The New York Jets have found their new defensive coordinator. The Jets announced on Wednesday that they have officially hired Gregg Williams to fill the role under new head coach Adam Gase. 

Williams was last seen as the interim head coach of the Cleveland Browns, a role which he held from Week 9 on after the dual firings of Hue Jackson and Todd Haley. Williams was interviewed for the top job in Cleveland but it instead went to the interim offensive coordinator, Freddie Kitchens. 

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Williams getting another defensive coordinator job is not necessarily surprising, as he's essentially an NFL lifer in that role, holding a DC job for at least part of 17 of the past 22 seasons. (He was out of the NFL in 2012 and 2013 after his role in the Bountygate scandal became public, and he was the head coach of the Bills from 2001 through 2003.) Williams' defenses have largely fallen off in recent seasons, and many of his schemes were criticized in Cleveland before the team took a major step forward last year thanks to an influx of talent. He has also produced essentially league average defenses over the course of his career, ranking at almost exactly league average in yards allowed, points allowed, and defensive efficiency, per Football Outsiders' DVOA.


Williams is an interesting choice in New York as he tends to use an attacking 4-3 style of defense up front but concede short and intermediate passes (see: Jabrill Peppers lining up 30 yards off the ball for the 2017 Browns) at times. The Jets have generally been a 3-4 base team going back to the Rex Ryan days, and Todd Bowles ran a lot of 3-4 base stuff as well. Considering nickel packages are the new base defense, though, the transition from one to the other is unlikely to be as stark as it used to be.