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Payton: Gregg Williams made decision to leave


Former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams chose to leave to join his friend Jeff Fisher in St. Louis before the Saints ever tried to keep him, coach Sean Payton confirmed Tuesday.

Then again, it doesn’t sound like the Saints were aggressive in wanting to keep Williams.

Asked if the Saints ever offered Williams a contract, Payton responded: “We’re really putting the cart ahead of the horse. We never really got to that spot.”

The Saints let Williams’ contract run out in part because they weren’t sure if they wanted to keep him. Williams probably knew Fisher would coach again this season and wanted to keep his options open.

The way this Saints season ended made it an easier decision for everyone. But we believe Payton indicated, albeit vaguely, that he spoke with Williams about the decision last week before the Saints even played.

Payton was quick to thank Williams and point out he was a “big reason” for the team’s success over the last three years.

Payton wouldn’t comment on the search for the next coordinator. They could hire internally or look to the outside, like with Steve Spagnuolo or Mike Nolan.

“The real, real talented coaches come in all age groups and they come from all over.”

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33 Responses to “Payton: Gregg Williams made decision to leave”
  1. medtxpack says: Jan 17, 2012 2:35 PM

    9-7 next season.

  2. purp4lyfe says: Jan 17, 2012 2:35 PM

    Speaking of Peyton………Caldwell just got FIRED.

  3. roamingabriel says: Jan 17, 2012 2:40 PM

    This is a positive move for the Rams.

  4. thetooloftools says: Jan 17, 2012 2:41 PM

    Caldwell out in Indy !

  5. eaglesnoles05 says: Jan 17, 2012 2:42 PM

    Getting carved up unmerciful by Alex Smith’ll change a man…

  6. r8danation says: Jan 17, 2012 2:43 PM

    Who’s Gonna Run The Big D in The Big Easy?

  7. James Clark says: Jan 17, 2012 2:44 PM

    Albeit he wasn’t set to come back for sure, I couldn’t see the Saints not signing Williams to another contract at all. I understand he is good friends with Fisher and the Rams present a “challenge” for him, but why the backwards move? It’s not even lateral in my opinion. That’s like Philbin leaving Green Bay for the OC position in Kansas City.

  8. jkearse2005 says: Jan 17, 2012 2:44 PM

    Having Drew Brees makes a lot of coaches look good, hes been covering up an average defense for years

  9. kingbeason52 says: Jan 17, 2012 2:48 PM

    He left because he dosent wanna prepare for Cam Newton twice a year for the next ten years. Smart move..

  10. chadmurdigan says: Jan 17, 2012 2:51 PM

    This is good news for the Saints. Williams’ defensive goofs cost them the game against the 49ers.

  11. calwilliams06 says: Jan 17, 2012 2:56 PM

    If a team values you, they won’t let your contract expire.

  12. steeltuff says: Jan 17, 2012 2:56 PM

    Those two final drives by the Niners against his defense, makes me wonder why Fisher would even want Williams in St. Louis. Hey Jeff, if this “prevent” debacle happened after Brees got the Saints the lead, who’s to say it won’t happen again after Bradford gets the Rams the lead in a similar situation?

  13. turbodog1027 says: Jan 17, 2012 3:03 PM

    Thank God he’s gone. This offense made him look good. His defenses have sucked the last 2 years.
    Bring in Spags or Del Rio

  14. goawayeverybody says: Jan 17, 2012 3:06 PM

    I wish the Saints hadn’t let Dennis Allen go. My feeling is that he was a huge reason for the Saints’ success the first two years that Gregg Williams was the coordinator. After he left, the secondary just wasn’t the same at all.

  15. neovenator250 says: Jan 17, 2012 3:14 PM

    I’d love to see Spagnuolo come down to New Orleans. Hard to see Nolan fitting in, when he’ll undoubtedly want to run a 3-4. Doesn’t make sense to waste Drew Brees’ time transitioning.

  16. xxwhodatxx says: Jan 17, 2012 3:14 PM

    They didn’t offer him a contract,they were gonna replace him. The only way they might not have is off a SB win, and obviously thats not gonna happen mostly because of this tards decisions on Saturday.Good Riddance!!

  17. citizenstrange says: Jan 17, 2012 3:17 PM

    The Rams were 22nd in total team defense last year.

    The Saints were 24th.

  18. gridassassin says: Jan 17, 2012 3:26 PM

    This is the stars aligning…. Saints fans will blame Williams, but does he REALLY have that much talent to work with?

    And I think the Rams have more talent than the Saints – but the margin for error will be much less, as you don’t have a high flying offense moving the ball down the field repeatedly.

    So it’s the best move for both teams, and Williams. Lose the visor btw… you’re a grown man. #WhitePeopleFashionProblems

  19. melikefootball says: Jan 17, 2012 3:28 PM

    Maybe all wasn’t as party like in New orleans as thought.

  20. dexterismyhero says: Jan 17, 2012 3:30 PM

    Who Dat? hahaha

  21. paleandpasty says: Jan 17, 2012 3:35 PM

    Mike Nolan is still under contract with the Miami Dolphins. Nolan is not available so why does his name keep coming up.

  22. whodat67 says: Jan 17, 2012 3:36 PM

    He can geaux! How the hell you blitz and play man with a three point lead at the end of the game against an above average quarterback at best?! Spags! Come to the N.O.!!

  23. nineroutsider says: Jan 17, 2012 3:37 PM

    He left to figure out the enigma that is Alex Smith! It is his curse and destiny…

  24. ethanallenhawley says: Jan 17, 2012 3:56 PM

    The Saints were undone on Saturday in large part due to arrogance.

    You see it constantly on the offensive side in Payton/Carmichael’s playcalling. The interception by Brees in the 1st Q was pure hubris. “We’re smarter than everybody….they’ll never expect a bomb to A. Arrington!” Wrong. Well coached teams are ready for anything. Brees didn’t bother looking off the safety and the INT was inevitable.

    Same thing with Williams, blitzing his way over the cliff when all he really needed to do was check his ego at the door and put 2 guys on Vernon Davis.

    Payton is the head coach. It’s ultimately his failure for not calling off the dogs.

    As a Saints lifer, it’s time to dial it back and stop trying to look like geniuses. The real geniuses know their strengths and limitations, play to them and are still alive this weekend.

  25. wfmulder says: Jan 17, 2012 4:05 PM

    Nolan signed with Atlanta. So much for your under contract theory.

  26. nineroutsider says: Jan 17, 2012 4:09 PM

    wfmulder says: Jan 17, 2012 4:05 PM

    Nolan signed with Atlanta. So much for your under contract theory.
    Saints run a 4-3 defense, better to sign Spags. Converting from a 4-3 to a 3-4, in most cases, is a long annoying process. The Saints don’t need a rebuild, just a tune up. Spags is better for the Saints than Nolan.

  27. rajuncajun28 says: Jan 17, 2012 4:14 PM

    To all the burger flippers above whose teams did not make the playoffs…the Saints did not want Williams back, fact….the jealous haters comments are hillarious….Raiders, Rams, etc…really? You’re in position to talk smack…2 totally irrelevant teams…what a joke…

  28. jlinatl says: Jan 17, 2012 4:57 PM

    Every DC opening has the same names attached. It would be great to see an article naming the top def assistants that appear ready to make the step to DC.

  29. kbv510 says: Jan 17, 2012 6:31 PM

    Gregg Willimas is and was always an average DC. during his redskins regime, i noticed how much he sucked at playcalling and his prevent defense was so stagnant and plain sucked. I’m pretty sure the Saints would have let him go either way.

  30. rodjmaw says: Jan 17, 2012 8:03 PM

    What was GW thinking running a man coverage in the final minute of the game? A pee wee league’s coach would know to play a defense that would keep the reciever in front of you & tackle before they can get out of bounds. The touchdown was Shanle’s fault for giving him a easy release and harper fault for backing the F up & Vilma for his react and awareness (I could be wrong but that looklike the defense they used on megatron)

  31. daknight93 says: Jan 18, 2012 1:34 AM

    Gregg Williams and Sean Payton have egos and both just didn’t mesh together anymore…Greg Williams playcalling is always suspect in critical moments in a game…It was obvious he wasn’t going to get a new contract and after the debacle on last drive of game just made it much easier with Greg deciding to leave for Rams job…Saints didn’t want him back.

  32. djjasonpaul says: Jan 19, 2012 12:27 AM

    Gregs D wasn’t ever that good to begin with. His style leaves the DBs 10-15 yards off the ball almost every play! His over use of the blitz showed the backfield was thin and the linerbackers except for Dunbar and Vilma are more of back ups. We needed a better D and thank god we can start with a new for 2012! I am glad he is gone, now lets focus on getting Drew, Colston and Nicks signed for at least 3 years! Hopefully Drew will realize he has more then enough money to spend in a lifetime and winning championships is more important then a few extra million per year.

  33. Kajun says: Jan 19, 2012 1:13 AM

    “Gregg Williams and Sean Payton have egos and both just didn’t mesh together anymore”

    Yep and to think Sean reached into his own pocket to pay Williams to come to the SAINTS. Wonder if Sean thinks his investment was worth it, now??

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