NFL: Ex-Saint upset over release of recording

Steve Gleason
Steve Gleason
Posted: April 07, 2012

A recording of then-New Orleans defensive coordinator Gregg Williams urging players to deliver punishing hits on specific San Francisco players was released without approval from retired special-teams standout Steve Gleason, who had helped a documentary filmmaker gain behind-the-scenes access to the Saints.

"I feel deflated and disappointed. I feel frustrated and distracted," Gleason said in a statement on his website.

Gleason has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, and has allowed filmmaker Sean Pamphilon to capture his struggle with the incurable disease. He played for the Saints from 2000 to 2007 and maintains a strong relationship with the club, which has backed his efforts to improve the lives of those living with the debilitating symptoms of ALS.

Gleason's connections to the team and to Pamphilon allowed the documentarian to be in the room with the Saints defense ahead of New Orleans' 36-32 playoff loss to San Francisco in January.

"The Saints have been incredibly open and supportive of me and my family during my disease progression," Gleason wrote. "From my perspective, the Saints have helped begin to shift the paradigm of how an NFL team should treat its players after retirement.

"I included Sean Pamphilon in some of these activities, because I felt my relationship with the Saints was an integral part of my overall journey," Gleason said in the statement posted Friday. "The Saints trusted me and gave us unlimited access in filming, and I, in turn, trusted Sean Pamphilon."

Gleason said there was an agreement that he and his family would own the rights to any recordings made of his interaction with the Saints and that "nothing can be released without my explicit approval."

Bills' ticket sales brisk

The Buffalo Bills' offseason spending spree - highlighted by defensive end Mario Williams $100 million contract - is paying off at the ticket office.

CEO Russ Brandon said the team had already sold 4,320 new season-ticket packages, and added that renewal orders were coming in at the fastest pace in 15 years.

Brandon credits the spike to the splashes the Bills made last month in signing Williams and defensive end Mark Anderson in free agency, and re-signing receiver Stevie Johnson. And, he said, it's a sign of the fans' growing optimism that the team might finally be turning the corner after missing the playoffs for 13 consecutive seasons.

The surge in sales comes a year after the Bills sold 37,355 season tickets, the team's lowest total since 2001.

Tebow to speak at church

A central Texas church spokeswoman said New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow was set to speak to an expected 20,000 people on Easter Sunday.

Tebow was scheduled to address the Celebration Church in Georgetown, north of Austin. Church spokeswoman Tara Wall said that Tebow reached out to the church about a month ago and said he wanted to speak.

People attending the non-denominational service will sit on lawn chairs and blankets. Wall said Friday that about 1,100 volunteers are involved in running the event on the 110-acre grounds.

Ex-Lion arraigned

Former Detroit Lions wide receiver Charles Rogers was arraigned on five misdemeanors from two unrelated incidents.

The 30-year-old Rogers appeared before Saginaw County District Judge A.T. Frank and pleaded not guilty to the charges. Frank released Rogers on a $7,500 personal recognizance bond.

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