Gregg Williams Fired as Jets DC After Loss to Raiders; Frank Bush Named Interim

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistDecember 7, 2020

FILE - In this Sept. 8, 2019, file photo, New York Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams looks on before an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, in East Rutherford, N.J. Gregg Williams has made a career of adjusting on the fly, mixing and matching players to regularly field one of the NFL's toughest defenses. The New York Jets defensive coordinator certainly has his hands full this season after losing his two best players with Jamal Adams traded, and C.J. Mosley choosing to opt out because of the coronavirus pandemic. But, in typical fashion, Williams isn't sweating it - at all. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun, File)
Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

The New York Jets fired defensive coordinator Gregg Williams on Monday and named Frank Bush to the interim role in his place, the team announced Monday.

ESPN's Adam Schefter first reported Williams' exit.

The decision comes a day after Williams called a heavy blitz with no safety help over the top in the final moments of Sunday's 31-28 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders. That left the Jets vulnerable to a long pass, and the Raiders capitalized, as Derek Carr hit Henry Ruggs III for a 46-yard, go-ahead touchdown with just five seconds remaining. Williams' late aggression surprised more than a few players.

"I just felt like we could've been in a better call in that situation," Jets safety Marcus Maye told reporters after the game.

"I couldn't believe they all-out blitzed us," Carr added.

"Once I looked back, it looked like the ball was in the air forever," Ruggs told reporters. "It just wouldn't come down. I just had to find it and make a play. We were kind of surprised they brought the house like that."

Former NFL coach and current ESPN analyst Rex Ryan offered an even harsher critique on Get Up! Monday morning.

"Dumbest call I've ever seen," he said. "Been around the thing for 58 years, 30 years as a coach. That's the dumbest call ever. There's no other way of putting it."

Wade Phillips @sonofbum

There is a reason it is called ZERO coverage— sometimes it means NO coverage.

While that play call was likely the final straw for Williams' season—and arguably the defining moment of the team's horrid 0-12 season—the Jets weren't great on defense prior to that decision. The team is giving up 398.8 yards per game (29th in the NFL) and 29.4 points per contest (30th).

It's very likely the Jets will move on from head coach Adam Gase after the season as well given how poor the team has been. In that regard, then, Williams is simply the first domino to fall. But if the Jets continue on this path, the current coaching staff will leave the next one with a nice parting gift—the likely top overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft, Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.


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