First, consider stopping by The Curly R and reading the latest of his multipiece epics in blogging. Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 are predictably solid and well researched posts that Ben should be proud of and you should have read by now.
Gregg Williams was supposed to have an interview two days ago but per RI it was moved to a 12 hour monster set for today. The Post said Saturday. I can't find a source that has him being interviewed today but RI did say this:
First, Gregg Williams represents continuity. Why? As (hat tip: Curly R) the Times points out, the success we experienced under Gibbs was unique to the Snyder era and just so happened to represent the most continuity of that same era. Was Dan paying attention? He says he was, emphasis mine:
"Incredible patience," Snyder said when asked what Gibbs taught him.
Patience never has been a word associated with Snyder, who rose from college dropout to billionaire in less than two decades.
"I don't think things have changed in what I'm looking for. Continuity, absolutely, is very important," Snyder said. "I like where we are. I'm very, very pleased with the players and coaching staff. We're in good shape."
2007 was the kind of season I can get behind supporting continuity. We made the playoffs which has happened rarely under Dan Snyder. We did so in spite of a number of injuries, the 4th most difficult schedule in the league per FO, and of course the death of Sean Taylor. The former two are easy to identify because they are simply crunched numbers or gathered data. There is no way to objectively quantify the effect the death of your team's best player can have, but observers the league over overwhelmingly recognized it as a tramatic experience for a team to deal with. We did so, and respectably. One day they will make a Disney movie out of it, because Dan Snyder will buy Disney and make them.
Second, although continuity is great, it doesn't matter if you don't have a qualified person available to carry over the continuity. For example, if there were a member of Spurrier's staff I'd have considered for the HC job, it would've been Marvin Lewis (at the time -- I've been convinced otherwise since then) and he belted for the Bengals in 2003 anyways. Gregg Williams joined the staff in 2004 and has been with the team, coaches, and players every moment since then. That is four complete seasons of picking and meddling and communicating with all the moving parts of an NFL franchise and thus represents the kind of continuity we're talking about above.
Is he qualified? Defensively there can be no doubt, here are his figures as defensive coordinator by traditional metrics, first yards, then points. Years immediately prior and immediately after his tenure are covered paranthetically:
(1998 Titans, someone else, although Gregg was the LB coach, 16th yards, 12th points)
1999 Titans 17th yards, 15th points
2000 Titans 1st yards, 2nd points -- to only the 2000 Baltimore Ravens who, incidentally, would win the SB with that defense and allow, I think, the fewest points of damn near any team in league history.
(Spurrier's 2003 Redskins 25th yards, 24th points)
2004 Redskins 3rd yards, 5th points
2005 Redskins 9th and 9th
2006 Redskins 31st and 27th
2007 8th yards, 11th points
FO ranks comparably. In 1998 prior to Gregg Williams taking over the defense in Tennessee, they were 28th in the league. In 1999 they jumped up to 18th, by 2000 they were 2nd to just that dominating Ravens defense of legend. In 2003, prior to Williams, Redskins were 27th defensively. They were 4th in '04, 4th in '05, a bad 32nd last year, but rebounded to 6th this year.
When all is said and done, it appears, as a Defensive Coordinator at least, that Gregg Williams is overwhelmingly good with one anomalous year in 2006. We were around to understand the severity of the horror that was our defense that year, but there were also some extenuating circumstances discussed at length elsewhere on this site. I'm not going to rehash that discussion but encourage you to do so; suffice to say, I am personally convinced that Gregg Williams understands defenses and that he makes a fine defensive coach. If you are yet convinced, consider reading his cheerleader bio at the Official Site which is well researched even if it would say good things.
Does that mean he'd make a Head Coach? Probably not, as I'm sure that there have been plenty of competent defensive coordinators who couldn't make the transition. Furthermore his record as HC was spotty at best, going 17-31 in his short three year tenure in Buffalo. What I will say in response to that, perhaps accepting the role of apologist, is that Gregg Williams would not be the first coach in history to succeed (if he were to do so) after a less than stellar first stint as head coach. Furthermore, it's not easy to win games with the likes of Alex Van Pelt, Rob Johnson, and an aging Drew Bledsoe. And that 2001-2003 stint isn't entirely without merit because those damned 2003 Bills were a fine defensive team, ranking 2nd in the league. (Remember, too, that his tenure happened to occur right in the midst of the historic run of the division rival Patriots, who won 34 games and 2 Super Bowls in those three years -- the AFC East produced three playoff teams in Gregg Williams first year: New England, Miami, and NY).
Murmur murmur murmur I'm of the opinion Gregg Williams has earned a 2nd shot at a head coaching job and that might as well be here. I'm rarely correct about anything, so maybe it's best we don't get Gregg, but don't let me be wrong without you going on record as having called me out. Post in the comments if you want somebody else.
Because you could get somebody else. Per Fanhouse: