The New Orleans Saints and 49ers are suddenly trading verbal barbs like those four touchdowns they put up in the final minutes of January's NFC playoff game, when the 49ers prevailed 36-32.
On Tuesday, responding to 49ers safety Donte Whitner's critical remarks about a bounty-oriented defense, Saints linebacker Scott Shanle sent out this post through his Twitter account:
"Donte Whitner: Good defenses don't need bounties http://po.st/2W5aWl guy needs to shut his mouth and mind his own business. Don't remember them winning the superbowl. U still ringless. We got one and working on two now. Try to keep up"
Shut his mouth? That's basically what the NFL has told the Saints to do in the wake of this offseason's pay-for-performance scandal that drew a slew of penalty flags from the commish, including a season-long suspension for Saints coach Sean Payton and an indefinite suspension for former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.
One of Whitner's quotes Monday ("We don't have to talk like that around here") even follows Shanle's stern advice.
Whitner is the only defender who actually knocked an opponent out of that divisional-round triumph by the 49ers. His hit KO'd running back Pierre Thomas and forced a fumble that set the tone for the NFL's best game of the year (see: ESPY Award).
Here is what else Whitner had to say Monday:
"For a defensive coordinator to come up and talk about injuring players and knocking players out
"If you have the right type of guys in that room, you don't have to set bounties or pay money for guys to play physical and play hard. It's going to come naturally. That's the type of guys we have on our defense. That's why we don't have to do those type of things."
Those "type of things" were recorded during Williams' speech to his defense the night before their playoff meeting, and that audio was eventually released on the Internet by a documentarian following the team. Williams ordered his defenders to injure several 49ers offensive players.