Former New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma told SI’s Pro Football Now that St. Louis Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, a former Saints assistant coach, deserves his “dirty” reputation.
Rams cornerback Lamarcus Joyner knocked Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater out of Sunday’s game with a hit in the fourth quarter, leaving him on the ground face down. Bridgewater sustained a concussion on the play, but is expected to play in Week 10.
After the game, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer did not say the hit was intentional, but brought up Williams' reputation as an aggressive defensive coach.
“I do know that there’s a history there with their defensive coordinator,” Zimmer said. “I’ll leave it at that.”
Williams served as the defensive coordinator for the Saints from 2009 to 2011, and played a role in the bounty scandal that allegedly paid Saints players bonuses for targeting opponents and knocking them out of games. Vilma played under Williams for those three seasons.
“I do think he deserves the reputation and I’m speaking objectively because I played for him for three years,” Vilma said. “And frankly, he’s been in the league for over 20 years. The things that he practices, he coaches and preaches is an old-school mentality.”
Vilma, a three-time Pro Bowler, last played in 2013.
To hear more from Vilma on his former coach, tune into Pro Football Live at 4 p.m. ET on SI.com.