Jets DC Gregg Williams, who was suspended for bounty scandal, says he never encouraged dirty hit on Odell Beckham Jr.

Shalise Manza Young
Yahoo Sports Contributor

Self awareness is not a trait exercised by everyone.

Take Gregg Williams, for example.

‘Odell who?’

Williams, the New York Jets defensive coordinator, went on the defensive on Friday when asked about comments that Cleveland Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr. made on Thursday.

Beckham didn’t hold back with reporters.

“If I was a coach, I would never teach what he teaches. But that’s just him and what he does,” Beckham said.

Odell Beckham Jr. says this takedown from then-Browns CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun of then-Giants Beckham Jr. in the 2017 preseason was dirty, and suspect Gregg Williams encouraged Boddy-Calhoun to play like that. Beckham suffered a high ankle sprain on the play. (AP)

Beckham blames Williams for injuries he suffered during the 2017 season, when he was with the New York Giants. During Week 2 of the preseason, then-Cleveland cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun went low on Beckham, and he suffered a high-ankle sprain.

Beckham didn’t return until Week 2 of the regular season, but said he rushed back. He subsequently broke the same ankle, needed surgery and missed the majority of the season.

“I came back too early for my team,” he said. “I gave them all I had, even though I knew I was three weeks out. I came back probably three weeks early because they had lost the first game of the season last year and I felt that pressure to be able to come out there and do what I can to help the team.

“If God wouldn’t have blessed me the way that I am, I would have blown my knee in that preseason game if I could’t have gotten my foot out the ground. And that high-ankle sprain led to the broken ankle on the left, which led to compensation in a different area, so it was kind of like a little spiral.

“So, it’s something that I’ll never forget. It changed my life forever. I don’t necessarily regret it. Of course, I wish it didn’t happen, but it did. That led to the ankle, for sure.”

When Beckham’s name was brought up with Williams, he said, “Odell who?” and then said he was joking.

‘I’ve never done that’

In case you’ve forgotten — because Williams apparently has — Williams was suspended indefinitely by the NFL in 2012 for his involvement in “Bountygate” while he was with the New Orleans Saints in 2009. The league found that players were paid for knocking opponents out of games with injuries.

Yet on Friday, Williams, with a straight face, told media, “We don’t do that. I’ve never done that anywhere I’ve been.”

“We don’t do anything to hurt the team,” Williams said. “It’s the No. 1 primary thing. You’re committing penalties, you’re doing those type of stuff, we just don’t do it. And you guys [in the media] are cooperating, giving [Beckham] attention. Just don’t give him attention.”

Jets head coach Adam Gase, who hired Williams earlier this year, stood by the member of his staff.

“I’ve never heard talk like that, so I can’t say what [Beckham is] saying because I’ve never heard that,” Gase said. “Everything I’ve heard from Gregg Williams and our staff has been the type of things that we want football to be played like, which is it’s about us, energy, effort.

“Everything I’ve seen, we’re coaching it clean.”

‘What’s New York’s opinion?’

Williams wasn’t done taking swipes at Beckham.

When a reporter referred to the three-time Pro Bowler, whom the Browns traded for earlier this year, acquiring him from the Giants in March for first- and third-round draft picks, as one of the most dynamic players in the NFL, Williams pushed back.

“That’s your opinion?” Williams said. “What’s New York’s opinion? The Giants’ opinion? What did the Giants do? So that’s not a question for me.”

We’ll see how this all plays out on Monday night, when the Browns play the Jets at MetLife Stadium.

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