Gregg Williams has been painted as a rogue leader who didn't view injuring the opposition as off-limits in the pursuit of victory.
He's clearly been defined this way, and the audio recording released by a documentary filmmaker last week will reinforce that reputation in perpetuity. But one retired NFL player told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel how the public views Williams is far from the man he once knew.
"He was the softest coach I've been around," said Chidi Ahanotu, a 12-year NFL veteran who played under Williams with the Buffalo Bills in 2002. "It was to the point, really, where I said, 'Man, this guy's really not made out to be a coach.' Honestly, that's what I always felt in Buffalo -- this is not football. His approach was very cerebral."
Gregg Williams ... soft? There have been reports of a "bounty"-type program in Buffalo as well, which would lead one to venture Williams wasn't a teddy bear in Orchard Park, either. That said, Ahanotu wonders if a need to compete led Williams to change his approach in later years.
"He was very cerebral, almost to a fault," Ahanotu said. "He always talked about these complex things. It was like, 'Man, can we just line up and play football.' That's how I always felt with him. I was only there for one year with him and coaches always develop and change. Maybe this is what he changed to."