Seahawks Insider

Morning links: Bounty systems take a hit

Post by Eric Williams on March 4, 2012 at 8:59 am with 41 Comments »
March 4, 2012 8:59 am

In this Sept. 26, 2010, file photo, Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams looks on during an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans. Williams, the former Saints defensive coordinator, apologized for running a bounty program that targeted opposing players for injuries. In a statement, he says the program was a "terrible mistake and we knew it was wrong while we were doing it." The NFL on Friday said that it had found between 22 and 27 Saints participated in the program over the last three seasons, and that players including quarterbacks Kurt Warner and Brett Favre were targeted. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

News of the New Orleans Saints running a bounty system from 2009 to 2011 leaking out on Friday shouldn’t come as a surprise.

NFL locker rooms are filled with reward systems used to incentivize performance and add extra motivation to play well on the field.

But what brought this issue to the level of a league investigation is the reward system was being overseen by defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, not the players.

And let’s not get this twisted. The league is not performing a noble act here in the name of player safety by going after Williams and trying to rid the NFL of bounty systems that targets players with knockout hits.

The NFL is protecting its backside and the league’s renewed stance on player safety.

With the league being hit with a flurry of lawsuits from former players who claim the NFL failed to protect them from concussion issues, the league cannot afford to be exposed to more litigation.

Not to mention the image hit the NFL takes from fans when a story like breaks.

But I think former NFL player Matt Bowen, who played for Williams, says it best in his column for the Chicago Tribune.

Bowen: Some day, when my three sons grow up, I will make clear to them that this league isn’t for everyone. No doubt, it can be downright disgusting living by a win-at-all-costs mentality. It’s a fundamental part of the NFL’s culture that isn’t talked about outside of team facilities.

I’m not saying it’s right. Or ethical. But the NFL isn’t little league football with neighborhood dads playing head coach. This is the business of winning. If that means stepping over some line, you do it.

Bounties, cheap shots, whatever you want to call them, they are a part of this game. It is an ugly tradition that was exposed Friday with Williams front and center from his time coaching the defense in New Orleans. But don’t peg this on him alone. You will find it in plenty of NFL cities.

Win or else. That’s the drill.

Former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks echoes Bowen’s thoughts on the issue.

Dave Boling of The News Tribune writes that Williams’ actions were inexcusable, and his expected discipline could have an affect on the Seahawks with Williams now the defensive coordinator in St. Louis.

Dan Pompei of writing for the National Football Post offers another lukewarm evaluation of Green Bay soon-to-be free agent Matt Flynn.

ESPN’s Mike Sando has a nice graphic on showing the number of penalties from 2009 to 2011 for all teams for unnecessary roughness, facemasking, roughing the passer, personal fouls and unsportsmanlike conduct. The Seahawks are last on the list. But expect that to change with the way this defense plays.

Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel writes that the Seahawks could be interested in Miami defensive tackle Paul Soliai’s services.

Is this really Peyton Manning throwing in the video below? We’ll let you judge for yourself. If so, it looks like he’s progressed on the road of recovery from his neck fusion. Now, can he take a hit?

Morning links
Leave a comment Comments → 41
  1. GeorgiaHawk says:

    The league performing a noble act in the name of player safety? I’m sure they would like everyone to think that.

    You hit the nail on the head Eric when you say that the league is protecting their backside by doing this.

    It will be interesting moving forward if the league will try to ban players that already have multiple concussions from playing anymore to further protect their back side from lawsuits.

  2. Offense
    1. OL – JS and PC beat the drum of building a line so they can play smash mouth football. So much so, taking Carp over Dalton which in retrospect may have been a miss, but hey, we’re young, Cable is as tough as they get, one full offseason together, I like our direction.

    2. RB – Obviously all about Lynch, however I’d contend that someone like Trent Richardson would have a field day running behind that line as well. My preference is Beast, he’s just too unique. Hope they work out a deal before the weekend.

    3. WR – Sid Rice MUST stay healthy. Hope the shoulder surgeries make a difference and he can beef up a bit. Baldwin is IMO a better version of B. Engram, little more speed. He could be a 10 year guy which would be amazing for an UFA. I think Tate will hit his stride and Lockette is going to be an absolute star!

    4. QB – I’ve been defending Tjack for a while and will continue to until he gives me reason otherwise (sorry BK, I can read every single one of your posts about his misfortunes in Minnesota, but I’d prefer to see it for myself. Tough, mobile, whip arm, can make all the throws (although admittedly would’ve liked a little more risk once in a while instead of settling for punting)

    1. Secondary – Barring injuries, this group really could be one of the greats. HUGE CB’s, Kam is a monster and we all know what Earl can do (although one thing he CAN’T do apparently is beat Rocket in a race. I read it’s not even close. I digress.

    2. DL – Clemons is really fantastic. Wish we could find another one of him (My #1 hope for our 1st rd pick is Pass Rushing Specialist LB/DE). Red is a terror against the run, average against pass…blah, blah, blah. Love Me Some Mebane, Branch had moments, but another interior DL would be fine by me.

    3. LB – I’m with you Duke, Heater has been great, and if the price is right, bring him back. The kid in the draft from BC is interesting, but I’d prefer to have more speed out of that position. Hill is a shame. Dude was at home, chilling. Not out drinking and driving this time, not shooting himself or getting into fights. Bud should be legal. It takes away the pain and mellows folks out. What’s wrong with that? IMO, its less harmful than cigs, alcohol and pills or needles and was even grown by our founding fathers (google it), but whatever. I’ve been fortunate to meet a few former players from 15 years ago that shared back then, many coaches ‘used to’ encourage that (stay home, play video games, etc) as opposed to doing something stupid in the public. Don’t know if it still holds true today, but I found it to be curious.

    Special Teams
    1. (Tie) Big leg in the kicking game, pretty accurate and a punter that can boom and/or directional kick…slight edge Ryan.

    1. Secondary
    2. Offensive Line
    3. Defensive Line
    4. RB
    5. WR
    6. Special Teams
    7. QB
    8. LB

    Tjack has to prove himself. This is the year when hopefully he’ll have the benefit of having a full off-season to prepare with a healthy team going in. It’s make or break for him most likely being his last chance to cement his starter status for any team. I really would love to see Brandon Weeden fall to us in the 2nd round, but don’t believe it’ll happen. 1st pick (BPA, preferably on the defensive side of the ball).

  3. SeahawkFan12 says:

    Good article by Pompei. Yet another ‘common sense’ article that paints an unemotional truth to the hype that surrounds the free agent market for QBs.

    Unfortunately that Manning video is hard to get very much from. If that was actually Peyton(no reason think it’s a fraud) and if my eyes serve me, he looks pretty good. Only time will tell if he’s ready to grip it and rip it.

  4. Dukeshire says:

    The league’s stance on player safety is hypocritical. Slong as uniform violations and TD celebrations garner higher fines than what Trent Cole did to Okung.

    Maybe because I watched the video thinking it was Manning, the mannerisms appear to be his. So hard to tell though.

  5. LOVE the article on Flynn. Just not enough tape of the guy to invest so much. If JS however knows him better and goes there, I’ll support it. IMO I just don’t trust enough of what I’ve seen. I’d prefer Tjack for at least this year and see. Changing QB’s all the time makes it hard for WRs to establish rapport. Every WR I’ve ever heard talk about Tjack loves him (with the exception of maybe BMW, who needs to get quicker in his own right).

    If Manning is healthy, that would be a rare opportunity that should be explored, but that’s a big IF. I just don’t think he fits as he would essentially want to be the OC, I don’t think it works. He’s a great player, but the Colts should figure out a way to let Luck have a year and let Peyton retire a Colt.

  6. Dukeshire says:

    *so long*…

  7. Palerydr says:

    I would say that’s Manning as he was at the Duke/NC game as well as watching his feet he moves just like he should if he were Manning.

    Joreb Kuechly was timed at 4.56 at the combine how much faster do you want a MLB to run? Patrick Willis ran a 4.51 at the combine for comparison.

    I agree I would not break the bank on an unproven 7th round FA.

    Jackson has 2 flaws that make me think he will never get it poor pocket awareness and an unwillingness to use the entire field.

    Anybody hear anything about Gruden doing his Fired Football Coaches of America bit with this years QB’s?

  8. I like how one scout complained that Flynn had an 80 yard screen pass in the Detroit game and said that “A lot of his yards in that game came on a screen play to a running back.”

    Take out that 80 yard screen play and then “only” 400 yards passing in a game isn’t good enough for you?

    Or should we take out the other TD throws and give excuses for why they shouldn’t have gone for scores either.

    Actually, lets take out every completion and do a study of the incompletions and talk about what a terrible game he had. That would make a lot of sense.

    Lets take away the Super Bowl that Peyton Manning won and talk about what a loser he’s been his entire career because that one Super Bowl didn’t count because he got to face a team with a QB like Rex Grossman. So, really, Manning has never won a Super Bowl.

    Overall, the article was a good read (I’m just bashing that one scout). There’s certainly no guarantees with Flynn, T-Jack, RGIII, Tannenhill, Manning, Cousins, etc.

  9. That clip was verified that it was Manning a couple of days ago. I think it was ESPN who found out, claimed, or whatever that it is/was really him.

  10. I know there are reasonable arguments against doing it – but man, how exciting would it be to see #18, wanting to prove everyone wrong for writing him off, lining up for the Hawks next season? Would really be something.

  11. williambryan says:

    If it’s not Manning in the video, then it is a really good impostor. Bowen’s take may be accurate of a large part of the league but not all of it. The coordinator that took over the redskins D after Williams left, banished the practice of bounties from the team. So at least there are some people with integrity left in the league.

  12. A thoughtful, well-written analysis, joreb.

  13. JazBadAzz says:

    I hope Marshawn Lynch signs his deal today…Heard it was around 4-5yrs between 30-32mil and 16mil guaranteed. Good deal if you asked me!

    I think Peyton is around 50% in that video, he had no zip on the ball, but he is obviously moving in the right direction. I bet he leaked it himself to put the heat on Irsay. I don’t know about any of you but who in the hell wants to miss out on 28mil payday regardless of your already rich or not!

    Pompei is correct in his assessment about Flynn, its just to difficult to know what he really brings to the table after 2 starts. I hope the kid does well but I wouldn’t come close to paying him like he’s a probowler! He will have to prove it. I seen him a bunch when he played at LSU, and I was surprised he was drafted!

  14. Dukeshire says:

    Couple things: where did you see those contract numbers for Lynch?

    And second, I want your computer if you were able to tell Manning was “around 50%”, from that clip.

  15. Sarcasticus says:

    Please no Flynn. The need to upgrade over T-Jack should not force us all into some emotional tizzy. Banking (literally 40 mill or whatever it would take) the position on two games is crazy. He may be the next great thing, but that is not how you should do business. I really hope the team’s scouts and executives go with a history of work and not base their decisions on their last look at a guy.

    During the combine, you hear constant talk about how you don’t go all crazy simply because a guy shows up and goes all superman. If someone stands out, you go back to all the tape you have and you talk to the scouts to see where this surprising athleticism was during the games. There is a reason Flynn lasted to the 7th round. Did he improve so much as a backup to warrant a huge contract? I don’t know, but I really hope the Seahawks’ front office does.

    I would prefer the team go the route of the Ravens when they won the superbowl. Continue to add to a stout defense, develop a sound running game, and try as much as possible to limit the amount of damage a mediocre quarterback can do to the team.

  16. hawkfaninoklahoma says:

    you know its a funny thing about flynn, let me preface this with if the front office wants him i am all for it as i am hardly an expert.
    but in watching the detroit game i thought a lot of the throws were not that great, a better D than detroits woyuld have made him pay.

    -personally i like the idea of jason campbell or shawn hill game managers, neither will put up 30 points every week but i think they can win you a game in a pinch. that is the biggest failing of TJack he is not going to get you a come from behind win often.

    oh and once again i dont want to be the team that manning is playing for when he breaks his neck and becomes paralized for good.

  17. JazBadAzz says:

    @duke- I heard the contract numbers that we are really close, the team and agent likes it but Marshawn himself doesn’t. Baffling.

    I saw the clip of Peyton thursday night /friday morning…a guy put up split screens of it and you can tell on the first ball Peyton put a lot of air under the ball. The sideline throw was late, the receiver cut out and even had time to come back to the ball on the out route…he’s just not ready yet. 50% is a number I threw out there to say he is a long a way from those lasers Im use to seeing from a former MVP!

  18. JazBadAzz says:

    This such a great year to need DL. If we are not significantly better rushing the passer this yr I will be pissed! I don’t want to sacrifice our stout run D to do it, how ever we can easily bring guys that want to be apart of a rotation…rookies don’t have a choice. Robert Mathis would be an awesome fit while bring big Red back!

  19. Dukeshire says:

    Thanks for the link. Granted, I only listened to the Sando section of Clayton’s show, but no where did either indicate it is Lynch holding up the deal, just that they were close, which is good to hear. Perhaps he is holding it up, but those type of rumors are rarely accurate in contract negotiations.

  20. Dukeshire says:

    And just to counter the air under the first ball: it looked to be 40-50 yards downfield. I’d expect a little air under it. In either case, hard to know for sure, with that clip.

  21. HawkfaninMT says:

    According to a “source with knowledge of the Seahawks’ position,” Seattle and the player rep for free agent Marshawn Lynch have agreed to a deal, but “can’t persuade Lynch to accept it.”
    The Seahawks apparently believe the negotiating phase of the talks is through, and that a deal is “hinging only on Lynch inking it.” If Lynch cannot be convinced to sign, Profootballtalk confirms ESPN’s Friday report that the Seahawks will place the franchise tag on Lynch ahead of Monday’s deadline.

    per Rotoworld

  22. Dukeshire says:

    Thanks, and interesting. Here’s the link…

  23. Manning would be an interesting signing and definitely would create excitement here in Seahawk country. But…it’s not going to happen. He just doesn;t fit what the Seahawk are all about. Youth and buy-in to the program. PC and JS will want someone young to grow with the team and I believe Pete is more than willing to toss a really young guy out there to lead his team. I don’t believe it would faze him at all.

    Best chances are we get a LB and a DL. One in the first round and the other through FA. Then we snag Cousins in round two and continue to build through the rest of the draft with youth and guys that can play Special Teams. Maybe we get another DL or OL in there, but the rest will all be guys expected to play ST’s.

  24. JazBadAzz says:

    Duke- I didn’t post the links because I was on my phone…Thanks guys who posted them! :)

  25. oscar_contender says:

    testing 1 2 3

  26. oscar_contender says:

    1st Round: BPA or trade down (D line perhaps)
    2nd Round: LB (I like Levonte David who would play will)
    3rd Round: QB (Kirk Cousins is a leader)
    4th Round: BPA (A playmaking RB or WR)

    as this is pre free agency take it for what it is
    and a work in progress, has Lynch inked the paper yet?

    Either way he is a hawk next year and he can have all the skittles he wants

  27. Macabrevity says:


    I liked your comments, and can understand why you don’t want to judge a QB who played as solidly as he did with a torn pectoral. Still, I’m on the side clamoring for a true super bowl quality QB, and Tarvaris in my book is a game manager, and solid competitor but not what we need to beat the elite teams in today’s NFL. I don’t care to bring in Peyton, although it would make for an interesting season. The problem with TJ is he’s good enough to keep us out of the QB sweepstakes, no real shot at RGIII this year, and Barkley will be long gone when we draft next season, so we need to get a guy who’s a bit under the radar and hope he develops. If we can keep this coaching staff around and maintain some consistency, I think good things are in store.

  28. Macabrevity says:


    I like Cousins too, although I’m still on the Osweiler bandwagon, small as it may be. We’ll see how his pro day goes.

  29. tchristensen says:


  30. Oweller has done NOTHING on the field to think that he is going to be an above average NFL QB, let alone a great one to lead a team to the super bowl. He has measurables – that’s it.

    and how do you build around a guy that: (Tjack)
    1. Although he is mobile he scrambles INTO pressure way more than he scrambles AWAY from pressure.

    2. Locks onto one side of the field on many time

    3. Doesn’t anticipate when receivers will be open

    I can live with him being our QB if we have an actual guy we are developing. He is not, nor will he ever be a guy that will get you, one, into the playoffs consistently or two, deep into the playoffs

    I want someone to show me a team that was in the playoffs with a threat to be in the conferenece championship like 6 out of 7 years or more, who didn’t have a well above average QB. Teams get there once or twice but not year in year out with out a solid QB.

  31. Dukeshire says:

    I agree, in principle, with the two above posts. Osweiler is the classic “riser” before the draft, after all the games have been played. And for no apparent reason other than the likes of Tod McShay, or one of his peers, deems him so. He was unimpressive at ASU (to my eyes, anyway) and believe Seattle can do far better, with a so-called “developmental” pick. Pass please.

  32. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Yes Macabrevity- Jackson is a true game manager. He manages to keep the score close enough to allow a true clutch winning qb the opportunity to win at the end of the game.

  33. “Manning would be an interesting signing and definitely would create excitement here in Seahawk country. But…it’s not going to happen. He just doesn;t fit what the Seahawk are all about. Youth and buy-in to the program. PC and JS will want someone young to grow with the team”

    Yeah, I think that’s all true. I’ll be surprised if it happens.

  34. Dukeshire says:

    Lunch re-signed!

  35. The12thMan says:

    It’s about intangibles, and Flynn, who won a national championship in college, seems to have those in spades. “I really like him,” said a defensive coach who has game planned against him. “His style can be like Aaron Rodgers’. He has great awareness and is decisive.” The personnel director called Flynn a “natural leader.”

    Intangibles, great awareness, decisive, a natural leader…are all things I want most in our QB and are pretty much all things I think TJack lacks. So Flynn doesn’t have a cannon for an arm, might be a ‘system’ QB, and isn’t mobile. All of these things sound a lot like a Tom Brady type to me. Yes he has only played in a few games but that makes it all the more impressive that he played so well with such little game experience.
    Yes we will have to overpay to get him (as you do with almost any free agent), but the upside is we don’t have to use a draft pick on him. I think if the Redskins are not involved in the bidding, and I don’t think they will be, that we could land Flynn for a semi-reasonable price. I’m not sure about the Dolphins but I don’t see Holmgren going crazy and offering the moon for him.

  36. HawkfaninMT says:

    I disagree that Oz’s new found fame is due to measurables and the combine and bolwhards like McShay. He was not expected to enter this draft. So during the season the draft lens was focused on RG3, Luck, Kellen Moore, Foles, COusins, etc… These draftniks had enough people to evaluate and talk about without discussing guys that were probably not entering the draft. Once he declared people started watching his film and taking notes of his abilities.

    All that being said, I don’t want the Hawks to draft him before the 3rd.

  37. The12thMan says:

    Duke do you have a link? And I assume you mean Lynch? ; )

  38. Macabrevity says:

    I’m surprised there are so many Oz-haters. The guy is nothing like McGwire, first of all. He’s actually mobile and has a decently fast release . As for his negatives, well let’s see, he was in a spread offense… that’s really about it. His arm is live, he can make all the throws, no reason to believe he won’t be a decent or better NFL QB except for the fact that it’s monumentally difficult, and more guys bust than make it – but he has as good a chance and better tools than pretty much everyone in this draft not named Luck or Griffin.

    You guys make it sound like I just wasted the #12 pick on him…. but let’s say we did nab a QB in the 2nd round, if not Cousins or Oz (the two guys I’m clamoring for) then who? The same people who don’t like Oz, don’t like TJ, so what’s the fix for this problem?

  39. Tjack has not been a Superstar. There are only a few elite QBs out there, so acquiring them isn’t all that easy. Sure, I’d love to have (in no particular order) Rodgers, Brady, Brees, Eli, Newton, Big Ben, Rivers and most likely Bradford, Flacco, Matt Ryan…probably Locker, Ponder and Dalton. We could’ve signed Brees, but had Matt. Could’ve had Dalton, but went a different direction. Everybody could’ve had Brady, but didn’t go til pick 199.

    My point is…of course it’s easy to say we need an elite QB, but when you get down to it, what are the chances. JaMarcus Russel, Tim Couch, Akili Smith, Todd Marinovich, Dan McGuire, Kelly Stouffer, David Carr, Heath Shuler, Andre Ware, Ryan Leaf were all 1st rounders gone bad. Flynn could be like Brunell,Hasselbeck or Schaub or he could be like Kolb, Cassel or Kitna (who I still like and went to school with) but NONE of them have ever won anything. Favre is the only one that comes to mind as someone that won a championship but I’m sure someone will correct me.

    All of us here obviously want to win our first title. I just don’t think that Franchise QBs are as easy as just picking one off of a tree. IMO, it’s not very realistic that we’re in a position to get one, but I hope I’m wrong. Tjack has been a game manager so far, but admittedly we’ve been pretty competitive b/c of the talent that surrounds him.

    Keep building depth, find the right personalities, get bigger faster stronger, buy into the system, blah, blah, blah.

    Until one (franchise QB) magically appears, I think Pete and JS are going about it the right way. I love our talent, youth and camaraderie. Pete’s a little to rah rah for me, but it seems like his players play hard for him.

    I love this team…and we’re just getting better.

    Trust these guys, they seem to know what they’re doing.


  40. Palerydr says:

    Joreb A pair of nice posts

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