Gregg Williams likely to join Rams

Updated: January 17, 2012, 5:01 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Gregg Williams is expected to become Jeff Fisher's defensive coordinator with the St. Louis Rams, league sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Williams was in the final year of his contract and became available after the Saints' 36-32 playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday.

The Rams have scheduled a Tuesday afternoon news conference to introduce Fisher as their new coach and a team spokesman said Fisher would discuss his staff at the news conference.

Williams has called Fisher one of his closest friends in the coaching business. New Orleans was eliminated from the playoffs after Saturday's 36-32 loss to the 49ers.

Though the Rams had not confirmed the hire, Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma tweeted "Gregg williams is a great coach, I wish him luck in st Louis."

Former Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo and Dolphins defensive coordinator Mike Nolan both are on New Orleans' short list of defensive coordinator candidates to replace Williams, the sources told Schefter.

Spagnulo has drawn interest from Philadelphia, Atlanta and New Orleans, and just might be the most coveted coordinator on the market. Nolan also could have opportunities in Atlanta and Minnesota as well as New Orleans.

Williams has become known for coming after opposing quarterbacks with abandon. The Saints sent five or more pass-rushers 51.1 percent of the time in 2011, most in the NFL. The percentage was a league-leading 49.5 in 2010 and a runnerup 48.2 in 2009.

Williams was Fisher's defensive coordinator with the Tennessee Titans from 1997-2000 before he became the Buffalo Bills' head coach in 2001.

Fisher has been discussing the Rams' offensive coordinator position with former Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.

Information from ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, ESPN.com's Mike Sando and The Associated Press was used in this report.