Last week, the NFL heard the appeals from New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton and GM Mickey Loomis regarding their discipline stemming from the bounty scandal. It was believed that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell would rule quickly on the appeals. On the same day the appeals were heard by Goodell, audio became public of Gregg Williams addressing the Saints' defense the night before the 49ers playoff game.
We all know by now what Williams said and the reaction to all of it. Put simply, it's not good. And it likely didn't help Payton and Loomis in the appeals process. Peter King of SI.com writes in MMQB that, ultimately, Payton and Loomis likely won't see a reversal in their suspensions.
As for the Saints, while some will think the audio tape will isolate Williams as a rogue coach, I feel strongly that's not how Goodell viewed it. Look at Goodell's prior statements and rulings here. He blames Sean Payton and Mickey Loomis for enabling a three-year pattern of this renegade defensive behavior. Goodell heard the tape and I can bet he thought: We warned them, and we told them to make sure this has stopped, and here it is, at the end of the third season, two full years after we were assured this wasn't going on anymore, and here's the defensive coach telling his players to aim for Frank Gore's head and Michael Crabtree's knee. Absolutely, totally unacceptable.
I agree with this. There was the theory that Payton, Loomis and assistant coach Joe Vitt, who also appealed his case, would blame Williams as a "rogue" coach who didin't listen to Payton, Loomis and others telling him to stop.
As King notes, that theory isn't likely to fly considering Payton and Loomis are ultimately responsible for those under them. That goes for Vitt, as well, who is the linebackers coach and should have known what was going on.