Washington Redskins cornerback Fred Smoot played under Gregg Williams for two seasons (2004 and 2007), enough experience for him to call shenanigans on accusations that New Orleans Saints players were being paid for collecting bounties supposedly placed on opposing players' heads. During an interview with 106.7 The Fan in Washington, D.C., Smoot said that any "bounty" system was created by players and not nearly as dastardly as some would have us believe (via Sports Radio Interviews):
"It was never like that. It was more or less we started a pot as a defensive backfield of who could get the most forced fumbles, who could get the most interceptions. It was never a bounty. It was more or less a pot that all of us players put in. Gregg never put in a dime, Gregg never came in and said do this, do this, or do that, we did that ourselves as a way to kind of pump each other up to go make more plays."
Smoot, who retired in 2009, said any bounty system was not aimed at taking out specific players. Rather, it was a motivational tool used by coaches and players. Smoot also suggests that Williams also preached the importance of playing within the rules: "Just go out there and let’s go out there and set the tone clean. Let’s go win it clean. He never coached dirty football."