Joe Gibbs reacted over the weekend to the bounty story that has swept the NFL by saying he had no idea it was going on when he was in his second tour with the Washington Redskins and Gregg Williams served as his defensive coordinator.
The Hall of Fame coach reacted with shock that it could have happened under his watch, and now the defensive line coach has said it did go on without Gibbs’ knowledge.
Greg Blache, who replaced Williams as defensive coordinator after he departed, told Jason Reid of the Washington Post that Gibbs had “no idea of what was happening.” Blache rarely speaks with media but felt compelled to come forward in this case and back Gibbs.
“The only reason I’m talking at all is that I don’t want to see a man like Joe Gibbs get pulled down into the muck of this because Joe Gibbs did not know,” Blache told Reid. “The whole situation, the way this is all coming out, is unfortunate.
“But to have anyone think Joe Gibbs knew, or to accuse Joe Gibbs to be part and parcel to it, is just totally wrong. People who know me know I don’t put my name on a lot of things. But I know for a fact that he didn’t know, so I’ll put my name to this.”
Former Redskins safety Matt Bowen detailed for the National Football Post and Chicago Tribune how bounties were set in defensive meetings the night before games.
“This was done in a very closed setting,” Blache said. “It was done separate from the team. It was done strictly as a defensive room situation. There was a saying in that room: ‘What’s said in here stays in here.’ Coach Gibbs had no clue.
“He’s such a straight-laced Christian kind of guy. Not that what went on was un-Christian . . . but he was just not tolerant of a lot of things. And had he ever gotten a drift of it, I can assure you, he would have come down with a hammer on the situation immediately. There’s no question.”
In fact, Blache said almost no one knew that wasn’t in the meetings.
“Quite honestly, 99 percent of the offensive coaches didn’t know,” Blache said. “ There were a lot of people that didn’t know about it. Really, unless you were in that room, you didn’t know about it.
“I’m not here to throw Gregg under the bus. I know Gregg, I’ve worked with Gregg . . . he’s a friend of mine,” Blache said. “But I just want people to know Joe Gibbs was not part of this.”
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune