Is Gregg Williams coming back to the NFL in 2013? According to some that's what Jeff Fisher and the St. Louis Rams seem to think. In fact, there are rumors that the Rams could be keeping the defensive coordinator spot vacant until Williams gets Roger Goodell's blessing to return to the coaching ranks.
Pro Football Weekly, who has been wrong about the Rams before, cited a source on Thursday claiming that very thing. From the PFW post:
"It's been a well-kept secret, which I think (head coach Jeff) Fisher is doing on purpose," one team insider said. "One reason is that, in Fisher's mind, he fully expects to have Williams back next season."
Another reason, so the story goes, is the role of linebackers coach Blake Williams, who has been a de facto defensive coordinator, while assistant head coach Dave McGinnis maintains a broader role with the team and Chuck Cecil sticks to the defensive backs.
Williams has been praised for his work with the team, most recently by Peter King in his Monday Morning Quarterback column this week.
It makes sense that the younger Williams would be handling those chores. As the linebackers coach, he works closely with James Laurinaitis who quarterbacks the defense. He also worked for his father in New Orleans and understands the defensive system which still resembles some of what the elder Williams used (though I hope they don't blitz like the Saints did).
The younger Williams could take over as the team's defensive coordinator too, getting an audition this year in his father's absence. That, the PFW piece speculates, could also be why the team is keeping a tight lid on Blake Williams. Think about it. Not even Peter King was granted an interview with him.
This is not the first time I've heard this whispered, and Fisher's spot on the NFL's competition committee is a notable connection in this whole thing.
Gregg Williams will first have to make it back from the jungles of Southeast Asia if he's going to coach again in 2013.