On Thursday, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. accused Gregg Williams of instructing players to intentionally injure him when Beckham was a member of the New York Giants and Williams was the defensive coordinator of the Browns.
Never one to bite his tongue, the now-New York Jets defensive coordinator has fired back.
"Odell who?" Williams answered when asked about Beckham's comments during his Friday press conference, three days before the Browns and Jets will square off on Monday Night Football.
But while Williams soon clarified he was joking, he proceeded to refuse to give Beckham -- a 3-time Pro Bowl selection -- credit for being one of the NFL's most dynamic players.
"That's your opinion. What's New York's opinion -- the Giants' opinion?" Williams said, referring the Giants' decision to trade Beckham to the Browns this past offseason. "What did the Giants do? So that's not a question for me."
As far as Beckham's allegations are concerned, the former Cleveland interim head coach denied encouraging his players to injure the 2014 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year during a 2017 preseason matchup between the Browns and Giants. Beckham suffered a high ankle sprain as a result of a low hit by then-Browns defensive back Briean Boddy-Calhoun, which he believes ultimately led to the broken ankle he would go on to suffer less than two months later.
"We don't do that," Williams said. "Never done it anywhere I've been. We don't do anything to hurt the team."
The NFL, however, believes otherwise.
In 2012, Williams was suspended for the entire season as the result of his involvement in the 'Bountygate' scandal that occurred during his tenure as the defensive coordinator of the New Orleans Saints. According to an NFL investigation, Williams operated a bounty pool that paid out bonuses to players who injured opponents -- a system that his former players with the Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins also said occurred during his time with the teams.
Although Williams issued an apology for his involvement upon his reinstatement to the league in 2013, Beckham doesn't believe the now-Jets assistant has changed his ways.
“The only thing I’m buying is I have to probably watch out for the cheap shots and dirty hits and all the things he likes to teach,” Beckham said on Thursday. “That’s pretty much what we’ve got to watch out for. Other than that, I expect the same two-high safety. I don’t expect man-to-man.
“I had people who were here when he was here (saying), ‘If you get the chance, take a shot at him. If you can, hurt him. I guarantee he’s going to leave the game hurt,’ stuff like that. It’s fine. It’s football, in a sense. We’re all men out there, but there’s no need for doing any of that kind of stuff. You just make the plays the best you can, cleanly.”