Updates from Wednesday, Feb. 12
Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports has the latest on Gregg Williams:
Things move fast in the NFL, but the St. Louis Rams are on a neck-breaking pace.
Shortly after an announcement that the Rams were parting ways with defensive coordinator Tim Walton, according to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Jeff Fisher immediately moved on to hire Gregg Williams, former New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator and Tennessee Titans senior assistant defensive coach.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reported the news:
When Fisher was hired by the Rams, he initially hoped to bring in Williams, per ESPN's Chris Mortensen:
CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora confirmed the report:
Williams was in deep water after being suspended by the NFL back in March 2012 due to the Saints' "Bountygate" scandal. He reportedly set up a bounty program for his defensive players to earn incentives from big hits.
Mark Maske of The Washington Post noted that several former Washington Redskins players confirmed the reports:
Four of the Redskins players described an informal system under which Williams doled out thousands of dollars to Redskins defenders who measured up to his standards for rugged play, including for what one described as “kill shots” that sent opposing teams’ stars to the sideline.
“You got compensated more for a kill shot than you did other hits,” said one former Redskins player, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Upon his reinstatement, the former defensive coordinator and head coach of the Buffalo Bills was hired by the Titans, Fisher's former team, as an assistant coach. During his one season with the team, Tennessee's defense went from 27th in the NFL in terms of yards per game allowed to 14th.
That type of change provoked Michael Schottey of Bleacher Report to praise Williams, but he also pointed out that it will be difficult to forget his past:
Coming into a team that was already 15th in the league in total defense and ranked third in sacks in 2013, Williams is coming into a situation where he can thrive. His style of coaching will also fit in well with the NFC West division, which already features three other defenses that finished in the top six in total defense in the Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks.
As a defensive coordinator, Williams won the Super Bowl with the Saints and has a track record of improving defenses, much like he did with the Titans in 2013. For a team on the rise like the Rams, he could be the one key to put them over the top.
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