Bowen On Bounty System: ‘I Ate It Up’
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(WSCR) The ‘bounty’ system employed by the Saints and former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams may just be coming into the public light now, but it’s a system that has been in place for quite some time.
Matt Bowen, who played for Williams in Washington, said the Redskins used the same type of bounty system. Players were rewarded financially for making big plays and taking opposing players out of the game.
“If going low on a guy and chopping a running back down by his knees got me rewarded or got any of my teammates rewarded, that was part of our culture and we did it,” Bowen told The Mully and Hanley Show. “Like I said, it was a chapter of my life that I’m not proud of, but at the time, I ate it up. I think everyone was in Washington because we loved our defensive coordinator so much. We would do anything for him. We wanted to impress him and we wanted to play with that style.”
LISTEN: Matt Bowen on The Mully and Hanley Show
Though Williams didn’t orchestrate the bounty system, he knew of it and could have stopped it.
“They were run by players,” Bowen said. “The money came from a player fine system. If you were late to practice or you missed an assignment in practice, or you went up to the board during meetings and screwed up, then you added to the pot. It was all player money and it was paid out by players. Should Gregg have stopped it? Probably. He should’ve stopped it in New Orleans as well. But these were good, clean hits. We weren’t trying to maim guys. Were we trying to knock guys out of the game? Yeah, if that’s considered a competitive advantage, then that’s what we did. I’m not real proud of it, but I also know that when you’re playing in that situation, when you’re a professional football player and you live in that culture, I liked it back then. I liked it a lot. I liked the swagger of it.”