Friday, December 4, 2009
The Skins coach who got away
By Matt Mosley
Of all the things that have gone wrong during the Dan Snyder administration in D.C., you'd have to think firing his excellent defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams, is at least in the top 10 and could soon move into the top five. In one season, Williams has transformed the Saints' defense into one of the best units in the league.
Rick Maese of The Washington Post has a story today about the former Skins head coach-in-waiting. Williams' defense has forced 32 turnovers this season, including a staggering 22 interceptions. Every time you turn on "SportsCenter," Saints safety Darren Sharper is returning an interception for a touchdown. And here's what Sharper had to say about Williams:
"We always were known as a great offensive team and the defense is just adequate," Sharper told Maese. "We wanted to change that type of mentality, change that type of outlook on our defense. From day one, Gregg preached that to us, we're not going to be second-hand, play second-fiddle to anyone."
Redskins players are careful not to step on Jim Zorn's toes, but it's obvious that many of them thought Williams should have been the choice to replace Joe Gibbs.
"He's going to blitz and blitz and blitz even more," said Redskins defensive end Andre Carter. "Despite whatever the matchups may be. He expects everybody to get there and make plays."
Everyone at Redskins Park loves to throw out stats of how their defense is ranked in the top five, but it doesn't really matter. The Saints give up more yards than the Skins, but they cause far more turnovers. That's the mark of a Gregg Williams defense. And no matter how you slice it, Greg Blache's defenses haven't had nearly enough takeaways.
Who knows what Williams would've been like as a head coach for the Skins? But I'm pretty sure a lot of the team's fans would've enjoyed finding out.