The Titans have officially hired Gregg Williams as senior assistant/defense.
First some comments from the news release.
“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.”
And from Mike Munchak: “I have known Gregg for over two decades and have seen him work his way up from a quality control coach to a head coach. 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 thorough process.”
Williams originally joined the Titans/Oilers franchise as a quality control coach in 1990. He held that position for three seasons before coaching special teams in 1993. He took over the linebackers for two seasons before becoming the defensive coordinator in 1997. He left after the 2000 season to become coach of the Buffalo Bills, and he took defensive backs coach Jerry Gray with him to be the Bills' defensive coordinator.
Gray is now the Titans' defensive coordinator.
The Titans are introducing all of their new coaches at 3:30 p.m. ET Thursday. Williams will address his return there.
The big question now is about how much influence or control he will have and how the Titans will divide work between Gray and Williams.
I think the defensive play calling on Sundays isn't the big issue. Defenses draw up game plans on Tuesdays saying how they will react to what they see. When they do A, we will do B. It's that decision-making, not the in-game play calling, that is most important, though in-game adjustments are important as well.
No matter whether it's Williams or Gray calling the defenses, it's the planning that's most important. And Williams is certain to have a prominent voice in that planning.
Gray's defenses in two years with the Titans have been much less aggressive than Williams' defenses have traditionally been. It will be interesting to see how the two combine philosophies.
Safety is a premium need for Tennessee, and Williams make it even bigger. His best defenses have had quality safeties -- with Blaine Bishop and Marcus Robertson keying the team's rise to prominence as they became the Titans and advanced to the franchise's lone Super Bowl at the end of the 1999 season.
Here are my thoughts on Williams from Jan. 26.
I'll be back with more after the news conference.