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2010: The Year that Could’ve Been “Kill Aaron Rodgers’ Head:” Green Bay Packer Fan’s Take
"Kill the head and the body will die. We've got to do everything in the world to make sure we kill Frank Gore's head…"
That was a snippet of a conversation that former New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams had with his defensive players before the 2011-12 NFC Divisional playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers that was played on January 14, 2012. Documentary filmmaker Sean Pamphilon uploaded a four-minute sample of that conversation on YouTube which can be found here (parental guidance is strongly advised). The entire 12-minute recording can be found here. However, visitors may receive an "Error 509" which states that the "Account's public links are generating too much traffic and have been temporarily disabled!"
This is a putrid piece of evidence that should guarantee that Williams is permanently banned from the NFL, at least. Williams is encouraging his players to attack the heads of the 49ers' players. (Gregg) Williams was especially demanding that they go after Kyle Williams' head because he had four known concussions. (Gregg) Williams also issued an attack on Michael Crabtree's outside ACL.
Now maybe this doesn't have much to do with the Green Bay Packers. Regardless, it fascinates me when I think about how Aaron Rodgers was only an overthrow away from facing this team in the 2009-10 NFC Divisional playoff game. The Arizona Cardinals would advance with a 51-45 victory in the NFC Wild Card game after Rodgers overthrew Greg Jennings on what would've been the go-ahead touchdown.
Kurt Warner was knocked out of the divisional playoff contest. Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre fought through his injuries in the NFC Championship. The Saints would win their only Super Bowl in franchise history when they defeated the Indianapolis Colts 31-17.
The combination of an inconsistent offensive line and Rodgers' tendency to hold onto the football for too long had resulted in the Packers leading the league in sacks allowed. Don't forget that Rodgers hadn't changed his helmet until he suffered two concussions in the following season.
What would've happened to Rodgers? We'll never know. While I was disheartened after that playoff loss in Glendale, Arizona, my hindsight has now made me realize that the loss might've been the best thing for him in the long term. It sickens me to envision Williams potentially instructing his players to "Kill Rodgers' head. Kill his head and the body will die."
Of course, these teams did meet in the 2011 NFL Kickoff Game. Fortunately, the offensive line was much better and Rodgers didn't hold the football for so long. I wonder how much emphasis was placed on Rodgers' head?
Joshua Huffman graduated from Middle Tennessee State University as a marketing major in 2009. He's been a Middle Tennessee resident from 1986-88 and 2001-present. He lived in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin from 1988-01 and for approximately eight months in 2009-10 as he completed a 20-game volunteer position with the USHL's Green Bay Gamblers. His favorite sports organizations include the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Cubs, Nashville Predators and Tennessee Titans. He can be found on Twitter HERE.
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