On Thursday, Odell Beckham Jr. said Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams teaches cheap shots.
Williams’ response on Friday?
Williams said that was a joke, but he was not laughing about Beckham’s accusation.
Beckham – traded from the Giants to Cleveland this March – claimed several of his new teammates told him then-Browns coordinator Williams had encouraged the 2017 preseason hit on Beckham that hurt the Pro Bowl wideout and, he believes, led to subsequent leg injuries.
A reporter asked Williams on Friday about Beckham and referred to him as “one of the most dynamic players in the league.”
“That’s your opinion,” Williams replied. “What’s New York’s opinion? The Giants’ opinion? What did the Giants do?”
They traded him to the Browns this offseason, and Beckham is making his return to New York on Monday night against the Jets.
Williams, who was suspended for his role in the Saints’ Bountygate scandal, denied targeting Beckham.
“We haven’t done that anywhere where I’ve been,” Williams said. “We don’t do anything to hurt the team. It’s the No. 1 thing. We just don’t do it. You guys are cooperating by giving him attention. Just don’t give him attention. It is what it is.”
The low hit Beckham took from cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun resulted in a high ankle sprain that sidelined him and he feels also contributed to the season-ending broken ankle he suffered four weeks after returning.
Former Jets and Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma – who played under Williams in New Orleans and now works for ESPN – said was the hit was 100-percent clean.
“There is no truth to (Beckham’s comments),” Vilma said on “Get Up” on Friday morning, before Williams’ press conference. “I was with Gregg Williams for three years, one of the best defensive coordinators I had. And he teaches physicality. He teaches aggression.
“And by the way, the hit on Odell Beckham that got him injured was a legal hit. We talk about going low because if a player can’t run, a player can’t score. But when you take those shots that are considered cheap shots by offensive players sometimes, it’s really about going low and taking the legs out.”