The Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans ran a player-organized incentive pool to reward big plays with extra money when Gregg Williams was their defensive coordinator, the Tennessean reported on Monday.
The cash bonuses were allegedly paid out for big plays, but also for big hits on opponents.
The newspaper quoted former Oilers and Titans who said coaches were aware of the pools and didn’t discourage them.
“That stuff has been going on since Buddy Ryan, and long before that,” said former Oilers linebacker Al Smith, who played for Ryan (Oilers defensive coordinator in 1993) and later for Williams. “Buddy used to put it simple: If you take the other team’s best player out, your chance of winning increases dramatically.