Former Washington Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs, now a successful NASCAR team owner, said he’s shocked about the bounty program that his former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams allegedly ran at the Redskins between 2004 and 2007.
That’s the same Gregg Williams who apologized for running a bounty program at the New Orleans Saints where players received $1,500 for “knockouts” and $1,000 for injuring an opponent so badly that he had to be carted off the field.
“They may say, ‘Well, Joe would know, because everybody else knew,’ Gibbs said. “But I didn’t know. I’m shocked by this.”
Gibbs said he would never have allowed a bounty program at the Redskins.
“Just let me say this: I’m not aware of anything like this when I was coaching there,” Gibbs said. “I would never ask a player to hurt another player. Never.”
Five Redskins players, and one former assistant, described an informal system where Williams paid thousands of dollars to Redskins defenders for “kill shots” that sent opposing teams’ stars to the sideline.
Players said the payments, which are against NFL rules, ranged from “hundreds to thousands of dollars.” The largest sum paid to any Redskins player: $8,000.
From 1981-1992, Gibbs led the Redskins to eight playoff appearances, four NFC championships and three Super Bowl titles. During Gibbs’ second tenure with the Redskins (2004-2007) he led the Redskins to the NFC playoffs in 2006.
Gibbs hired Williams and gave him full control of the Redskins defense.
Williams allegedly established the bounty fund by using money that players paid in team fines. Players also contributed to the bounties.