|Could Jeff Fisher and Gregg Williams join forces in 2012? (Getty Images)|
By Ryan Wilson
Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is known for his aggressive, blitz-happy style and it's served New Orleans well in recent years (also helping: having Drew Brees on the other side of the ball dropping 400 yards a game on helpless opponents). But Williams has been an NFL coach for more than two decades, getting his start with the Houston Oilers in 1990. He coached under Buddy Ryan during that time, and became the Titans' defensive coordinator in 1997, four seasons into Jeff Fisher's tenure.
Williams and Fisher's paths have diverged in the years since; the former was the Bills' head coach from 2001-03, the Redskins defensive coordinator under Joe Gibbs (2004-07), the Jags' DC (2008), before landing in New Orleans in 2009. The latter coached the Titans through 2010, took 2011 off and now looks to be a prime candidate for either the Rams or Dolphins gig in '12.
And when Fisher returns, he could be interested in bringing Williams with him. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, "many around the league" will leave New Orleans after the season and -- to borrow a phrase -- join forces with Fisher. The two helped lead the Titans to Super Bowl XXXIV in January 2000, a 23-16 loss to the "Greatest Show on Turf" Rams.
Meanwhile, sources tell CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman that it's "95 percent certain" that Fisher is headed to St. Louis.
More corroboration: FoxSports.com's Jay Glazer reported during Sunday's pregame show that the Dolphins have moved on from Fisher, presumably because they think he's leaning towards taking the St. Louis gig. (Glazer tweets: "I'd be shocked if Fisher isn't Rams new coach in next 48 hours. He's at Rams complex mtg w Bradford and others.")
Then there's this: "Unless something didn't work for the Rams or for Jeff when they met Thursday, it was always planned that there would be a follow-up in St. Louis," a source very close to Fisher told the St. Louis Post-Distpatch's Jim Thomas. Like Glazer, Thomas thinks that "Fisher wouldn't be visiting Rams Park on Sunday if he wasn't seriously considering becoming the next head coach of the St. Louis Rams."
More details via Thomas:
In interviews with Miami and St. Louis, Fisher did a lot of listening. He wanted to get a sense of each owner's vision for the franchise, but also check on more mundane matters as well.As for the Dolphins, other candidates they might now be interested in include Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, Packer offensive coordinator Joe Philbin, and Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey.
Fisher went into both meetings with a checklist of all the non-economic things important to him, seeking to get those answered to his — and the club's — satisfaction. …The idea was to avoid any remorse or misunderstanding once the parties started discussing financial terms.
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