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Redskins fire defensive coordinator Williams

Postby roninmedia » Sat Jan 26, 2008 2:44 pm

http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/7723 ... -Williams#

Redskins fire defensive coordinator Williams
by Jay Glazer

Can the Redskins' search get any more screwy?

Still without a head coach, FOXSports.com has learned that Washington has fired defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.

Williams is widely considered one of the best and most aggressive defensive minds in the NFL, and his unit was the strength of the Redskins' playoff run.

Still, the highest paid defensive coordinator in the NFL, is without a job despite having one year remaining on his contract.

Williams shouldn't be unemployed for long, as the St. Louis Rams have already requested permission to interview him and the Jacksonville Jaguars have shown interest as well.

Williams was thought to be the frontrunner for the Redskins' head coach job at first, but when Vinny Cerato was promoted to executive vice president, Williams' chances were destined to fade.

Washington has been calling others in the league, asking about Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, as well as gathering information on Jim Fassel. At this point, the Redskins are saying they are content to wait until after the Super Bowl to make a hire.


Wow.
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Re: Redskins fire defensive coordinator Williams

Postby JasonSeahorn » Sat Jan 26, 2008 2:50 pm

are the redskins competing with the raiders for the most messed up organization of the nfl?
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Re: Redskins fire defensive coordinator Williams

Postby SniperShot » Sat Jan 26, 2008 4:31 pm

Screw that. Greg was basically the reason we made the playoffs in 05 and 07. He had a sort of ability to get the best out of players who weren't considered stars. The Skins D ranked in the top 10 and outside of Sean Taylor the average fan hardly knew who was on their D.

Horrible move by Snyder. Should have gotten a GM the moment Gibbs stepped down, should have freaking hired a GM. But nooooooooooo Danny wants to keep up this horrible nightmare. So far he's done some radical stuff but none of it has really worked. Steve Spurrier was an epic fail. He fired Marty after 1 8-8 season... Blah! Say hello to more 5-11 seasons then Mr. Snyder... Will you ever learn?
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Re: Redskins fire defensive coordinator Williams

Postby Cowboys 4 life » Sat Jan 26, 2008 4:38 pm

SniperShot wrote:Screw that. Greg was basically the reason we made the playoffs in 05 and 07. He had a sort of ability to get the best out of players who weren't considered stars. The Skins D ranked in the top 10 and outside of Sean Taylor the average fan hardly knew who was on their D.

Horrible move by Snyder. Should have gotten a GM the moment Gibbs stepped down, should have freaking hired a GM. But nooooooooooo Danny wants to keep up this horrible nightmare. So far he's done some radical stuff but none of it has really worked. Steve Spurrier was an epic fail. He fired Marty after 1 8-8 season... Blah! Say hello to more 5-11 seasons then Mr. Snyder... Will you ever learn?


Agreed. But my tone is much happier than yours.

Looks like we hired Grantham too early. I'd much rather have Williams. I thought he was in the running for the HC job?
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Re: Redskins fire defensive coordinator Williams

Postby LS2throwed » Sat Jan 26, 2008 9:04 pm

I love Dan Snyder ;-D Awesome, he always finds a way to spend his money on the wrong thing every off season, next the Redskins are going to trade their whole first day of draft picks for players over 32, Williams was a great coach and I cant believe he didnt get the job
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Re: Redskins fire defensive coordinator Williams

Postby SniperShot » Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:44 am

Early indications are Fassel is all but a done deal for the Head Coach spot. Going to be announced shortly after the Super Bowl... That rumble you feel coming from DC when the new coach is announced will be fans banging their heads against the wall, me included.

Pretty much everything Gibbs worked for in the 4 years he was here was undone yesterday with the firing of Williams and Saunders. :-t
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Re: Redskins fire defensive coordinator Williams

Postby stomperrob » Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:54 am

Blache replaces fired Williams
By David Elfin
January 27, 2008


A week ago, Gregg Williams was the favorite to be the next coach of the Washington Redskins. Yesterday after falling out of favor with Redskins owner Dan Snyder and executive vice president Vinny Cerrato during the interview process, Williams was relieved of his duties as Washington's assistant head coach-defense.

Williams was replaced by defensive line coach Greg Blache, who as defensive coordinator will have the same responsibility as his former boss but not the same title. Blache's hiring followed that of offensive coordinator Jim Zorn by less than 24 hours. Zorn's predecessor, associate head coach Al Saunders, was also fired.

But 18 days after Joe Gibbs' retirement, the Redskins were still without a head coach and don't figure to have one for at least another 10 days. And whoever takes the job already will have his top lieutenants in place.

The favorites are former New York Giants coach Jim Fassel or defensive coordinators Ron Meeks of Indianapolis and Jim Schwartz of Tennessee, who already interviewed with Snyder and could have been familiar with the owner's thoughts on coordinators.

"It's a mess," one veteran Redskins player said yesterday before Blache's hiring was announced. "This thing has gone on too long. It's not fair to us or the [assistant] coaches. The new coach won't know what this team has been through and probably won't care."

The player was referring to the incredible adversity of this season: five straight down-to-the-wire games, the loss of five starters to season-ending injuries and the murder of Pro Bowl safety Sean Taylor in November. The Redskins survived all of that to make the playoffs for the second time in three years but bowed out in the wild card round to the Seattle Seahawks.

Williams, who led the defense to three top-10 seasons in his four seasons with Washington, was the clear choice of the players and the rest of the staff to be Gibbs' heir apparent.

However, there was friction between Williams and Snyder during their three meetings. A source said Williams hurt his case by implying he could have done some things better than Gibbs during their four seasons together. That could have prompted Gibbs to not fight as hard as he could have for Williams.

"You had to see it coming a little, but it's still hard for me to believe Gregg won't be here," a veteran Redskins player said. "It's sad. He did a great job. A lot of guys are angry about Gregg not getting the job. A lot of guys want to move on. I feel better that Greg Blache will be here, but the biggest thing is who the head coach is going to be."

With Williams — who didn't return phone messages throughout the coaching search — out of the picture, Fassel is the front-runner since he had multiple sessions with Snyder. However, Snyder wants to interview Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and perhaps New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who aren't available until after their teams play in the Super Bowl next Sunday.

A source said Williams and Snyder had an amicable farewell yesterday morning. The Redskins will pay Williams, who is reportedly a candidate for the coordinator's vacancy in Jacksonville and the defensive backs coach position in St. Louis, and Saunders if they sit out the 2008 season.

"Greg Blache has done a great job for us these past four seasons and is an outstanding coach with the respect of the entire staff and players," Gibbs said in a statement. "He is certainly a key figure in keeping the continuity of the organization."

Blache, 58, was the Chicago Bears' coordinator from 1999 to 2003. His defenses forced 138 turnovers and scored 13 touchdowns. In 2001, the Bears allowed the fewest points while soaring from 5-11 to 13-3. Chicago was just 11-21 the next two years, and the staff was fired.

Blache's promotion was popular with the Redskins' players.

"That makes me feel better about the organization," a veteran player said. "At least they're trying to keep some things together. Coach Blache did a great job in Chicago. He's more laid-back than Gregg, more of a players' coach. He'll probably eliminate some of Gregg's packages, but the defense should be pretty much the same."

It's unclear whether cornerbacks coach Jerry Gray and safeties coach Steve Jackson, both longtime Williams associates, will return or who will coach the defensive line. However, linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti, whose eight years are the longest continuous tenure on the staff but whose contract was about to expire, was given an extension.

Special teams coach Danny Smith worked for Williams in Buffalo from 2001 to 2003 and followed him to Washington. However, the Redskins quoted Smith, a former colleague of Zorn's in Detroit, in their press release yesterday and he has been told that he will return.

The fate of running backs coach Earnest Byner, whose contract is expiring, remains up in the air. The rest of the staff is signed through 2008. Saunders, who coached in St. Louis in 1999 and 2000, is a serious candidate for the Rams' vacant offensive coordinator's job.

As for Zorn, Seattle's quarterbacks coach the last seven seasons, one Redskins player said, "It's a great hire. I think he'll simplify the offense. He's a quarterbacks coach, so he should be good for [quarterback] Jason [Campbell]."




Snyder starts over again
By Ryan O'Halloran
January 27, 2008


Four years ago, Joe Gibbs flew to Buffalo and persuaded Gregg Williams to sign a multiyear, multimillion dollar contract to assume full control of the Washington Redskins' defense.

The long-term goal: Williams would succeed Gibbs.

Two years later, Gibbs jetted to Kansas City and persuaded Al Saunders to sign a multiyear, multimillion dollar contact and assume full control of the Redskins' offense.

The long-term goal: Saunders would develop quarterback Jason Campbell into a reliable performer.

But in a week when Vinny Cerrato was made the front office's point man (drawing snickers from the rest of the league), Jim Fassel was pursued and temporarily turned aside (ditto), the Redskins axed Williams and Saunders yesterday, replacing them with Seattle quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn and and Redskins defensive line coach Greg Blache.

The Danny & Vinny Show has destroyed 66 percent of Gibbs' master plan, which had the Williams-Saunders-Campbell trio leading the Redskins into the future — in a mere 18 days. The moves also have diminished Gibbs' impact on the franchise.

When he returned to the NFL in January 2004, Gibbs wanted to win, but just as importantly, he aimed to stabilize a franchise that had defined "turbulent" since Snyder seized control of the team in 1999.

And during Coach Joe's four seasons, the coaching staff remained largely intact (only one coach was fired) and in Week 1, 14 of their 22 starters were in at least their third season with the Redskins.

The win-loss record was below average (31-36, including playoffs), but at least the Redskins twice reached the playoffs, had young players in place at several key positions and had embraced a youth movement on defense.

Now, the Redskins will be partly starting over.

A third offensive system in four years could slow Campbell's development. Some new wrinkles to the defense, even though Blache was on the Redskins staff, will require a transition, a theory that gets chucked if the Redskins opt for Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.

(Interlude: Yesterday's news puts Fassel back in play. He was involved in the Zorn wooing earlier in the week, and like Gibbs, he's offense-first so he would give the keys to Blache. Why would Spagnuolo be interested in the job since both of the coordinators are already on board?)

The past two-plus weeks not only ruined much of Coach Joe's labor, it should torque him off. Why should he, now in the vague role of "special advisor" care what the Redskins do now, after his opinions were ignored?

The franchise is now back in the same state of disarray Gibbs encountered four years ago, only with somewhat better talent on the roster.

On Jan. 8, Snyder used the word "continuity." Two assumptions were made: Williams would get the head coaching position, Saunders would continue as the offensive play-caller.

But clearly, the mix of Williams and Cerrato would have gone as well as peanut butter and potato chips.

Williams may not get another head coaching job after his four interviews turned into a pink slip.

For all his proclamations, Williams' defenses with Washington were units that could stop teams (three top-10 finishes) but couldn't create interceptions, sacks and touchdowns.

Blache has a difficult job.

The veterans have his respect, so that won't be a problem. But they could be due for a step back in 2008 — Carlos Rogers and Rocky McIntosh sustained serious knee injuries, Phillip Daniels and Cornelius Griffin will be a year older, and it will be the first full season without Sean Taylor. Another hole has been created by Williams' departure because it now will be shocking if cornerback Shawn Springs is back.

The biggest loss is Saunders.

Saunders came to the District with a sterling offensive reputation, but under his watch, the Redskins were 13th and 15th in yards and 20th and 18th in points.

Snyder turned sour on Saunders either late last season or midway through this season. But consider these facts: The franchise running back didn't play half of 2006. The team went with essentially a rookie quarterback in Week 11 of 2006 and worked through the inevitable growing pains. The Redskins didn't have a healthy Santana Moss or Antwaan Randle El until December 2007, and they lost the right side of the offensive line by Week 2.

The Redskins were an average offensive team this season despite their injuries. But Campbell showed flashes before being injured against Chicago, Chris Cooley was a Pro Bowl performer and Moss and Randle El returned to form down the stretch.

But now Campbell will spend March, April and May learning a new playbook instead of refining his on-field skills. Now the Redskins will have to deal with players who won't be as willing to rework their contracts.

Earlier this week, when told of Cerrato's promotion, an NFC executive couldn't stop laughing.

"It gives the rest of us a better shot," he said. "I'm sure the rest of the NFC East is breathing easier."

They are today, too.

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Re: Redskins fire defensive coordinator Williams

Postby deerayfan072 » Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:56 am

SniperShot wrote:Early indications are Fassel is all but a done deal for the Head Coach spot. Going to be announced shortly after the Super Bowl... That rumble you feel coming from DC when the new coach is announced will be fans banging their heads against the wall, me included.

Pretty much everything Gibbs worked for in the 4 years he was here was undone yesterday with the firing of Williams and Saunders. :-t


I totally agree. He came into turn it back around and he did. He had a great foundation in place and Snyder screwed it all up
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Re: Redskins fire defensive coordinator Williams

Postby mattb47 » Sun Jan 27, 2008 12:43 pm

Wow....just wow. Whoever grabs Saunders and Williams first is going to have some fantastic coordinators for next season....blows my mind how you can just outright fire two exceptional coordinators that really have been the key to improving this team in nearly every area and performing pretty well each season despite injury problems and everything else. That team is going to struggle mightily next season....
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Re: Redskins fire defensive coordinator Williams

Postby A Fleshner Fantasy » Sun Jan 27, 2008 3:43 pm

This is really going to hurt them in a number of ways. The thing people aren't mentioning is that not only have the fired them, but they've also chosen replacements, meaning whoever ends up being the head coach doesn't even get the personnel that he wants, but rather has to use the personnel that Snyder just hired.
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