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Last year, Gregg Williams was suspended from the NFL as part of a controversial series of discipline stemming from the Saints' “bounty” investigation. Some thought he might never return to the sidelines, but he has done just that, as an assistant in Tennessee, and, according to several league sources, his work has hardly gone unnoticed.
Williams has played in a vital role in transforming the team's no-name defense. Players are crediting him for making key adjustments to their scheme and play calls, and with the Titans on the cusp of the playoffs despite entering the season with such low expectations, Williams' work is being highlighted. With the final month of the season upon us, teams are putting together lists of possible coordinator and coach candidates, and Williams is in line to receive strong consideration for other defensive coordinator positions, sources said.
With the Cowboys defense faltering greatly again, it's worth noting Williams and owner Jerry Jones have a relationship dating back quite some time. Green Bay is another contending team that seems in line for a coordinator change given the performance of its defense lately, and while Williams' departure from Washington was a little prickly at the time -- as he did not get the head coaching job when Joe Gibbs retired that ultimately went to Jim Zorn -- Redskins sources said Williams' performance since leaving has continued to leave an impression on owner Dan Snyder (it's virtually certain the Redskins make a defensive coordinator change after the season, if not much bolder, sweeping changes).
Williams has head coaching experience with Buffalo and, in his career, has helped change the culture and boost the defenses in Tennessee, Washington, New Orleans and Buffalo. The way in which the NFL's “bounty” investigation played out -- leading ultimately to a lengthy appeals process after which former commissioner Paul Tagliabue did not uphold many of Roger Goodell's rulings -- and the manner in which Williams handled the entire ordeal, has only improved his stock as well.
The Titans have greatly improved their coverage with Williams at the helm, with a once awful secondary now getting Pro Bowl performances out of youngsters like Alterraun Verner, who had fallen out of favor in the past. The defense has kept them in games and produced more turnovers and should the Titans top the reeling Colts Sunday, then the AFC South race could get much more interesting that anyone anticipated.