Now that the blood lust of former New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has been exposed in all its terrible fury, we have vivid, stomach-turning audio confirmation of his intent to injure.
And because this particular piece of evidence happens to involve the January 2012 NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers, also known as one of our local teams, you might say it brings the entire episode home.
Honestly, though, Williams' speech simply is a slightly more graphic version of those routinely delivered by coaches - especially defensive coaches - throughout the decades.
It's the ``slightly'' part that surely helped put Williams' backside in the NFL's frying pan and can be cited as grounds for the indefinite suspension he is serving at the demand of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
Williams was slightly too explicit in urging his players to go after Frank Gore's head.
He was slightly too explicit in urging them to attack Kyle Williams, making a specific reference to a concussion the young receiver had sustained earlier.
Williams was slightly too explicit in imploring his troops to not only test the will of wideout Michael Crabtree but to ``take out that outside ACL'' - a clear request to target one of his knees in hopes of disabling Crabtree.
And in asking his unit to go after the ankles of tight end Vernon Davis.
All while apparently using his thumb and forefinger to visually imply he'd pay those who carried out his wishes. Thus, the ``bounty'' designation.
Williams' fiery speech, reportedly made the night before the Championship Game and reported Thursday by Yahoo! Sports, was profane and ugly and hateful and, well, very much the kind of over-the-top message many football coaches like to deliver.
It's only slightly more wicked than the famous line from late Raiders owner Al Davis: ``The quarterback must go down, and he must go down hard.''
Williams went too far when he made such specific references to specific body parts. He really went too far when he brought up Williams' concussion; the NFL is waging a campaign to show its vigilance regarding that specific injury.
Was Williams wrong? Absolutely.
Was he a bit too graphic? No doubt.
Did this speech set far him apart from those made by other coaches in the past? My guess is, based on what I've heard over the years, not bloody likely.
Contact Monte Poole at firstname.lastname@example.org