Rams officially hire Gregg Williams

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The worst-kept secret in St. Louis became official Wednesday afternoon when the Rams confirmed they hired Gregg Williams as defensive coordinator.

The Rams announced the firing of incumbent coordinator Tim Walton on Jan. 29. Soon after, ESPN.com reported that Williams would be his successor. Williams finalized the deal with the team Wednesday morning.

"I am excited about coaching this defense," Williams said in a statement. "I would like to thank Jeff Fisher and the Rams organization for this opportunity and I am looking forward to getting to work and helping our defense become one of the best in football."

The Williams-Rams marriage has been more than two years in the making.

Fisher initially hired Williams as defensive coordinator upon his hiring as coach in 2012. Soon after, the NFL suspended Williams for the season for his role in the bounty scandal in New Orleans. Later that year, Fisher said he wouldn't rule out bringing Williams back at some point but then hired Walton for the 2013 season.

Whatever fallout occurred from the sides parting ways wasn't enough to prevent a reunion.

"As I've stated before, I believe Gregg is an outstanding football coach and is capable of taking our defense to the next level," Fisher said in a statement.

Williams and Fisher previously spent six seasons working together in Tennessee, including four with Williams as defensive coordinator. Williams worked as the Titans' senior defensive assistant in 2013.