MOBILE, Ala. – In his two-plus decades coaching in the NFL, newly-named Rams head coach Jeff Fisher has made plenty of connections and forged many tight bonds.
On Monday, Fisher and the Rams were pleased to announce that Gregg Williams, one of Fisher’s closest friends in the business, has been named defensive coordinator and what figures to be an experienced and talented coaching staff.
“I have worked with and known Gregg for a lot of years and I have a tremendous amount of respect for him as a defensive coordinator and value his past experience as a head coach,” Fisher said. “He brings an aggressive approach that I’m sure will benefit our defense and he has a wealth of knowledge that will aid our entire team.”
Williams comes to St. Louis from New Orleans, where he spent the past three seasons as the defensive coordinator for the Saints. He led a turnover-happy defense that did its part in securing a Super Bowl XLIV championship against the Colts.
Fisher and Williams first worked in the head coach-defensive coordinator pairing with Tennessee for six seasons before he moved on to New Orleans.
All told, Williams has been in charge of plenty of stout defensive units in his more than 20 years coaching in the league.
In that time, Williams’ defenses have finished in the top five of total defenses five times and in four different NFL locales including the best defense in the league in 2000 with Tennessee. In 15 seasons as a defensive coordinator or head coach, Williams has led seven top 10 defenses.
Known for his aggressive, exotic blitz packages, Williams doesn’t hesitate to get after the quarterback in a variety of ways. In addition to his extensive work as a coordinator, Williams was head coach in Buffalo for three seasons after 11 years in Tennessee (1990-2000).
Williams also has had stops in Washington where he was assistant head coach/defense and a year as defensive coordinator in Jacksonville.
At its best, the Tennessee defense was a dominant group under Williams in 2000, leading the league in total defense, allowing just 191 points and setting franchise records for sacks (55), fewest passing yards allowed (2,424) and fewest touchdowns allowed (17).
Williams is an Excelsior Springs, Missouri native who played quarterback at Northeast Missouri State and got his coaching start at his own high school before becoming head coach at Belton (Mo.) High.
Prior to arriving in the NFL, Williams was a graduate assistant at the University of Houston from 1988-89 under former NFL head coach Jack Pardee.
Williams and his wife, Leigh Ann, have a daughter, Amy, and two sons, Blake, who served as a coaching assistant with the Saints the last three years, and Chase is a linebacker on the Virginia Tech football squad.