Gregg Williams will be the Cleveland Browns’ defensive coordinator in 2017. But according to his boss, head coach Hue Jackson, the most dubious part of Williams’ past will not come to Cleveland.
#Browns Jackson on Williams: "We will not be having a Bountygate situation here in Cleveland. That's behind him.''
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) January 8, 2017
In one respect, Jackson is making a smart move. He’s certainly using the right words. Since the Browns won’t play until the fall, he’s getting out well ahead of a potential problem. That’s a good thing.
Unfortunately, this isn’t going to put the scandal to bed.
Williams was at the center of the 2012 “Bountygate” scandal with the New Orleans Saints. He wasn’t officially linked to anything similar with the St. Louis or Los Angeles Rams. Still, Minnesota Vikings players did openly wonder if Williams might have had his fingerprints on a 2015 late hit against Teddy Bridgewater, which you can read about here.
Nothing was ever proven about the incident with Bridgewater. Still, Williams’ past does not give him the benefit of any doubt.
From this point forward, the actions of Williams and his teams will be important. Defenses run by Williams can’t walk that line. If that happens in Cleveland, then the Browns are going to be at the center of these allegations and speculation again, regardless of what Jackson says.