ST. LOUIS -- Before hiring Gregg Williams as his defensive coordinator for the second time, St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher cleared it with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
Williams was part of Fisher’s first staff with the Rams in 2012, but only for a few weeks before getting suspended for his role in the Saints’ bounty scandal.
Fisher said at a news conference Thursday that he and Williams spent a few days together coming to terms with the past.
“We spent several days together discussing the past, putting the past behind us, discussing the present and then the future and the direction of where we wanted to go with our defense,” said Fisher. “I felt, in the best interest of this organization, that Gregg was the guy for the job. As you know, we have a past together. We’ve won a lot of games together. He’s coached a lot of very good defenses.”
Fisher then talked to Goodell.
“[Goodell] not only endorsed Gregg but also felt that Gregg would be a good move for this organization,” Fisher said.
Williams, who grew up in Missouri, said he hoped this was his last coaching stop.
“I’ve had an opportunity to work and coach at a lot of good organizations in the National Football League and I really look forward to working for this organization right here and potentially retire right here and win an awful a lot of games,” said Williams.
Williams said he went to all the Rams home game during the 2012 season as a season ticket holder.
“I got a chance to do a lot of growth studies and understanding on other teams in the league that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do,” Williams said. “So, I used that time wisely and I’m looking forward to have a chance to use some of that.”
Williams scoffed at a claim from a player who said the coach bragged about using a stolen playbook to help Tennessee beat Jacksonville in the 1999 AFC championship game. Williams called the story a joke and said he had every team’s playbook.
“I have playbooks of everybody’s team, and one of the things, I laugh about that when that happens. And Jeff, playing for Buddy Ryan – you know the first time Buddy Ryan ever had a playbook is when I was his young assistant and it’s one of my most treasured playbooks. George Allen’s is one of my most treasured playbooks,” he said.