all of this is the players having just as harsh punishments as the coaches. In my eyes, your coach is your leader and your coach finds a way to motivate you. Your coach should not be ordering players to cause season and potential career ending injuries and adding incentives in order for the players to do so.
This week the Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach, Greg Schiano, has been under fire for his last second effort to try and spark a fumble by running through the offensive line and knocking down Eli Manning in the last five seconds of the game. Players and coaches around the league having been calling this tactic classless and bush league. What I have not heard about are the players who were involved in the play. They have not heard any of the criticism that their coach has heard this week. Why? Because they were ordered to do so by their coach.
They are doing what their coach told them to do and I am sure they all don’t agree with it and they all know of the unwritten rule in the NFL, but regardless, it was done. Can you imagine if Manning actually got hurt? My point is, a team is a product of its coaches, not the other way around. I’d be satisfied with a four game suspension for players if you could show me an illegal hit that backed up evidence of intentionally trying to hurt players, but I have yet to see that.
It seems a little ironic to me that Roger Goodell all of a sudden finds merit in anything that Williams has to say. Isn’t this the same guy who initially denied all allegations and also asked players such as Anthony Hargrove to deny the bounty program when the story first broke? Now all of a sudden everything he says is being used against Vilma as a scare tactic. I understand that there is probably a mountain of evidence on all of these coaches and players outside of Williams’ signed statement, but the fact that he now is ratting out his players in order to get back into the good graces of Goodell is disgusting.
I think the statements made by defensive coach Mike Cerulla would have been enough to show Vilma on Monday. While I don’t agree with Vilma and the actions of the other players, I don’t think Vilma should be singled out and suspended for an entire season without pay. If this is the case, all players involved should be suspended for just as long, including all of the 22-26 players who allegedly paid bounty dues on a weekly basis in order to get the pot higher. Where are those players’ suspensions? It’s a lot of hypocrisy and shady tactics on both sides and if the league is trying to strike a deal with Williams in order to snake his way back into the league, I will consider Goodell just as much a snake.
What do you think about the newest chapter of Bountygate? I’d love to hear your thoughts. You can also follow me on twitter. @christynepolle