The NFL has reinstated suspended coach Gregg Williams and the Titans have hired him as a senior assistant/defense coach.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Williams indefinitely last year for his role in the New Orleans Saints bounty program.
Williams was the Saints defensive coordinator from 2009-11 and was hired by St. Louis last season before his suspension.
In a statement released Thursday, the NFL said, “Commissioner Roger Goodell today notified Gregg Williams and the Tennessee Titans that Williams' contract with the Titans has been approved and that he has been reinstated. The commissioner cited several reasons for the reinstatement, including Williams' forthcoming acknowledgement of and acceptance of responsibility for his role in the bounty program at the Saints, his commitment to never again be involved in a pay-for-performance or bounty system, and his pledge to teach safe play and respect for the rules at all levels of the game.”
“The commissioner emphasized that Williams must fully conform to league rules and will be subject to periodic monitoring to confirm his compliance,” the statement concluded.
Williams, an Oilers/Titans assistant from 1990-2000, initially denying any involvement in Bountygate but later admitted to running a bounty pool of up to $50,000 over three seasons.
It rewarded Saints players with thousand-dollar payoffs for knocking targeted opponents out of games.
Former Tennessee Titan, Blaine Bishop who previously worked with Williams, told Nashville's News 2 he thinks signing Williams is a good, aggressive move for the team.
“Gregg is going to be Gregg. He is going to be an intense guy. He is going to give the Titans that extra edge,” he said. “The Titans have been playing hard and been saying they need to play with purpose, well Gregg Williams is going to get them to play with purpose.”
“I think Coach Munchak, [Jake] Locker and everybody involved realize this is the year for the Titans and they have huge steps to show that they are a playoff caliber team and that is what you go out and get Gregg Williams because he will definitely not have the 30th ranked defense that gives up the most points in the league.”
Bishop added that he feels his former coach will also have to work to prove himself to players.
“I think he has to earn the trust of the players and once you do that, I think the sky is the limit. He has definitely proven he is a great coordinator in this league.”
Read more online at TitansOnline.com.
- Jan. 27, 2013: Titans interested in hiring Gregg Williams