Tomlinson/Toomer: NFL must send strong message on bounties

Following are comments made by former NFL players Amani Toomer and LaDainian Tomlinson last night on NBC Sports Talk with Eric Kuselias.

NBC SPORTS TALK

PROFOOTBALLTALK.COM – FEATURED VIDEO

AMANI TOOMER AND LA DAINIAN TOMLINSON

HOSTED BY ERIC KUSELIAS

JUNE 25, 2012

On how shocked they were to hear that a team was paying out money to injure opponents:

LaDainian Tomlinson: I’m kind of shocked. I’m not surprised. I’m shocked at the extent of it. Obviously, there’s going to be some things that go along, some bonuses that you’re going to add sometimes to guys who play special teams, guys that are probably not starters. The superstars of the team sometimes say, ‘Hey, listen man. If you make three tackles today, I’ll give you $300, $500.’ I’m not necessarily shocked.

Amani Toomer: I’m kind of shocked. You like to think that people go out and try to play the game the way it’s supposed to be played, which is with class and dignity. The fact that these guys are going out there almost like thugs with bounties on people’s heads, I don’t really like that. It’s not good for the game and I think people really need to understand that this is not what this game is about.  

On if Roger Goodell is trying to set an example with the Saints to make sure it doesn’t happen again:

Toomer: I think he is, but I think he’s doing a good job of trying to get the game where he wants it, to be held accountable. I think there’s a problem. He hasn’t been a player and for him to go in and try to change the culture, it’s going to take a little while longer. He needs to keep doing it with an iron-fist. We’ll see how it comes out.

Tomlinson: Here’s the thing, Eric. The NFL sets the standard of football – from there, college, high school, Pop Warner – they’re all watching what the National Football League is doing. If you don’t set a strong, stern message here, it’s going to matriculate down to the lower levels and it won’t be a good situation.

On how they would have felt if they knew there was a bounty out on them during their careers:      

Tomlinson: Well, I played the running back position so I probably had bounties on me every play anyway [laughing]. I touched the ball 30 times a game, got hit every play so it’s no different for me.    

Toomer: I would say, ‘Bring it on. Do it.’ That’s going to make you focus on something else. You’re trying to hit me hard, I can get around you. I don’t think it really makes that big of a difference. I think it’s more of a motivational tool that the defensive coordinator used to try to get his guys going. I don’t think it was a very good one.

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