Audio: Gregg Williams’ Disturbing Pregame Speech Before Saints-49ers Playoff Game

Via The United States of Football comes the video below, which features audio of Gregg Williams’ rather disturbing pregame speech before the New Orleans Saints playoff game last year against the San Francisco 49ers.

The audio was recorded by Sean Pamphilon, who is working on a documentary about Steve Gleason. Pamphilon was understandably disturbed by the audio and passed it along to Michael Silver of Yahoo, who wrote about it today.

This should go without saying, but the language is VERY NSFW, so be careful where you listen. I’ve posted a few excerpts below in case you can’t listen.


From Silver’s article:

“We’ve got to do everything in the world to make sure we kill Frank Gore’s head,” Williams told the players. “We want him running sideways. We want his head sideways.”

Then, referencing backup halfback Kendall Hunter, Williams continued: “Little 32, we want to knock the [expletive] out of him. He has no idea what he’s in for. When he’s on the sideline, we’ve gotta turn that [expletive] over, turn their coaches over, turn the spectators over. Go and get that [expletive] on the sidelines.”

“We need to find out in the first two series of the game, the little wide receiver, No. 10, about his concussion,” Williams said to the Saints’ defenders. “We need to [expletive] put a lick on him, move him to decide. He needs to decide.”

Then Williams continued that theme in reference to Crabtree, the 10th overall pick of the 2009 NFL draft: “We need to decide whether Crabtree wants to be a fake-ass prima donna or he wants to be a tough guy. We need to find that out, and he becomes human when you [expletive] take out that outside ACL.”

Read the entire piece by Silver as he recounts how Pamphilon describes the scene and how disturbed he was by it. It’s rather chilling.

All I will add is…Gregg Williams, you are one sick and twisted dude.


I realize football is a brutal sport and by its nature can breed personalities like this; but my goodness is this over the line and unnecessary. And don’t tell me it’s just football. I grew up in football locker rooms. Some really questionable stuff goes on in there. But not this.

This is barely above barbarism. It’s malevolence and malice towards one’s fellow man. Even in football, that’s uncalled for.

Williams, currently on an indefinite suspension, should probably polish his non-football resume. I don’t think he’ll be coaching anywhere other than as a nondescript assistant at a small college or high school. Not with this out there.

Thank goodness baseball is back today since college basketball just ended. I need a non-NFL sport to focus my attention on. The NFL is really turning off this offseason.

About Jerod Morris

I love words. I write for Copyblogger and founded MSF, The Assembly Call, & Primility. I practice yoga, eat well, & strive for balance. I love life. Namaste. Say hi on Twitter, Facebook, & G+.


  1. Is this audio before the 36-32 49ers win over the Saints? Amazingly, the Saints were not flagged even once in this game, but did sack Alex Smith 4 times.

    • Even more ironic is that the biggest hit was the 49ers smashing Pierre Thomas. Still, there is something jarringly malevolent about what Gregg Williams is saying here. Maybe this is how football has always been and I’ve just never realized the extent of it. If so, I’m going to be enjoying the sport less and less.

  2. Coachwoody21 says:

    I have no issue with that speech. If you have ever been in a locker room or meeting room before a game this is the kind of stuff you hear. It is motivation plain and simple. The game is not for the mild of heart and not everyone can handle it. Yeah I know everyone says they can but REALLY you can’t. The men that play this game have made a choice what to do for a living, they choose to play a violent game, a game that could be taken away from them in a split second. Who are you or anyone not in that room to tell them this way of thinking is wrong? As for coach Williams, it is his job to get these men motivated and ready to play and yes, by any means nessasary. If he did not motivate then he would be out of a job. DO NOT comment on what you do not know. In fairness I have been a football coach for almost 25 years. If I had the honor of coaching a group of men such as these I would do everything in my power, everything that my years have taught me to help them succeed in the game and in life and the 2 do not meet in the meeting room. One of the best lessons you can teach a player is when he is in the meeting room or on the field he is a different person then when he is away from the game. The most successful players and coaches have this quality. I do not know coach Williams but I bet he is this type of person. Find something else to write about, something that may help someone don’t just fall for the EASY story.

    • Coach Woody, I appreciate your visit and passionate comment, but you should probably take your own advice and not comment on what you don’t know.

      I grew up in football locker rooms. My dad works in the NFL. I’m well aware of what goes on in NFL locker rooms, and I don’t for a second think that Gregg Williams is the ONLY one doing this. That is immaterial. Wrong is wrong. To me, this is wrong. I realize it’s a fine line, it’s splitting hairs, and watching the NFL yet getting upset about things like this can be construed as hypocritical, but I’m okay with that. I do not think, in any way, that institutionalized intention to INJURE is either necessary or acceptable. Football is a dangerous game AS IT IS. It is not for the faint of heart, AS IT IS. That doesn’t mean it’s okay for coaches to instruct their players to deliberately injure other players. And that is really “how it is” and this is going on everywhere now, then football is going to quickly lose fans like me who have always enjoyed the game in spite of its violence. I realize it may be a group that is in the minority, but I’ve seen enough response from people to know it’s not a small minority.

      Finally, I gave you a forum to a) listen to the audio and b) provide your response to it. It is totally unnecessary to then end your comment by insulting my choice of story and my motivation for writing it. I’ll always appreciate people who visit our site and take the time to comment on our work, it’s why we do what we do, but your condescension was out of line.

    • JORDAN40 says:

      IF YOU ARE REALLY A COACH, OR ‘WANNA A BE’ COACH-FIND ANOTHER PROFESSION!!!!!!!! You have NO IDEA what you are talking about!!!!!! Hopefully one day if you ever have a son that plays ball, the opposing coach won’t instruct his players to go after your son’s head or ACL.

  3. Tajblack says:

    dont see a problem with it. Same old speech been hearing it since pee-wee football. You can hear the same implications in old football movies from the 40s and 50s. anyone ever hear of Mean Joe Green or Deacon Jones. man these guys would HURT you. do you remember when a DB could actually bump and rough a reciever all over the field and not get flagged. ITs football people. thats why they wear pads and helmets. Injuries are going to happen whether a Coach is incouraging it or not. You cannot play soft in this game. THAT will get you injured! Our world and country here in the US has become so freaking soft and sensitive, no wonder everone else if kicking our ass in everything from economics to sports. WE have become a frivolous soft ass country worrying about the wrong thing. Now some polititian wants to stick his nose into bountygate and waste our taxpayer money on this BS for his own political agenda. Just ridiculous.. Gas prices, inflation, and unemployment should be the issues being discussed and addressed by our benevolent politicians..not this BS.
    Goodell gonna have the NFL wearing flags real soon and making it a non contact sport.!! ALL that will be left if professional kickball. and they will probably ban that cause some players like to aim for the HEAD when throwing someone

    • I disagree with some of this, obviously, especially the notion that Goodell will “have the NFL wearing flags”…that’s an extreme reaction to what I think are legitimate rule changes to help make the sport safer; but I understand there will be disagreement here, and that’s okay, as everyone has their own ideas for what football should be and reasonable minds can see it differently.

      BUT, I agree with you that politicians should keep their noses out of it. That’s silly.

      Thanks for the visit and comment.


  5. Woody1961 says:

    Jerod – If you are going to write stories like this one, you need to be prepared for the criticism it will generate.  I also have been in NFL locker rooms, and I have heard much worse talk than this.  I have seen teams post pictures of the player we were to go after on the board and discuss it all week.  I am amazed that this kind of talk shocks you.  Coaches use the words “kill”, “murder”, “annihilate” on a regular basis, with no intention to hurt anyone.  It’s all done for effect.  We are all adults, and we know that it is done for effect.

    As far as criticism of your story choice goes, I agree with the poster.  This is not a story.  This is just sensationalist fluff.  I’m sure you can do better

    • Woody, I’m well prepared for criticism. That’s why I started a sports blog and have put my opinions out for all to read and criticize for four years, and why I address the criticism. But when you or someone else questions the credibility or competence of me or anyone on this site, you should also be prepared to have that addressed as well.

      Now onto the actual topic of the story.

      You commented “It’s all done for effect.  We are all adults, and we know that it is done for effect.”

      Yes, I get that. And no, this talk doesn’t really SHOCK me. It disturbs me, especially when institutionalized bounties were tied to injuring opposing players. That is what is both shocking and disturbing.

      That said, football is a dangerous, violent, vicious game. I know this well. I’ve been standing next to a mirror when a college football head coach picked up a chair, slammed it into the mirror, and sent shattered glass everywhere. All kinds of craziness happens in locker rooms and in football. I just don’t find myself enjoying this aspect of the game, and football is entertainment. So the problem I have with Williams is two-fold: I think it’s wrong, morally, to put systems and motivations in place above and beyond the rules that encourage the injuring of players; and I find myself looking at the NFL as a less enjoyable diversion knowing this kind of B.S. goes on. The first one, I think, is indefensible. The second one is merely my opinion, and everyone is free to disagree on that, of course. It’s the first one that is the heart of this debate though, and it’s why I had no problem with the Saints getting hammered by the Commish like they did.

      Finally, simply saying that “A is okay because it happens in B, C, D situations too” is not an argument I buy. So what that other coaches talk like this? If those other coaches also make specific threats on specific players (much less rare than you are suggesting, I’d suggest) and pay money when those players get hurt, then they are all wrong too.

    • “Coaches use the words “kill”, “murder”, “annihilate” on a regular basis, with no intention to hurt anyone”.

      I agree.

      That doesn’t help Gregg Williams cause any though does it?

      No. Williams specifically told his players what to do and he had every intention of paying them for carrying out his instruction.

      What’s funny is that the Saints had every motivation to win without all this bounty crap.

      It was for a trip to the NFC Championship.

      I didn’t hear any Super Bowl talk in his speech and not only did his pathetic methods backfire on him, his defense gave up 36 points to one of the worst offenses in the NFL.

      Maybe the 49ers offense had a bounty out against his defense. I guess that would make the most sense?


    • MIKETWITTLE123 says:

      No one is disputing what goes on in locker room pre game speeches. I have heard several muself.  I get pretty excited during a game where I will scream “rip his head off”.  I have been at pee wee games where I heard a grandmother scream “hurt somebody”, BUT THAT IS PART OF THE GAME LINGO THAT NO ONE REALLY MEANS LITERALLY!!!!!!!!!!!  So you are telling everyone that you have heard coaches specifically say to “go after his head”, and mention going after an ACL????  You are serious or just pretending you have been in NFL locker rooms?????

  6. I gotta say I’m with Jerod on this one. I’ve grown up in football locker rooms myself. For you guys that are saying this is the kind of stuff you hear, I have no idea what kind of program you were involved in.

    People say this is motivation? Someone telling a player to blow out an ACL is motivation? How exactly is that? I was the most motivated player on the team. I was motivated to win games and make a diffference for the team. My motivation not once ever stemmed from the thought I may get to rupture someones achilles tendon.

    The players mentioned- Joe Greene and Deacon Jones…do you think they played that way because they had some little sissy like Gregg Williams telling them to the night before the game?

    No. They were motivated by themselves and by thier own desire to play the game hard.

    Hitting hard is great. Who doesn’t want to be the hardest hitter on the team? Hard hitting causes turnovers and fear in opposing players.

    Hitting hard and intentionally taking shots that could kill people are two totally different things.

    A great man once said “it’s not if you win or lose, it’s how you play the game”

    If it takes a coach instructing players they have to take cheap shots on the other team to win the game, then I guess that coach hasn’t a clue as to how the game should be played.

  7. Beating the bloody pulp out of someone in a football field is all good, is the only way to play the game, aggressive is the way to go, but going for specific targets that could end someone’s career is wrong, if you’re a man, play a man when he’s at his best and then beat the hell out of that man! We all want to see the best players entertain us for as long as they can, not when someone decides they need to win so bad!

  8. Jordan40 says:

    Jerod, terrible story, but I totally agree with you. This is very disturbing.  Williams should be banned from coaching for life.  It is one thing to motivate players to hit, and hit hard.  It is quite another thing to talk about hurting another player.  Isn’t that called a ‘dirty player’?  Williams is a DIRTY coach and I hope he never coaches again!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. scott C says:

    i love it 

  10. 49waystowin says:


  11. Williamjenny says:

    Gregg Williams is a piece of garbage. Hey roger don’t u back down everyone involved should not ever b in this league again n.o ur now the most hated team in sports u did this 2 ur selves don’t even look @ rgiii the wrong way it won’t work out the way u think


    Yes, Gregg Williams may be messed up as far as his intentions to be specific and blow out an ACL, but you have to remember that football does require “toughness” like he said and that it is, in fact, a battle. It’s not a soft game and injuries as a result of an intense desire to win should not be labeled as “unethical”. I know this for fact while playing high school ball myself, maybe not on the professional level, but still football nevertheless. One thing that I feel that we to remember as men is maintain an intensity and passion to conquer and overcome. It is on this this matter that I admire Williams and his zeal for his drive.

    However, It’s about time that this issue be let go so that everyone can move forward
    with their lives. The punishment has already been handed out and its not
    doing any good debating over who’s right and who’s wrong in regard to

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