Payton, Williams face off for first time since 'Bountygate'

Payton, Williams face off for first time since 'Bountygate'
August 6, 2014, 10:30 am
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Gregg Williams was Sean Payton's defensive coordinator in New Orleans from 2009 to 2011. (AP)

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Saints coach Sean Payton says he doesn't see an impending preseason matchup against his former defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams, as "a big topic."

New Orleans' preseason opener on Friday in St. Louis marks the first time since the NFL's bounty investigation in 2012 that Payton and Williams will be on the same field.

Payton, who declined to extend Williams' contract after the 2011 season, was suspended for all of 2012 after the NFL concluded the Saints' head coach had failed to stop Williams' cash-for-hits bounty program for three seasons. Williams also was suspended for a season.

Payton says a preseason opener is about preparing and evaluating players, and the fact that Williams is the Rams' defensive coordinator is "not a big deal at all."