Originally posted on Helmet2Helmet  |  Last updated 6/9/12

It should go without saying that Gregg Williams is the most reviled man in football. The disgraced defensive coordinator has been trashed by … well, everybody in the last few months.

That is, everybody but a handful of Saints players who still support — and even defend — the man who birthed the now-infamous BountyGate scandal, Jeff Duncan of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.

Though he knows he will get a ton of flak in return, linebacker Scott Shanle feels Williams is a positive force, and says his conduct was not abnormal for an NFL locker room.

“People are going to say I’m wrong for saying this, but he’s good for this league,” Shanle said.

“This is going to sound like an excuse, and people don’t want to hear an excuse — that type of language is not just Gregg Williams,” Shanle said. “It goes on in a lot of locker rooms around the league. No one took him literally. It was a way to get you to play fast, violent, nasty and together. Not every coach coaches like that, and they’ve had success. But for Gregg Williams, and his personality and what he brings to the table, it fit the identity of his defenses. I’m really hoping this isn’t held against him wherever he is.”

Safeties Roman Harper (who’s no stranger to controversy himself) and Malcolm Jenkins each sang Williams’ praises.

“Gregg was a great coach and a great motivator,” safety Roman Harper said. “You love playing for him. You probably hate playing against him. That’s just the way he is. He coached the game the way it’s supposed to be coached, and let you play the way it’s supposed to be played.”

“I don’t think you’ll hear anybody that has ever played for him throw him under the bus,” Jenkins said. “He played a pivotal role in my career and learning the game of football. What I do on the field is a direct reflection of his coaching.”

Added Shanle, “You always saw the brash side of Gregg, but there were just so many different levels to him that people didn’t get to see. My concern is the NFL will be missing out on a fantastic coach if they keep him out of this league.”

So while Williams serves his indefinite suspension and has his career reputation likely damaged beyond repair, he still maintains the respect of those he coached. It’s not going to change the perception about him, nor justifies his actions, but at least he knows he has a few allies out there.

When it’s you vs. the World, that’s gotta count for something, right?

H/T ProFootballTalk

Photo: Michael DeMocker/The Times-Picayune

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