Former Oiler linebacker Al Smith on bounties Dan Leberfeld

Linebacker Al Smith played for defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan in Houston, and was asked by Jim Wyatt, of the Nashville Tennessean, about bounties.

“That stuff has been going on since Buddy Ryan, and long before that,” Smith, who played for Ryan and later for Gregg Williams. “Buddy used to put it simple: If you take the other team’s best player out, your chance of winning increases dramatically.

“Gregg felt the same way, but that’s the theme across the league. It was never ‘Go blow this guy’s knee out and you’ll get paid.’ It was just football. It was a defensive mentality thing.”