METAIRIE, La. ― One of the lasting images from January’s NFC championship game is of Vikings quarterback Brett Favre on his back, writhing in pain after being hit by Saints’ defensive linemen Remi Ayodele and Bobby McCray.
Months later during Minnesota training camp, the Vikings called the Saints dirty.
All that did was make New Orleans defensive coordinator Gregg Williams smile.
“A defense has to be respected,” Williams said. “They’ll be respected when they’re feared. None of the things we’re trying to do is cheap. They’re aggressive. What we’re going to do is play hard.
“We’re not going to apologize. I’m not going to apologize for how my guys play.”
In fact, in the mind of New Orleans’ mad scientist coordinator, the Vikings are playing right into his hands. So much so, you might see him dial up even more blitzes in the season opener.
“When the other team is worried about protecting themselves or protecting the ball, we all like that a lot better,” Williams said. “Maybe there will be more than 39 takeaways this year.”
In other words, don’t expect the Saints defenders to offer their hands to the Vikings or anyone else anytime soon.
“All my life I’ve been trying to speed up players, make them more aggressive, make them tougher, nastier and I’m not going to back them off,” Williams said. “I’m not going to look to back them off in any way.”