NFL: Audio: Ex-Saints aide called for big hits

Posted: April 06, 2012

On the same day the NFL heard the Saints' appeals in their hits-for-cash scandal, a recording of Gregg Williams emerged that purports to capture the disgraced defensive coordinator telling players to "put a lick" on 49ers receiver Kyle Williams to see if he had lingering effects from a concussion.

Filmmaker Sean Pamphilon, who had access to Saints meetings for a documentary on football, posted the audio on his website.

Pamphilon initially shared the content with Yahoo Sports, telling the website that while he was not bothered by much of Williams' profanity-laced speech, he was troubled by comments about the previously concussed player.

"I thought, 'Did he just say that?' " Pamphilon said in an article posted Thursday. "That was the red flag for me."

Williams, who is suspended indefinitely for his admitted role overseeing a bounty system that offered Saints defenders payment for painful hits, did not respond to a phone message and e-mail left with his foundation in Missouri.

Williams left New Orleans after last season - his third with the Saints - and was hired as defensive coordinator by the St. Louis Rams.

Pamphilon made the recording of Williams' speech during a meeting before the Saints lost to San Francisco in a divisional playoff in January, the final game Williams coached.

Cowboys' Avezzano dies

Former Dallas Cowboys special-teams coach Joe Avezzano, whose wild sideline antics made him a fan favorite when the Cowboys won three Super Bowls in the 1990s, died Thursday. He was 68.

Cowboys spokesman Rich Dalrymple confirmed that Avezzano died in Italy. He had moved to Milan earlier this year to coach an Italian Football League team, the Milan Seamen. That team said on its website that Avezzano died of a heart attack. Attempts to resuscitate Avezzano were unsuccessful, the team said.

Avezzano had a 12-year run with the Cowboys and became a popular figure in North Texas. He was the Cowboys' special-teams coach from 1990 to 2002, prowling the sidelines as the team won Super Bowls in 1993, '94, and '96. Avezzano was named the NFL's special-teams coach of the year three times.

Texans re-sign Demps

The Houston Texans have re-signed free agent safety Quintin Demps.

The 5-foot-11, 206-pound Demps, a former Eagle, had a career year with Houston last season with 22 tackles, two interceptions, and two passes defended in nine games. He also returned five kickoffs for 169 yards (33.8 average), including a 50-yarder against Carolina, the longest by a Texans player last season.

Noteworthy

The Indianapolis Colts have signed free agent defensive tackle Brandon McKinney. In 61 career games with the San Diego Chargers (2006-07) and Baltimore Ravens (2008-11), the 6-2, 345-pound McKinney had 82 tackles, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. . . . The Arizona Cardinals have reached agreement on a one-year contract with free- agent free safety James Sanders. The 5-10, 210-pound Sanders played for the New England Patriots for his first six NFL seasons before going to the Atlanta Falcons last year. . . . Safety Tyrell Johnson has signed a contract with the Miami Dolphins as a potential replacement for departed starter Yeremiah Bell. . . . Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Jerome Simpson was sentenced to 15 days in jail and three years' probation on a drug-related charge.

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