You’ll likely scream about this, and say many profane words while possibly also insulting Gregg Williams’ mother. And there’s really nothing I can say to counter that, because the former Saints defensive coordinator is a frothing lunatic.
But if you’re angry about the fact that Williams has been officially reinstated and hired as a senior defensive assistant by the Titans, you’re forgetting a core — and very simple — principle in the NFL that applies to both coaches and players: if you can help a team win a game, you’ll be employed, even if you’re deeply flawed.
As ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported a short time ago, the Titans will indeed bring Williams aboard and add him to their defensive staff, where he’ll work under coordinator Jerry Gray. Commissioner Roger Goodell finalized Willliams’ reinstatement, with the league saying this:
“Commissioner Roger Goodell today notified Gregg Williams and the Tennessee Titans that Williams’ contract with the Titans has been approved and that he has been reinstated. The commissioner cited several reasons for the reinstatement, including Williams’ forthcoming acknowledgement of and acceptance of responsibility for his role in the bounty program at the Saints, his commitment to never again be involved in a pay-for-performance or bounty system, and his pledge to teach safe play and respect for the rules at all levels of the game. The commissioner emphasized that Williams must fully conform to league rules and will be subject to periodic monitoring to confirm his compliance.”
It went without saying that Goodell will closely monitor Williams, but that last line confirms it. He’ll be working under zero-tolerance conditions.
So once the groaning about this hire simmers, we can finally and mercifully move on from Bountygate (*hits self*) forever, and Goodell can now frequent his favorite New Orleans establishments. Right? OK, good.
Williams started his NFL coaching career with the Titans franchise when they weren’t the Titans back in 1990, and he eventually became the team’s defensive coordinator for three seasons. In his last season in Tennessee before leaving to become the Bills’ head coach (#fail), Williams led the league’s top-ranked defense.
That was, oh, over a decade ago, and much has changed in the Music City, which is why despite his baggage, Williams’ defensive mind is highly coveted. This past season the Titans ranked 27th in total yards allowed (374.9). That ranking doesn’t get better when we look specifically at their run defense (ranked 24th while giving up 127.2 yards per game), or the pass defense (ranked 26th while giving up 247.8 yards per game). There’s almost quite literally nowhere to go but up in every facet of the game defensively, which is why the Titans were the ideal landing spot for Williams.
Desperation, man. It’s still one hell of a drug.