Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 4/7/12
A pair of Minnesota Vikings teammates can't let go of the thought they should have been playing in the Super Bowl two-plus years ago after the latest came to light on former New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams' bounty system. Audio released Thursday demonstrated Williams' tough tactics before a January playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers. Williams told his players in a meeting that was taped for a documentary to target a number of San Francisco players, stating, "Every single one of you, before you get off that pile, affect the head. Early, affect the head. Continue, touch and hit the head." For the Vikings, who lost to the Saints in the NFC Championship game after the 2009 season when New Orleans had a reported bounty out for Minnesota quarterback Brett Favre, the audio opened up old wounds. Hearing the words was enough to send Vikings punter Chris Kluwe into another of his Twitter tirades. "All you bounty apologists may want to listen to the Gregg Williams audio. whatiswrongwithpeople," Kluwe wrote on his twitter page (@chriswarcraft). " The way you earn respect is through fear'. Are you (f) kidding me? What kind of neanderthal message does that send. "No wonder this world's so messed up if people think that's an appropriate way to act and are willing to defend that kind of behavior." Tight end Visanthe Shiancoe, a free agent this offseason, responded to Kluwe, "what do u expect from a neanderthal?" Some former players have said Williams' speech isn't all that different from what is heard week to week in the NFL, but Kluwe disagreed. Responding to Shiancoe, Kluwe wrote, "Man, I know we've seen some crazy-a speeches, but that's just unbelievable. What a jerk." Showing how missing out on the Super Bowl in 2009 still leaves a mark, Shiancoe replied, "We could have a ring right now." Kluwe responded, "Heh no use looking back, gotta keep pushing forward. Can't change the past." Favre, of course, was the target of a high-low hit in the game that severely injured his ankle. He continued but was obviously hobbled. The Vikings ended up losing in overtime to the Saints, who beat the Indianapolis Colts in the Super Bowl. Included in the audio released Thursday, Williams told his team before the 49ers game to "find out the first two series of the game, the little wide receiver, No.10 about his concussion. We need to (expletive) put a lick on him right now. He needs to decide. We need to decide whether (Michael) Crabtree want to be a fake (expletive) prima donna, or he wants to be a tough guy. We need to find it out. He becomes human when we (expletive) take out that outside ACL. We need to decide on how many times we can beat Frank Gore's head. We need to decide how many times we can bull-rush and we can (expletive) put Vernon Davis' ankles over the pile." Williams also made a gesture rubbing two fingers together to signify money when he said the team needed to hit quarterback Alex Smith in the chin. Williams was suspended indefinitely as part of the NFL's punishment for the bounty program, which reportedly Williams supported going back to his time in Buffalo almost a decade ago. Kluwe returned to Twitter later, possibly calmer, and explained why the issue needed to be addressed. "I see a lot of people asking about the context of the Gregg Williams audio clip as it relates to how other teams talk. I will enlighten!," Kluwe tweeted. "90 of what he said was standard rah rah motivational stuff. Hit guys hard, get him going sideways, etc.; all fine and heard before. "The part that is an issue is the other 10, where he specifically talks about targeting ACL's, twisting guys' ankles in the pile, and trying to hit a concussion victim in the head again. That's why (Roger( Goodell has to come down so hard on this; you don't want that spreading." Follow Brian Hall on Twitter.
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