Along with Saints’ head coach and GM, former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams received his punishment on Tuesday stemming from the NFL’s investigation into bounties on injuring opposing players, and he has issued apologies after an indefinite suspension.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell handed out a one-year suspension to New Orleans head coach Sean Payton and an eight game suspension to the team’s general manager Mickey Loomis for not stopping the team’s bounty program from 2009 to 2011 and then lying to investigators they had knowledge of such a program.
However, Williams who just signed a contract this off-season to become the St. Louis Rams defensive coordinator, he received an indefinite suspension in which will be re-evaluated at the end of the 2012 season, for spear heading the Saints bounty program and even adding his own money to the pool for those who knock certain opposing players out of a game. At the beginning of the investigation last week Williams apologized for the bounty program.
William’s issued a second apology on Wednesday after learning of his punishment with the following statement: “I’d like to again apologize wholeheartedly to the NFL, Coach Fisher, the entire Rams organization and all football fans for my actions.
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.
He added, “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.”
For their part the Rams have suffered collateral damage in this, losing one of the leagues best coordinators after signing him. Coach Jeff Fischer indicated that if the team knew of a potential investigation, they would have never hired Williams, and as of right now they have no plans of hiring a replacement.