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.”