Continuity is a difficult thing to sell when a team finishes with a middling record for a second consecutive season. But when that team is the St. Louis Rams who just finished one of the worst half-decades in NFL history from 2007 to 2011 where they went an abysmal 15-65 total, perhaps sustained mediocrity isn’t so bad.
That isn’t how Jeff Fisher and the Rams are looking at it, however, as the team fired Tim Walton after one year on the job and brought back a familiar face to replace him shortly thereafter: Gregg Williams. Yes, the same Gregg Williams who was hired as DC after Fisher took the Rams gig two years ago only to be suspended for one year by the league after his involvement in the alleged bounty-gate with the New Orleans Saints.
St. Louis finished 2013 ranking 13th in points allowed and 15th in yards allowed with the third-highest total in terms of sacks. Despite those decent numbers, Walton’s unit was tied for last in the league in opponent completion percentage and last in yards per pass attempt which may have sealed his fate as a former defensive backs coach.
So now that Williams is back, just what will he offer to the Rams’ budding young defense?
After serving as a defensive consultant with the Tennessee Titans this past season to his name back into the NFL coaching circles, many credited Williams with the team’s edgy play on that side of the ball. Unfortunately that isn’t something the Rams need anymore of as the team has already been out of control and undisciplined on numerous occasions this past season.
But he must have improved their numbers as a defense, right?
That’s not true either as the Titans actually regressed from a unit that allowed the sixth-fewest total yards in the league in 2012 to a group that finished 14th, just one spot ahead of the Rams in 2013. Many credit Williams with giving Tennessee an edge in their new-look aggressive scheme this past season, but the results on the field don’t really show improvement. It really doesn’t make much sense as to why the Rams would hire another coach with a proven track record of coaching teams prone to penalties.
Perhaps this is coach Fisher’s last stand as he plans to go down with his guys if things go up in flames. Williams was his handpicked coordinator whenever he first took the job so maybe this will be his sink or swim decision that either propels the team forward or fully submerses it.