One such example comes via Coy Wire, a former safety who played under Williams during his run as the Buffalo Bills' head coach from 2001 to 2003.
Wire told The Buffalo News in Sunday's editions that "there was financial compensation" for delivering hits that seriously injured opponents, and three other former teammates, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also confirmed it to the newspaper.
Wire said an environment of "malicious intent" already was entrenched upon his arrival in Buffalo.
"What Williams did was wrong, and I know that now," Wire said. "My sense of normalcy was warped. I thought what I was doing was right."
Wire cited a clean hit made on Detroit Lions running back James Stewart during a 2003 preseason game. Stewart -- who had rushed for more than 1,000 yards the previous season -- badly damaged his shoulder on the play and was forced to retire at the age of 31.
"Now, it's unthinkable that was my reality," Wire said. "I shattered James Stewart's shoulder, and he never played again. I was showered with praise for that. It's a shame that's how it was. Now I see how wrong that was."