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Williams' speech captured on tape; Ex Saints aide asked team to apply big hits

NEW ORLEANS -- A newly released recording purports to capture former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams telling players to "put a lick" on San Francisco's Kyle Williams to see if the receiver still had lingering effects from an earlier concussion.

Filmmaker Sean Pamphilon, who had access to Saints meetings for a documentary on football, has 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 cash for big hits, did not immediately respond to a phone message and email left with his foundation in Missouri on Thursday.

Williams left New Orleans after the season 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 the 49ers in a divisional playoff game in January.

When the New York Giants defeated the 49ers a week later in the NFC title game, several Giants players made similar comments about wanting to get hits on Kyle Williams, who fumbled twice in the game, because they knew he had previous concussions.

In Pamphilon's recording, Williams also tells his players to set their sights on running back Frank Gore, quarterback Alex Smith and receiver Michael Crabtree.

"We need to decide on how many times we can beat Frank Gore's head," he says.

Williams also implores his charges to "lay out" Smith and later adds, "We need to decide whether Crabtree wants to be a (expletive) prima donna or he wants to be a tough guy. He becomes human when we take out that outside ACL."

Pamphilon also described Williams pointing to his chin when he said, "We hit (expletive) Smith right there."

Pamphilon said Williams then rubbed his fingers together as one might do when doling out cash, saying, "I got the first one," which Pamphilon understood to mean the defensive coordinator had placed a cash bounty on Smith.

The NFL has said Williams' bounty system offered off-the-books cash payments of $1,000 or more for hits that either knocked targeted opponents out of games or left them needing help off the field, and the Saints have been punished heavily for allowing such a program to endure for three seasons.

Meanwhile in New York, Sean Payton slipped out a back entrance from NFL headquarters and directly into to a waiting car.

The Saints' Super Bowl-winning coach now must wait for Commissioner Roger Goodell to decide whether he will reduce any of the penalties in the team's bounty scandal.

Payton declined comment Thursday after meeting with Goodell to discuss the season-long suspension he received for his role in the bounty system. Earlier, the commissioner heard appeals from general manager Mickey Loomis and assistant coach Joe Vitt.

Goodell suspended Payton for all of next season, while Loomis was suspended for eight games and Vitt for six. The Saints were fined $500,000 and docked second-round draft picks this year and next.

Goodell spent six hours Thursday hearing appeals, meeting separately with team representatives, Loomis, Vitt and finally Payton. Goodell plans to make a decision quickly but has not specified a timetable.

Vitt, with lawyer David Cornwell, was the only Saints official to speak to the media gathered outside the league offices, where a lone fan held up a "Free Sean Payton" sign.

Cornwell said Vitt understood he had to be held accountable, but they wanted to convey that the coach did not participate in a strategy to injure players.

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