The Rams officially have unveiled coach Jeff Fisher’s 20-member coaching staff. And the lengthy announcement makes no mention whatsoever regarding the status of defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.
The release explains that offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and assistant head coach Dave McGinnis previously had been named to the staff. Williams was, too, but Tuesday’s announcement says nothing about the fact that he was hired, that he has been suspended, or that he ever will be employed by the team in any status.
The good news for Williams (if there is any) is that the release doesn’t mention a defensive coordinator. Which implies that, as the team’s website indicates, he’s still the defensive coordinator, even though he has been suspended indefinitely by the NFL.
It has been presumed that Fisher will appoint an interim defensive coordinator, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if Fisher simply doesn’t have one for 2012. If Fisher intends to bring Williams back (assuming he’s reinstated in 2013), it will be easier to reintegrate Williams if he’s not bumping someone else (like McGinnis) out of the job.
The fact that the press releases declares that Fisher “finalizes” his coaching staff strongly suggests that Fisher has done all he plans to do, which means that there will indeed be no defensive coordinator in 2012.
Whether the Rams keep Williams in 2013 remains a much different issue. Fisher already has said that Williams wouldn’t have been hired if Fisher had known about the looming suspension. Now that Fisher and the Rams know about the suspension and the notorious audio from the night before a January 2012 playoff game, it’s somewhat surprising the Rams haven’t fired him.
UPDATE 4:21 p.m. ET: Rams spokesman Artis Twyman tells PFT via email that the defensive coordinator position is “vacant as of now,” but that may change before the start of the 2012 season.