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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Saints head coach Sean Payton for the entire 2012 season, while handing down additional suspensions of eight games to general manager Mickey Loomis and six games to assistant head coach Joe Vitt, who also coaches linebackers. The Saints, meanwhile, were fined $500,000 and docked second-round draft picks this year and next.
It is not clear whether Pamphilon had earlier shared the recording with the NFL. He did not immediately respond Thursday to email requests for additional comment.
The recording was released hours before Payton, Loomis and Vitt went to NFL headquarters in New York for an appeal hearing regarding their unprecedented punishments.
After Vitt's appeal was heard, his lawyer, David Cornwell, was asked about the audio tape. Cornwell said Payton viewed Williams' comments as "a rogue coach about to get fired."
"He was fired two days later," said Cornwell, who also serves as executive director of the NFL Coaches Association. "He was on the way out."
However, when Williams left New Orleans for the Rams in January, nobody with the Saints characterized it as a firing. At the time, Payton said it was apparent shortly before the season ended that Williams, with his contract expiring, was likely going to join new St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher, an old friend. The Saints and Williams never discussed an extension, Payton said then.
The league informed the Saints at the start of the playoffs that it was reopening its bounty investigation. Cornwell said Loomis and Payton then told Williams, "There's no place for this in this organization or this league."
The NFL, however, in its statement last month announcing the penalties for team officials, said the GM and coach made only "cursory inquiries" into the possible presence of a bounty program.
Pamphilon told Yahoo Sports that Payton and Loomis were not in the room when the recording of Williams was made. The filmmaker did not return messages seeking comment from The Associated Press.
Williams can be heard using metaphors he has often used throughout his coaching career, such as, "kill the head and the body will die." That was Williams' way of urging players to disrupt opposing teams' star players with intimidating and nasty physical play. Another of Williams' mantras was that "respect comes from fear," which he repeats in the recording.
"We've got to do everything we can in the world to make sure we kill Frank Gore's head," Williams says. "We want him running sideways. We want his head sideways."
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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