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Pierce: 'We always knew who was injured'

Everybody has something to say about Gregg Williams.

Audio released Thursday revealed the former New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator urged his defense to target and injure specific 49ers players in January's NFC divisional playoff tilt. Since the sound went viral, members of the NFL community have come out of the woodwork to provide their takes on the matter:

• Former New York Giants linebacker Carl Banks wasn't surprised by a word of it.

• Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers star Warren Sapp called it "heinous, egregious" behavior.

• Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe believes Williams deserves a Shoeless Joe-like lifetime ban from the game.

The opinions vary, but another ex-Giants linebacker, Antonio Pierce, agrees with Banks. Williams' speech was nothing new for NFL meeting rooms.

"I've heard that speech from seven of the defensive coordinators I've played with in my nine-year career," Pierce told ESPN this week, via the New York Daily News. "Think about it, if a guy knows he's going to get hit hard, he's not going to come across that middle."

Pierce, who played under Williams with the Redskins in 2004, called the coach's choice of words "a little harsh, they're a little tough," but talked about the awareness of an opponent's injured players.

"Throughout the week we always knew who was injured and what body part was injured," Pierce said. "If he's not in the game, our chances of winning are higher. And that's what it's all about. It's all about winning."

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