- Mike Sando, NFL Insider
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Some aspire to have their work published in the most exalted academic journals. Others are more likely to find themselves wallowing in profanity-laced bounty files.
Let the wallowing begin.
Alas, the NFC West blog makes an unexpected appearance in the NFL bounty files made public Monday through the NFL Players Association. The files contain R-rated language, so if you're sensitive to such things or risking your job by downloading them, be warned.
For example, the page referencing the NFC West blog contains a large, red headline in capital letters: "Mike F------ Karney," it reads. Karney had played for New Orleans previously, but he was with the St. Louis Rams in 2009. Before the Saints and Rams played that season, someone with New Orleans put together a file using this NFC West blog entry to mock Karney, who hadn't factored into a recent Rams game.
Here's the funny part: Karney played a significant and positive role for the Rams in that subsequent game against New Orleans. The Rams averaged 13.1 yards per carry and 10.7 yards per pass attempt against the Saints from their base offense, which featured Karney.
Another page from the bounty files says "dues" were needed before New Orleans played the Rams. Another shows Rams photos, including one of then-quarterback Marc Bulger on the ground. There are pages showing what appear to be bounty payouts. Others document "kill the head" totals.
The material contains strategic information for Saints opponents, including tendencies by personnel groupings.
One page asks and answers up to 13 questions for each of the Rams' offensive position groups.
Steven Jackson was a "good screen back" while Kenneth Darby was "quick." The Saints told their defensive players that receiver Keenan Burton "can be pressed" and to "get hands on" Donnie Avery. They noted that the left tackle, Alex Barron, lined up wider on draw plays. They did not fear tight end Randy McMichael as a blocker. They said the Rams had run 71 percent of the time from base personnel when Billy Bajema was in the game.
The Saints respected Bulger's hard count and warned against quick counts between the 40-yard lines. They doubted his ball security and noted that he pats the ball right before throwing, letting defenders get a jump.
There's even a play sheet the Saints prepared for their playoff game against Seattle that season. If the term "N FRISCO SASSY/FLASH SINGLE" means anything to you, the Saints' play sheet should make for a good read.
Several bullet points accompany the photos. The final two bullet points read, "Now its time to do our job...collect bounty$$$!" and "No apologies! Let's go hunting!"
Of course, the Seahawks defeated the Saints in that playoff game. The Saints have gone 5-4 against the NFC West since 2009, counting playoffs.