Tag:Gregg Williams
Posted on: January 11, 2011 1:26 pm
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Dennison interviewing with Broncos, Williams out

Posted by Will Brinson

On Tuesday, Rick Dennison and Dirk Koetter will interview for the Broncos' head coaching position. Gregg Williams, however, will not, and he's pulled himself out of the running for the Denver job (even though Denver requested to interview him just yesterday).

That's according to Jeff Duncan of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, who noted that Williams would withdraw his name from consideration as a coaching candidate.

Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network cites a source who believes the Saints' loss to Seattle actually caused Williams to re-think his potential gains as a head coach elsewhere.

"He didn't feel like he could stand in front of the defense in a team meeting (Tuesday) morning and tell them the things they need to do to win another Super Bowl, and then board a plane to Denver," according to LaCanfora's source.

There's still a good chance that Williams gets another head coaching gig sometime in the future -- but the jokes about his resume taking a hit when the Seahawks bludgeoned his defense during the wild-card weekend perhaps weren't so funny after all.

Speculation is that Dennison, who spent his playing career with the Broncos and then served as offensive coordinator in Denver under Gary Kubiak before replacing Kyle Shanahan in Houston, could be the leader in the clubhouse following initial interviews with Denver, particularly because of his close ties with the organization.

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Posted on: January 10, 2011 1:30 pm
Edited on: January 10, 2011 2:06 pm
 

Broncos request to interview Gregg Williams

Posted by Andy Benoit

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton told reporters Monday that the Denver Broncos have formally requested to interview defensive coordinator Gregg Williams for their vacant head coaching position. The reqG. Williams (US Presswire)uest figures to be granted (otherwise why would Payton make it public?).

Despite his defense’s awful showing Saturday at Seattle, Williams figures to be on many teams’ head coaching radar. He has experience with the responsibilities from his days in Buffalo, and he’s crafted some of the best defensive schemes in football over the past 10 years.

Of course, Williams’ experience in Buffalo suggests that he may be one of those brilliant coaches who is at his best as an assistant (like Dick LeBeau, Norv Turner, Wade Phillips or Dom Capers, for example). Williams was 17-31 as Buffalo’s head coach and establish an unattractive reputation for being conservative.

Recall that the Redskins hired Williams with the intent of making him Joe Gibbs’ long-term replacement. That plan was eventually abandoned, though and Williams left the team in ’08. He did a fine job coordinating Jacksonville’s defense that year. In ’09, his legend took off when he won a Super Bowl as the handsomely-compensated defensive coordinator of the Saints.

The Broncos, unable to stop opposing offenses the past four seasons, figure to bring in a defensive-minded head coach. But often the best way to turn around a defense is to hire a great coordinator. Williams is just that. John Elway will soon gauge whether he thinks the man can make a great head coach.

UPDATE 2:05 p.m. ET: John Elway tweets that Williams will be at Dove Valley on Wednesday.

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Posted on: January 9, 2011 1:02 pm
Edited on: January 10, 2011 1:20 pm
 

Denver hires search firm, interviewing Fox Monday

Posted by Will Brinson

Despite being "let go" by the Carolina Panthers about a week ago, John Fox is a pretty hot name for openings around the NFL. And he'll be interviewing for one of those openings -- with the Denver Broncos -- on Monday.

Charley Casserly of CBS Sports reported on The NFL Today that Fox is among a number of candidates for the Broncos' job and that they've retained a search firm in order to help them narrow the list.

"First of all, they're going to take their time with the search," Casserly said. "Second thing is they've hired the executive search firm, Russell-Reynolds, to consult with John Elway and his staff throughout the process of hiring a coach."

That process involves cutting down the list of candidates which, according to Casserly, includes Eric Studesville (their current interim coach), Perry Fewell (Giants DC), Dirk Koetter (Jacksonville OC), Rick Dennison (Houston OC), Gregg Williams (New Orleans DC), Fox and Mike Mularkey.

Two interesting points about Mularkey and Fox -- Casserly reported that although Mularkey, who cancelled an earlier interview with the Broncos, is still in the mix because "both sides decided they will talk at a later time."



On Fox, Casserly reported that "he'll only get consideration for [the Broncos'] job if he's willing to take less money" than he got with the Panthers in 2010.

That's no huge surprise considering that Fox was, after all, let go. It's not often that you get a promotion simply for becoming unemployed.

Either way, though, it appears the Broncos are seeking a coach who's fine with letting Elway run the show from a personnel standpoint.

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Posted on: June 30, 2010 12:06 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2010 3:31 pm
 

Positional rankings: Safeties

As we wave goodbye to offseason news and as we wait for the regular season to begin – or, at the very least, training camp and the preseason – we fill our days with thoughts of the abstract, and we ponder questions that can never be truly answered. Who are the best players in the NFL at their position? What separates the top man at his spot from No. 4 and No. 5?

Well, we’re attempting to answer that in June and July. Andy and Josh will explore each position on the field and debate the merits and flaws
of each player. Clearly, it’s reasonable for smart men to disagree, and these arguments during the next few weeks will only reinforce that notion. Even as we watch film, talk to NFL insiders and conduct our own painstaking research, our top-five lists, though they’ll likely bear some similarities, will disagree. Which makes this whole endeavor worthwhile.   

Today, we debate the top safeties – both free safeties and strong safeties.


Andy Benoit’s top five

Troy Polamalu (Getty Images)
5. Nick Collins, Packers

4. Brian Dawkins, Broncos

3. Darren Sharper, Saints


2. Ed Reed, Ravens

1. Troy Polamalu, Steelers


The safety position has become the lynchpin to so many of the complex defensive schemes we see in today’s NFL. Versatility is key. On that note, Polamalu is the most valuable defensive player in the NFL. He is a thumper against the run, he has fantastic range in coverage and, wherever he is on the field, he’s a first-class playmaker.

Polamalu’s presence is what enables Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau to be aggressive in his scheme. We saw last season that when Polamalu is out of the lineup, the Steelers D can be reactionary.

Reed makes the list on the assumption that his bum hip won’t be a major issue come September. He may be the best centerfielder in NFL history. Sharper is an interception machine and, more importantly, a leader. Without his stability in the New Orleans’ secondary last season, we’d have a different defending Super Bowl champ right now. Dawkins turns 35 this season but hasn’t lost a step. Amazing. Collins has become a regular at the Pro Bowl. His instincts have improved every year, plus, he’s not a bad tackler.

Josh Katzowitz’s top five

5. Bob Sanders, Colts

4. Bernard Pollard, Texans

3. Brian Dawkins, Broncos

2. Ed Reed, Ravens

1. Troy Polamalu, Steelers



Well, it’s hard to argue against Polamalu. He’s the safety who scares every QB in the league, and you could really see the impact on his team when he was injured last season. The frenetic, sideline-to-sideline impact Polamalu made simply wasn’t there.

As long as Ed Reed is healthy and returns to play – he recently said he’s about 35 percent healthy, which doesn’t sound promising – he’s No. 2. Not much to be said about Dawkins – one of the top safeties in NFL history. Pollard flies under the radar because he spent his first couple years in the league with Kansas City and he hasn’t been a Pro Bowler, but he’s amassed 289 tackles in the past three seasons to go with four interceptions and three fumble recoveries in just 13 games last year. Was it coincidence that, when Pollard signed with Houston, the Texans’ total defensive yards and defensive rushing yards decreased dramatically? I don’t think so.

Sanders hasn’t played much the past few years because of knee and arm injuries, but, at the age of 29, he’s still in his prime and still has the talent that led him to two Pro Bowls and the 2007 NFL’s defensive player of the year honor. Yes, he’s not healthy very much, but when he is, he’s one of the top guys in the league. I like Nick Collins as well and I think his stock is rising, but I just don’t think he’s a top-five guy yet.

Andy’s rebuttal


I like that you went with Pollard – that shows you’re paying attention. Few people even know about the fifth-year pro. The Texans put Pollard in attack mode last season – as opposed to react mode that Kansas City stuck him in – and he blossomed. Pollard is a formidable run-stopper and underrated playmaker. I want to see him perform at a high level for a 16-game span before giving him the nod, though.

Shortly after writing my list, Texans tight end Owen Daniels told me in a phone interview that Sanders is the best opponent he’s faced. That made me regret not including the former Defensive Player of the Year. Honestly, I love the guy. But the fact of the matter is, Sanders is made of glass and the Colts were 14-2 without him last season.

Someone else we both need to consider is Saints strong safety Roman Harper. He’s the X-factor in Gregg Williams’ aggressive blitz scheme.

Josh’s final word


Yeah, I had reservations about Sanders, because he’s played eight games the past two years, and how can you call a guy a top-five safety when he’s played so little?

You’re right about Harper. The guy can flat-out tackle, he’s a force when he crosses the line of scrimmage and gets into his opponent’s offensive backfield, and he’s coming off a heck of a year.

It’s funny, though. Three guys on my list (Polamalu, Reed and Sanders) are coming off major injuries. Two guys on your list are at least 34 (Sharper and Dawkins), Reed is 31 and Polamalu is 29. Which tells us what exactly? I don’t know. Maybe they just don’t make Hall of Fame safeties like they used to, or maybe the younger safeties are just extremely mediocre. Either way, enjoy the safeties on our list for as long as they’re playing. Some of them won’t be around much longer.

--Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com