Now that the sanctions have been levied by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell against both the New Orleans Saints and those involved with the bounty scandal across the league, the St. Louis Rams are left scrambling to align their chain of command on defense. Recently hired defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was at the center of the bounty ring and he was handed an indefinite suspension by the league on Wednesday.
Williams left the Saints to follow his good friend Jeff Fisher who took over the head coaching spot with the Rams this offseason. Fisher was a bit taken aback by the whole ordeal, but totally understands the NFL’s decision to place heavy punishments on those implicated. When asked to comment on the penalties Williams received, Fisher told CBS Sports: “The severity of the suspension does not surprise us. We, as best you can, have been preparing for that. “I don’t mean to be insensitive to this, but we have to move on. Our job’s to win games and Gregg’s got to learn from his mistakes, and he’s paying dearly for them. He’s going to do his best to do whatever it takes to get reinstated.”
Both Fisher and his assistant head coach Dave McGinnis are well-versed on the defensive side of the football and will likely combine to handle those duties this season. According to Fisher: “So I have a pretty good feel for the defense. At this point I’m not at liberty to say who’s going to make the calls and the decisions, but it’ll get done and it’ll get done effectively.” Fisher, Williams, and McGinnis teamed up with the Tennessee Titans to take that club to its only Super Bowl appearance in 2000 as the team’s defensive masterminds.
While this isn’t a positive development for any parties involved, at least the Rams had a contingency plan in place and will now have to enact that scenario in 2012. The team will not be hiring any new coaches and won’t replace Williams’ position as of now, but reinstatement at this point seems like a long-shot with this Commissioner’s track record for no tolerance when it comes to players’ safety.