Green Bay - This was part of the pregame ritual. Stretch. Warm up. Carry the same, awkward conversation. Roy Williams got used to it after a while.
Every Sunday, a coach, receiver, running back, someone from the other team sauntered over to the Dallas Cowboys safety. Their gaze was always the same. Williams saw fear.
"Every game. Every week," Williams said. "They'd say, 'Don't do my players like that.' I didn't pay attention. I was about Showtime. When the lights come on and you cross that white line, you're fair game."
And for nine seasons, arguably no player inflicted more pain than Williams. He was a one-man battering ram, a player who actively sought to remove man from ball. And, of course, big-hit fever spread. Headshots spread.
Over these past 10-15 years, fundamental tackling has suffered. Opinions on the cause vary. Some former players point to the glorification of kill shots and the need to force turnovers. Coaches point to changing practice habits.
Whatever the case, tackling is an issue in Green Bay and elsewhere. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has appeared to reach a breaking point.
Personal foul penalties and fines continue to skyrocket. And Bountygate rocked the league earlier this off-season. The program was fueled by malicious hits. There's no single solution for the commissioner, for the league. But there may be one common denominator. The steady erosion of tackling.
In Green Bay, coach Mike McCarthy has made tackling a top priority this off-season. And big picture, maybe improved tackling - though far too blasé for the 2-minute YouTube clip - helps the league rebound.
Williams couldn't adapt. As the fines accumulated, his patience ran dry. His value faded. He's skeptical the league can reverse this trend, too. Offenses are scoring at an arcade rate. By shrinking the target point for defenders, Goodell may be trying to encourage better form tackling. Williams says it's not that easy.
"Please tell me when you've seen Roger Goodell get his ass on that football field and form tackle somebody," Williams said. "Yes, there are times when you can form tackle but then there are more times when you have a running back that bounces outside, you've squared him up, and he bounces and now the chase is on.
"How do you tackle that player? Do you want to be the player on ESPN getting embarrassed or do you want to be the player on ESPN making the tackle but you get fined?"
Others vow there is hope for better tackling in the NFL, and in Green Bay. Not too long ago, tackling was alive and well.
Tyler Dunne  wrote: