WILLIAMS LANDS IN NEW ORLEANS
Posted by Mike Florio on January 15, 2009, 10:27 a.m.
The New Orleans Saints have a new defensive coordinator.
And he is former Jaguars, Redskins, and Titans defensive coordinator — and former Bills head coach — Gregg Williams.
“A lot has gone into this decision, and we targeted Gregg as the coach we’d like to hire after our first interview because he was so impressive and prepared,” coach Sean Payton said in a release, via the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “As an offensive coach, I have game-planned against his defenses in the past, and I know the problems they create. He’s an aggressive coach, but his units are always sound fundamentally. We have some pieces in place for him to work with, and I know he’s excited to get started.”
The Saints fired defensive coordinator Gary Gibbs last week, and they immediately focused on Williams, who was released by the Jags after a single season during which the team’s defense didn’t perform nearly as well as it had under former defensive coordinator Mike Smith, current head coach of the Falcons and 2008 AP coach of the year.
As of yesterday, we’d heard rumblings that Williams received an offer from the Packers and was shopping it back to the Saints. If true, the Saints apparently upped the ante.
The Saints had the top offense in the game during the 2008 season, based on average yards gained per game. But they were 23rd in total defense, and it’s widely believed that their inability to stop their opponents had a major role in a second straight season without a playoff game.