Tony Grossi Responds: Was Gregg Williams A Jerk To ESPN Cleveland’s Tony Grossi?


Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator did his best to shut down ESPN Cleveland’s Tony Grossi. Here’s what the long-time scribe said in response.

New Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator Gregg Williams met the media on Thursday, and a good amount of #BrownsTwitter are taking enjoyment in what appeared to be a heated exchange with ESPN Cleveland analyst Tony Grossi.

Grossi asked Williams a question about the bounty scandal that caused the NFL to suspend Williams for a year when he was a defensive coordinator with the Saints. “How have you changed since the suspension.”

The video of the interaction is here. I didn’t post it because a curse word appears in the headline, and fans of all ages read this site.

Anyway, it was an easy question to answer, but Williams made no bones about it: the subject is off limits.

“We’re not here to talk about that. Are you Tony? What else do you want to talk about,” Williams replied.

“…Wwwhy won’t,” Grossi stammered.”

“Is there a quote out there of me ever talking about it? So do you want to be the first guy out there who has a quote? Use that one,” Williams said.

Williams reply to Grossi was interesting. By asking if he was speaking with “Tony,” it was hard to tell if he was trying to learn the names of the local media, or if he was singling out Grossi perhaps because he had been warned about him.

#BrownsTwitter has since taken off, blasting Grossi for looking like the wimp in the confrontation.

Grossi addressed the interaction later in the day on the airwaves of ESPN Cleveland.

“That wasn’t a press conference. That was a performance and I was a prop. I’ve known Gregg a long time. He interviewed, as he mentioned, he interviewed for the head coaching job in the 2001 hiring season. I interacted with him at that time and sporadically, very very very sporadically ever since, but he’s been in the league, I’ve been covering the league, so we have some mutual friends,” Grossi said.

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“I was a little bit surprised and that’s why I stammered, that he didn’t answer the question because I thought he would answer it with something more than that confrontational act. But ultimately, I was totally amused by it, and I get it and we’re fine. Really. You read twitter, you’d think I’m here licking my wounds or something. The guy said it several times. ‘You gotta have fun.’ He was having fun. I have fun and I’m looking forward to it. Everyone I know who has covered Gregg Williams has liked him, and that’s the reason why, because he has fun, he’s eminently quotable and his team–his defenses–are instantly good and that’s what I expect to see from the Browns defense.”

So there’s Grossi’s explanation.

Again, I’ve written on this website before that I don’t understand all the hate Grossi catches. He gets accused of being negative, which I don’t understand. He’s paid to cover the Browns–a franchise that has tallied 14-double digit loss seasons since being re-born as the Browns 18 years ago.

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If you don’t agree, bash Grossi all you want. He’s probably the most recognizable local media scribe, having covered the Browns since 1984 and owning a Hall of Fame vote. Love him or hate him, you know you’re probably going to end up reading him.