In the midst of the NFL off-season, the Tennessee Titans are grabbing the headlines after the addition of former New Orleans Saint Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams to its staff. Williams and current Saints Head Coach Sean Payton were the two focal points on the “Bountygate” scandal involving the payment to players for big hits on targeted opponents.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell approved the reinstatement of Williams as well as his contract to join the Titans citing, “forthcoming acknowledgment and acceptance for his responsibility [in the bounty program] and a commitment to never be involved with a pay-for-performance system.” In addition to these terms, Goodell stated that there will be a periodic monitoring of William’s conduct to confirm his compliance to these terms.
In a move that has probably got Rob Ryan scratching his head, Ryan stated he would have a new job in “about 5 minutes,” the Titans will officially announce Williams as their senior assistant coach to the defensive line in a 2:30 Press Conference. He will be returning to an Oilers/Titans organization where he began his NFL career and with whom he coached from the 1990 season until 2000, before becoming the Head Coach of the Buffalo Bills from 2001-2003.
“I have known Gregg for over two decades and have seen him work his way up from quality control coach to head coach,” said current Titans Head Coach Mike Munchak. “He will bring a great deal of defensive knowledge and energy to our staff. The decision to bring him here only came after going through a thoughtful and through [hiring] process.”
Perhaps the most encouraging news for fans of the Titans franchise is that Williams will bring a passion to the position. In his final season coaching the Titans, Williams’ defense was ranked first in scoring defense. In addition to success with Tennessee, Williams also led a Saints defensive unit that was second in takeaways for the 2009 season. Other accolades include leading the Washington Redskins to two Top 10 scoring defenses in 2004 and 2005, as well as the stellar game-plan called by Williams to help the Saints win their first Super Bowl title in 2009.
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