New Orleans Saints: 3 Possible Replacements for Gregg Williams

Zayne Grantham@ZPGSportsContributor IIIJanuary 16, 2012

New Orleans Saints: 3 Possible Replacements for Gregg Williams

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    The New Orleans Saints' offseason has officially begun.

    As most expected, Gregg Williams left the Saints to join Jeff Fisher and the St. Louis Rams on Monday and now the Saints need a replacement for Williams at defensive coordinator.

    This, in my opinion, is great news for the Saints. Williams did a good job and was a major contributor to the Saints' 2009 Super Bowl championship, but his time was running out in New Orleans.

    Many have blamed Williams' defense for the Saints' last two playoff losses. While that is not completely fair, the defense did fall apart at the end of both of those games.

    There are a good amount of candidates out there for the Saints to look at, and I expect a new DC to be in place fairly quickly.

    Let's take a look at a few different choices the Saints could make for defensive coordinator. We will take a look at an unlikely candidate, two good candidates, and the guy that I feel would fit best in New Orleans.

Dark Horse Candidate: Winston Moss

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    Winston Moss is currently the Green Bay Packers' assistant head coach and inside linebackers coach.

    He has done a good job with guys like Clay Matthews and A.J. Hawk and is a hot candidate for defensive coordinator jobs around the league.

    It looks like he may end up in Oakland as Hue Jackson's replacement, but the Saints could make a run Moss. New Orleans has some very talented and athletic linebackers that could do well in Moss' system.

    However, I don't think this will happen because there are just better replacements out there. The Saints could choose to go with a top positional coach, but I think that they would much rather have an experienced defensive coordinator to help make a return to the Super Bowl immediately.

    Moss is the definition of a dark horse because, frankly, I would be surprised to see him in the black and gold.

Great Candidate: Jack Del Rio

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    I love the thought of Jack Del Rio joining the New Orleans Saints, and I am not sure why there isn't more interest in the longtime head coach of the Jaguars.

    He has plenty of experience and always had a respectable defense in Jacksonville. Del Rio also spent his playing days in New Orleans and was under Mike Ditka whenever he was in New Orleans.

    As a former linebacker, he could help the Saints' young, talented group of backers become some of the best in the game. Jonathan Casillas, Martez Wilson and Jo-Lonn Dunbar have the potential to become some of the NFL's elite, and Del Rio would help them reach that point.

    Del Rio would definitely bring a lot of the same aspects as Williams, regarding the fact he does not take any crap and expects discipline from his players. He would not blitz near as much, and that may be a good thing for the Saints.

    Del Rio comes with a 4-3 scheme, but has worked with the 3-4 before and may mix it up like Williams did. I would not be surprised to see Del Rio in New Orleans, but there is still one more candidate I feel is a better fit for New Orleans.

Perfect Candidate: Steve Spagnuolo

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    I feel like Steve Spagnuolo is the obvious choice for the Saints and it is no coincidence that many other teams are trying to reel in Spagnuolo's services.

    It was reported earlier that Spagnuolo was headed to Philadelphia, but the deal has yet to finalize. And according to's Daily News sports columnist Les Bowen, who talked to "someone close to Steve Spagnuolo" Sunday, "Spagnuolo is going to take his time with his decision on what comes next, that he wants to 'see what develops.'"

    Spagnuolo is known for creating amazing defensive lines, and that is exactly what the New Orleans Saints need.

    They have not had a destructive pass-rush since the days of the Dome Patrol, and Spagnuolo should be able to come in and create a line that can wreak havoc on offenses around the league. The Saints definitely have the talent, but just cannot seem to do it. Hopefully Spagnuolo can change that.

    Spagnuolo ran a 4-3 defense in New York and St. Louis and I am sure he would continue that trend in New Orleans. The Saints already have a 4-3 scheme set up, and there is no reason to believe that Spagnuolo would change that.

    Spagnuolo would undoubtedly get more out of the defensive line, helping the linebackers and secondary immensely. The Saints need help in the secondary, but if the defensive line is able to get pressure with only four guys, then the Saints defense could become one of the best in the NFL very quickly.

    In my opinion, Spagnuolo is the best candidate for the Saints and I expect to see him in New Orleans. He could be an immediate fix to the defense, which could result in the Saints appearing in multiple Super Bowls in the next few seasons.


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