Around the League

Presented By

Donte Whitner says Saints blitzed hard in preseason

One residual effect of the New Orleans Saints "bounty" scandal is that it puts past events in a new light.

The nasty block on Kurt Warner in the 2009 NFC divisional-playoff round is an example of that. The high-low hit on Brett Favre in the '09 NFC Championship Game is another.

And then there's the 2011 preseason opener between the Saints and San Francisco 49ers, now best remembered as "That One Without The Gentleman's Agreement."

We wrote about this back in January. Saints radio play-by-play man Jim Henderson told a Houston radio station that Sean Payton expected to hear from Jim Harbaugh so the two coaches could draw up a "gentlemen's agreement" on how the Aug. 12 game would be played. When Harbaugh didn't reach out, an irked Payton told defensive coordinator Gregg Williams (you know that name, right?) to "let the dogs out."

San Francisco safety Donte Whitner talked about that game Thursday, hours after Williams' career-crushing audio recording was released.

"I remember sitting on the sideline early in the game and watching the Saints send safety blitz after safety blitz, six- and seven-man blitzes trying to knock our quarterback out," Whitner told SiriusXM NFL Radio. "I don't know if it's true that Sean Payton got mad at Coach Harbaugh for not giving him some type of agreement on how much he was going to play his starters in a preseason game.

"Coach Harbaugh said, 'I don't have to give you an agreement. This is a competition league,' " Whitner added. "I guess (Payton) got mad and wanted to test some of our protections. We were a new team and this was one of our first games, and they tried to knock our quarterback out."

That quarterback was rookie Colin Kaepernick, who later jokingly recalled being blitzed 108 times.

Nobody's laughing now, of course, and Payton doesn't exactly come off as a choir boy, either. Let's hope for his sake this didn't come up during his Thursday appeal hearing.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content