Has Brees received a pass for Bountygate?

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Has Brees received a pass for Bountygate?

Sean Pamphilon, who released audio of the Saints discussing a bounty program, joined CSN for his first TV interview since the scandal broke and explains why Drew Brees was not an innocent bystander.

Dave Feldman: What were you doing in the Saints meeting roomin the first place when you had the option of shooting that video? Sean Pamphilon: I was workingon a documentary at the time about Steve Gleason who was a special teamsstandout for the Saints. And I'd been following him for the better part of theyear as part of the project that we began working on and probably looking atcompleting it within the next three or four months, so I had access to theSaints for the better part of the year probably on about a half dozen occasions.And that was the first time I was ever in a defensive meeting. I'd shot someteam meetings a few times before the game, but that was the first time I was ina meeting of that nature.DF: When you were filming it you heard what Greg Williamssaid about getting the body, getting the head, then you get the body andhearing all that were you shocked, were you surprised, or did it not even throwyou?SP: At the time I wasshooting two cameras because I was doing it all myself and because of that Iheard the repetitive line "Kill the head and the body will die," andat first I thought he was speaking metaphorically -- take out the top player onthe other team and you neutralize their offense...so he was talking about FrankGore. But because I wasn't totally dialed into him and I was looking throughviewfinders, I didn't understand the gravity of what was going on and also theBountygate program was directly related to the Saints. I knew that once hementioned that he was going for Kyle Williams' head specifically and alsotargeting Alex Smith's chin but he was talking about knockout shots and thatwas something I had every intention of discussing in my film "The UnitedStates of Football." I wasn't going to name Greg Williams, but I was goingto reference the fact that I was witness to this. It was when the story brokewhen the National Football League put the information out there that I wentback with my film partner and we listened to it and listening to it versusshooting it was a whole different experience for me, once I actually heard it Itried in earnest to put this out and have the people I was working with endorseit.DF: When you found out what you had and decided to put itout, I understand you had a unique reaction from Drew Brees. What did he tellyou?SP: Drew Brees was actually part of it. The daybefore the audio became public Scott Fujita contacted me and I was veryinterested in being an advocate for players so Scott Fujita -- very big onhealth and safety -- his personal stance was he was very much in favor ofreleasing this audio as we discussed in the previous month. Drew Brees wasinvolved because Steve Gleason thought it was important that Drew Brees was onboard as a representative of the Saints. So during that time Scott and Drew I wastold were involved and in favor of it. It was also my understanding that Stevewas, so when I released it to Yahoo! Sports through Mike Silver it was myunderstanding that we were all working in unison. What happened was later on afew hours before the audio actually came out they wanted to vet my writing theessay that I was putting out with it and that's where we had the problem -- thefallout -- and that's where people got the erroneous notion that I did thismyself. I was actually directed towards it, it was an action I wanted totake and I thought we were all in conjunction with it. Brees tried to controlthe message and was actively involved. He wanted to explain what it meant tothe American public what a whack hit was. He wanted to put it in context. Sothat's why he was trying to get involved and control what I was writing.DF: So Brees was okay with the releasing of the audio, buthe wanted to put his own narrative to explain it?SP: Exactly. He was absolutely in conjunction inworking with us. He left me a voice mail that's on my website onseanpamphilon.com. He left me a voice mail of where he stated that we just wantto see the writing before it hits the wire, before it comes out and is madepublic. And that's one of the things I haven't quite understood in terms of theaftermath of this that people have given him a pass on that. He was involved,he continually denied that the program even exists. Well if the program doesn'texist, how can you define a whack hit if you don't know what it is? So that's aquestion that other people should be asking Drew Brees. Especially the nationalNFL media. I'd be interested to see if they're going to broach that topic withhim.DF: After you found out what you had, Sean, did you ask someof the players how common this was, and would any of the players speak with you?SP: I didn't speak to theplayers on the Saints about it. Former Saints player Scott Fujita told me thatthis was something that he'd heard since he was eight years old. And that washonestly one of the reasons why I wanted to make that audio public in shooting "TheUnited States of Football" over a three-year period. Because I'd beencovering this issue for three years, I heard that at every single level someform of that speech, from peewee all the way up till junior high school to highschool and I just don't think that human beings should ask other human beingsto do that to each other. And I've been a lifelong football fan since I wasseven. But there was a line that got crossed, and I felt it was important thatpeople understood it, and we can put a stop to it.DF: What has been the reaction from the league? Have youreceived any threats or negative feedback from the league or fans? What hasbeen your response to this or your reaction?SP: The league contacted me afterward and wantedme to voluntarily give them the footage. And my feeling was that I don't workfor them so that wasn't gonna happen. But what happened was that they startedpublishing that I secretly taped the information. They started putting outerroneous information on me, trying to discredit me. So at that point I went tothe National Football League in New York and I brought them the information and I askedthem specifically to stop putting out information that disparaged me thatwasn't true. And the fact is that what I witnessed is a felony in any otherbusiness and for whatever reason because it's in the context of football forsome people it's okay, and it's not okay. So I knew that when I released thisaudio it was gonna be an issue for me and I was gonna take a lot of flak, buthopefully in the process of doing that, we can raise some awareness, becausethere are currently over 3000 players in the NFL and they're suing the NFLbecause they were not told of the ramifications of head trauma. So I'm in aroom with a man who's demanding it. And by any of stretch of anyone'simagination, that's not a decent thing to be doing.

Eric Reid embracing new role with 49ers: 'I was made for this position'

Eric Reid embracing new role with 49ers: 'I was made for this position'

SANTA CLARA – Despite recording seven interceptions in his first two seasons and being named to the Pro Bowl as a rookie, Eric Reid said he believes he is now in a role that best fits his skillset.

Whereas in the past, the 49ers’ safety positions were considered interchangeable, there is a clear delineation this season under first-year defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.

“Even dating back to college, this is the first time there’s a distinct strong (safety) and a distinct free (safety),” Reid said. “I’ve been used to the interchangeability type of role.

“(In) some situations, certain calls where there’s a motion, we might flip. There are a couple situations where I might be in the post in the free-safety role, but it’s not nearly as much as it has been in the past.”

Reid, who is listed at 6 foot 1, 213 pounds, said he is excited to be stationed closer to the line of scrimmage for run support while free safety Jimmie Ward patrols the deep middle of the field.

The 49ers offseason program concluded Wednesday, and Reid found himself in the middle of the action with an interception on a short Brian Hoyer pass over the middle. While he will still be counted upon for coverage, his biggest impact could come to assist a run defense that last season ranked among the worst in NFL history.

“I love it, being around the ball more,” Reid said. “I anticipate making more tackles, hopefully making more plays. I feel like I was made for this position with my body type, being a bigger safety. I’m excited about this year.

“I feel like I’m using what God has blessed me with, more, which is my size and being in the box in the run game. In the past, I felt like I could do more. And being in the post, I can’t use my size as much when it comes to the run game.”

After producing seven interceptions in his first two seasons, Reid recorded just one interception in 26 games over the past two seasons.

As a first-round pick in 2013, the 49ers picked up the fifth-year option this season for $5.676 million. He is scheduled for unrestricted free agency at the conclusion of the season. Reid said the 49ers have not spoken to his representation about a long-term extension. That will come, he believes, if he lives up to his end of the bargain in his new, streamlined role.

“I look at it from a business standpoint,” Reid said. “I majored in business. They have me under contract. They don’t have any reason to talk to right now. I imagine if I play well in the first half of the season, they’ll reach out to me. Maybe they’ll reach out to me before training camp, I don’t know. It’s whatever route they decide to take. It’s a business. I’ll treat it as a business. I have a job to do, so I’ll do it.”

 

Mike Shanahan's official role with 49ers: Father of head coach

Mike Shanahan's official role with 49ers: Father of head coach

SANTA CLARA – Kyle Shanahan always wanted to coach football with his father. But, first, he knew he had to prove himself without any boost from his well-known dad.

Once the son established himself as one of the NFL’s respected offensive minds, the Shanahans teamed up for four up-but-mostly-down seasons with Washington.

Mike, the two-time Super Bowl-winning head coach, hired his son to serve as his top offensive assistant in 2010.

“I thought we saw football similar, but we quickly realized after a few weeks that we saw it differently,” Kyle Shanahan told NBC Sports Bay Area in February. “We grew together. He gave me a lot of leeway while I was there. It was fun to try a bunch of different things, having to even incorporate the zone read when we got Robert (Griffin).

“We did our deal in Washington, and I wouldn’t take that back for the world, but that was pretty much the end of it.”

Kyle Shanahan broke into the coaching ranks under Karl Dorrell at UCLA. He moved onto the NFL to work with Jon Gruden on the staff of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Gary Kubiak with the Houston Texans. But nothing prepared him for the scrutiny he would face as offensive coordinator under his father.

Kyle Shanahan adjusted the Washington offense to take advantage of Griffin’s skills as a dual-threat quarterback as a rookie 2012. The club qualified for the playoffs with a 10-6 record.

But things blew up the following season as the Mike Shanahan-Griffin relationship soured. Shanahan and eight assistant coaches, including Kyle, were fired the morning after Washington’s 3-13 season concluded.

Mike Shanahan has remained out of coaching, though he was a finalist for the 49ers’ head-coaching job after the 2015 season. The 49ers hired Chip Kelly.

Kyle Shanahan rebuilt his career with one season as offensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns and two successful seasons with the Atlanta Falcons to enable him to become CEO Jed York’s choice to replace Kelly.

There is no official role for Mike Shanahan, 64, on his son’s staff with the 49ers. But the father has attended several of the team’s practices this offseason, including both days of the 49ers’ mandatory minicamp this week. Mike has been issued his own iPad that gives him access to the 49ers playbook and coach's film. He will likely visit for an extended stay during training camp. But Kyle said he believes his dad will mostly remain home -- only a phone call away -- during the regular season.

“He’s enjoying life right now,” said Kyle, 37. “He’s got a pretty good deal in Denver, where he lives. He can help me out in other ways anyways without having to be here every day.”

Mike Shanahan does not need to be in the building every day to counsel and have influence on his son as he tries to navigate his first season as the head coach while also maintaining the responsibilities of running the team’s offense.

“You’re going 1,000 miles an hour,” Kyle Shanahan said. “Sometimes to see everything you’ve got to really slow things down and take your time to look at stuff and you don’t always have that time as a head coach.

“It’s nice when someone you know who thinks similar to you has a similar background and he just sits in a room all day and watches stuff. He doesn’t have any other responsibilities. He can see some things that I’m not always seeing and just to bring things to light that maybe I missed or other people have missed.”

Mike Shanahan was a successful NFL offensive coordinator for seven seasons. He won a Super Bowl on George Seifert’s staff with the 49ers in January 1995. His dad believes his time around the 49ers has a lasting impact.

“When I was with San Francisco, Kyle was at the 49ers training camps in Rocklin,” Mike Shanahan told Fangirl Sports Network. “He stayed with me at camp and we talked about football every night.

“He had the opportunity to experience an organization that had won four Super Bowls in nine years. He also had the opportunity to be around some great people and leaders. He still tells stories and talks about people like Steve Young, Joe Montana, Harris Barton, Tom Rathman, Jerry Rice, John Taylor, Deion Sanders, and many others. What a great experience to see how these men handled themselves on and off the field.”

The Denver Broncos hired him to become head coach shortly after the 49ers’ 49-26 victory over the San Diego Chargers in Super Bowl XXIX. Shanahan went on to win two Super Bowls in his 14 seasons with the Broncos.

Kyle Shanahan was a wide receiver at Duke before finishing college at Texas, where he caught 14 passes for 127 yards in two seasons. He figured he would have a career in football and it would not be as a player.

“I’ve wanted to coach my whole life,” Kyle Shanahan said. “This is all I’ve known, just growing up around football. It’s almost all I’ve been into, too. Since I was little, it’s distracted me from everything I’ve done, especially school. I always tried to tell my mom, ‘Just be patient, it’ll play out for us in the long run.’ Fortunately, it did.

“Once I realized my genes were a little bit better as a coach than as a player, I pretty much locked into that – and that was about halfway through college. I haven’t looked back.”

During his short time with the 49ers, players on both sides of the ball have expressed amazement at how knowledgeable Kyle Shanahan is about the game of football. His dad told Fangirl Sports Network to succeed as a head coach he must always be dedicated to stuyding, learning and teaching the sport.

“He loves the game and knows it inside and out,” Mike Shanahan said. “My advice to him is to never lose the drive to study the game as he’s done over the last 13 years. To stay in the NFL as a head coach and have success for any length of time, you must never lose your drive to teach and stay abreast of what the top teams are doing every year: offense, defense, special teams. You must be able to coach all positions to really understand the whole game.”

Former 49ers president Carmen Policy said he remembers young Kyle serving as a ball boy during 49ers training camp in the early 1990s. Policy, who remains close to Mike Shanahan, has followed Kyle’s rise in the coaching ranks while playfully questioning the sanity of the family business.

Said Policy: “I used to tease Mike, ‘What kind of father are you to let your kid go into coaching?’ I said, ‘You should be charged with dereliction of parental duty.’ And he’d laugh and say, ‘Yeah, I tried talking to him and then my wife tried talking to him, but that’s his passion, and that’s what he wants to do, so I’m not going to dissuade him from it.’

“And, then, look at what happened. Here he is. He’s the head coach of the 49ers, and that’s just incredible.”