Over the weekend, there was a report that Joe Gibbs was unaware of the bounty program that Gregg Williams ran while he was in Washington and he “would never ask a player to hurt another player”. When we saw this, we noted it and instantly thought that those words could come back to haunt Gibbs at some point. Well, that some point is today.
Former Redskin offensive lineman George Starke spoke with ESPN 980’s Sports Reporters in Washington last night and stated that Joe Gibbs definitely knew about Williams’s bounty program and that when he played under Gibbs, Dexter Manuel would receive money for big hits directly from Gibbs.
Here are Starke’s comments via DC Sports Bog:
“That’s just too stupid,” Starke said. “Of course he knew.”
“Let’s be clear: the reason that the Hogs did that Hogs Night Out poster…was, in the meeting after the game, Joe Gibbs would come in, he’d have a fistful of $100 bills,” Starke said. “And if Dexter knocked the quarterback down three times, he would get three hundred-dollar bills. And Joe would pass the money out in the meeting, and we would have to duck.
“Dexter only played probably three plays a game, because he didn’t play the run, all he wanted to do was the rush the passer. So he’s getting three hundred-dollar bills. If Art Monk got two catches…there’s all kind of reasons that guy got these hundred-dollar bills. But offensive linemen, if they had a perfect game — that meant that John [Riggins] ran for 100 yards — he would get some money but we didn’t get anything. That was the whole Hogs Night Out thing. I said screw that, I went out and signed Jack Kent Cooke’s to the check. Everybody knows that story.”
Starke then sheds light on Gibbs’s “I would never ask a player to hurt another player” declaration:
“But wait a minute, wait a minute,” Starke continued. “I think that Joe, if he was on the line here, would say well wait a minute, I was giving out hundred-dollar bills as incentives for big plays, which is true. I want to be clear, I don’t believe that Gregg Williams ever asked anybody to hurt anybody. I don’t believe that. I don’t know Gregg Williams, but players don’t do that. I’ve never seen a player, ever, intentionally try to hurt another player.
“Knock him out? Of course. You’ve got to knock them out. We’re paid to knock them out. Really, when I hear people talk about hurting someone, I’m thinking trying to hurt his knee or something like that. You’ve got to remember, it’s not until very recently that this whole brain stuff has come up, so really, I’m not sure today if the players today look at that the same. That’s a good question. But you have to understand, knocking someone out, it’s like being a boxer. You’re job is to knock the guy out.”
As you can see, this whole thing is mired in semantics. At the end of the day, this has been going on for years and the NFL knows it. The fact is, now they want it to stop and someone or some organization has to take the fall for it to be stopped.