Black and Blue all over: Gregg Williams surfaces
Another prominent former head coach has moved into Green Bay's sights for its open defensive coordinator position. According to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, former Buffalo head coach Gregg Williams -- who spent 2008 as the defensive coordinator in Jacksonville -- is under strong consideration as well.
While Nolan remains the leading candidate for the job, Williams has the résumé and schematic experience the Packers apparently are looking for; he has employed various schemes during his stops in Tennessee, Buffalo, Washington and Jacksonville.
UPDATE (10:30 a.m. ET): ESPN's John Clayton reports Nolan will interview Thursday. No interview with Williams is scheduled as of yet. However, the Packers have set up an interview with at least one other candidate to join their defensive staff: Denver defensive line coach Bill Johnson, who would serve in the same capacity in Green Bay.
Continuing around the NFC North:
- The Packers fired offensive quality control coach Ty Knott, according to Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. Knott is the eighth, and perhaps last, Packers coach to depart this offseason.
- Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press on the decision of Georgia quarterback Matt Stafford to enter the NFL draft: "Stafford didn't realize it when he sat before television cameras in Athens, Ga., Wednesday, but he sadly endorsed his professional football death warrant. When the junior Georgia quarterback declared for the NFL draft, he basically told the Lions, "Take me, I'm yours" -- a submission that, if history serves as an accurate barometer, might cost him his sanity as well as his self-confidence." The Lions hold the draft's No. 1 pick.
- Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News begs the Lions not to take a quarterback with the first pick: "The Lions need a quarterback, sure. They always need a quarterback, although Daunte Culpepper and Dan Orlovsky (if re-signed) are not horrible options. But they do not need to draft one with their hard-earned No. 1 pick. Let me repeat that for the world's most competitively impaired franchise: Do not cave to the oldest crave and gamble on a quarterback at No. 1."
- David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune believes the Bears offseason overhaul of their defensive position coaches misdirects blame: "As long as the Bears remain committed to [defensive coordinator Bob] Babich and the Cover-2 scheme, and indications are they will continue to be, change will be the enemy. If the Bears report to [training camp] with three new position coaches but Babich still in his current role, even if calling signals becomes a more collaborative effort, then what will be so different really?"
- Minnesota safety Darren Sharper, a pending free agent, believes there is a 50-50 chance he will return to the Vikings in 2009, according to Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune.
- Vikings receiver Sidney Rice caught 15 passes in 2008, down from 31 as a rookie in 2007. Rice blames the drop on a knee injury he suffered in Week 2, according to Rick Alonzo of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.