Doug Plank Says No Bounty System During His Career

NEW ORLEANS, LA - SEPTEMBER 18: Sam Hurd #81 of the Chicago Bears catches a pass over Roman Harper #41 of the New Orleans Saints at Louisiana Superdome on September 18, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Saints defeated the Bears 30-13. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

The Saints bounty program has caused some serious ripples throughout the NFL, especially when it comes to hard hits and intent to injure.

Doug Plank laid some of the heaviest hits in the NFL as a member of the Chicago Bears, and when asked about the Saints' bounty system, said there was no such system during his time as a Bear.

"I know that in Chicago when (Buddy Ryan) was the defensive coordinator and Mike Ditka was the head coach, there certainly was no bounty system ... There might have been two players among themselves who made some sort of a wager. But in terms of the entire team or the entire defense, I never experienced anything like that in Chicago."

Plank added a few more words about what it takes to make a tackle in the NFL and what it felt like to cause an injury:

"I can understand how that is pretty chilling to a person that has never been involved in a violent sport like football," Plank said. "It takes a lot to run into someone. I don't think that's natural human behavior. Most of it is mental conditioning. Not only the practices all during the week, but it's also some of the dialogue that comes from your (coaches).

"To play this game, you have to play with high emotion. ... I like to feel I was one of those. You have to take yourself to some other mental state to do that on a regular basis. You have to ignore your survival instincts. Every time you run into someone, there is that fear factor. ... You have to condition yourself."

"The injury that probably bothered me the most, and it wasn't my own, was when I hit receiver J.D. Hill in the late '70s. He ran a deep inside route. ... I hit him on the side of the knee as he was looking at the quarterback. He had surgery and that (effectively) was the end of his career.

"To see him on the ground that day, just grimacing in pain ... it was probably the sickest feeling I have ever had as a player ... knowing that player was lying there because of something I had done.

What do you think about Plank's comments?

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