With defensive coordinator Gregg Williams suspended indefinitely and no other person holding the title even on an interim basis and with the Rams putting on the pads Sunday for the first time in the Jeff Fisher era, an important question remains.
Who’s running the defense?
The coaching staff has three men who have held the “defensive coordinator” title at the NFL level: Fisher, assistant head coach Dave McGinnis, and secondary coach Chuck Cecil.
But the defense being installed is the Gregg Williams defense. So who’s in best position to actually implement it?
It’s possibly linebackers coach Blake Williams. As in the son of Gregg Williams.
Linebacker James Laurinaitis recently explained that, to date, it’s been a committee approach when it comes to coaching the defense. But the only coach Laurinaitis mentioned by name was Blake Williams.
“A different [day] in practice it’ll be a different guy calling the plays,” Laurinaitis told 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland, via SportsRadioInterviews.com. “We have Blake Williams, Gregg Williams’ son, and he kind of grew up in this defense. It’s safe to say that on some of the modifications of Gregg Williams’ defense over the years has been because of Blake and his intelligence.”
And here’s where a cynic would wonder, as some in league circles have, whether Blake Williams will be serving as a surrogate for Gregg Williams in 2012. Yeah, Gregg Williams is suspended and he can’t talk to anyone from the team. But he surely can talk to his own son — and unless the league office will be monitoring those communications, Gregg Williams can share thoughts with his son regarding how his son is doing his job.
In theory, father and son also can get together from time to time. Dinner, for example, once or twice a week. Absent supervision from 345 Park Avenue, what’s to keep them from working to put together a game plan for the upcoming game?
We’re not saying it will happen. And we take no position on whether it would be justified by the league’s arguable overreaction to the Saints’ pay-for-performance system.
The point is that, with no one identified as the interim defensive coordinator and with the son of the defensive coordinator on the coaching staff, the Rams (if everyone is discreet) can still find a way to get the benefit of Gregg Williams’ insights, ideas, and strategies.