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April 18, 2012
Baalke: No animosity toward Gregg Williams

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General manager Trent Baalke said there were no hard feelings between him and ex Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams despite the audio of Williams targeting specific 49ers players a day before the teams met in a divisional playoff game in January. The 49ers won the game 36-32. The Saints weren't called for a single penalty.

Baalke said he reached out to Williams after the bounty allegations against him and the Saints surfaced. Williams, who had been hired by the Rams in the offseason, has been suspended indefinitely by the NFL. "I worked with Gregg," Baalke said. "And Gregg's a friend, always been a friend."

Baalke was part of the Redskins' scouting staff when Williams was the defensive coordinator in Washington. Carlos Rogers, a cornerback on some of those Redskins squads, also has come to Williams' defense.

In the audio, which was released earlier this month, Williams discusses hitting specific 49ers such as quarterback Alex Smith, running back Frank Gore, receiver Michael Crabtree and tight end Vernon Davis. He also targets specific body parts, such as Gore's head, Crabtree's ACL and Davis' ankles. Said Baalke of Williams: "I don't view him any differently today than I did 20 days ago."

-- Matt Barrows



MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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