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Thread: Bernie's Bytes

  1. #1
    VegasRam's Avatar
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    Bernie's Bytes

    Ram Bytes: Fisher's bizarre coaching carousel




    Bernie Miklasz bjmiklasz@post-dispatch.com




    Gregg Williams (left) and Jeff Fisher greet each other after an exhibition game in 2010. At the time, Williams was the Saints' defensive coordinator and Fisher was the Titans' head coach. (AP Photo)
    Enlarge Photo


    Gordon: Walton serves as Rams fall guy


    Fans love it when scapegoats go down. So they will celebrate the firing of Rams defensive coordinator Tim Walton and the hiring of Gregg Williams. Read more

    Can Williams make a good defense great?


    Hiring Bountygate ringleader Gregg Williams to replace defensive coordinator Tim Walton may signal a sense of urgency for Rams coach Jeff Fish… Read more

    Rams bring back Gregg Williams


    Walton fired as defensive coordinator. He's replaced by Williams, who was hired here in 2012 before being suspended for Bountygate scandal. Read more


    Related Links









    NEW YORK • At some point, you figure that Rams head coach Jeff Fisher will pick a defensive coordinator, get it right, and stay the course for a while.


    Maybe the second time will, as they say, be the charm.

    After firing defensive coordinator Tim Walton,who had the job only one season, Fisher is bringing back Gregg Williams.

    Actually, he is not bringing him back

    Williams was Fisher's original pick for the job when the Rams named Fisher head coach following the 2011 season.

    Yes, the same Gregg Williams who wasn't invited back to Rams Park after serving an NFL suspension during the entire 2012 season.

    This is curious to me as well - maybe thought it best to let things cool off.

    Yes, Gregg Williams, father of former Rams defensive assistant Blake Williams ... who was fired by Fisher after the '12 season.

    Apparently, deservedly so.

    After all of this _ after an obvious falling out _ Fisher and Williams are back to being BFF. Incredible.

    Obvious to whom - never read anything about it.

    Let's recap:

    Fisher's original hire was Gregg Williams, who was on the job at Rams Park and planning for the 2012 season when the NFL suspended him indefinitely for his leading role in the New Orleans Saints' "Bountygate" scandal.

    G. Williams was reinstated by the league after the 2012 season but the Rams didn't keep his old job open for him. And to top that off, Fisher fired G's son, Blake, who was the Rams' de facto defensive coordinator during the '12 season.



    Blake Williams didn't have the official title of defensive coordinator but essentially was entrusted to run the defense. He supposedly didn't work well with other coaches, and didn't always follow Fisher's suggestions _ blatantly ignoring the head coach's instructions at times. So Fisher sent the young Williams away.
    That led to a confusing job search that ended _ or so we thought _ when Rob Ryan was invited to St. Louis, was given a key to Rams Park, and spent several days with the team's defensive coaches. It was reported locally and nationally that Ryan would be named the new defensive coordinator ... but all of a sudden Ryan was on the way to New Orleans to take over the DC job there. Why didn't it work in St. Louis? It was a "bad fit," supposedly because Ryan likes to run a 3-4 defense, and Fisher strongly prefers a 4-3 alignment. Which made the Rams-Ryan dalliance odd to begin with.

    Why was the job search confusing? Although the end result seemed a bit strange to me as well.

    Next up: Walton, who had been coaching the Detroit Lions' secondary for head coach Jim Schwartz, a former Fisher associate. That didn't last long. Walton is bye-bye already.

    Semantics aside, that makes four defensive coordinators for Fisher in two seasons: G. Williams, B Williams, Ryan and Walton. And now that Fisher is recycling his original DC, that makes five in two years and a month.

    Semantcis aside? Really? How about "distorting facts/ construing things to reinforce my diatribe..."


    Um, interesting.

    It took a long time for Fisher to hire Walton, and it took a long time for Fisher to fire Walton. The Rams' season ended Dec. 29 and Fisher downplayed the possibility of making any coaching-staff changes.

    Until he made one.

    OK. And your point is?

    Gregg Williams became available when the Tennessee Titans made a coaching-regime change. Williams spent the '13 season there as a consultant.

    In a heartwarming turn of events _ except for the Walton Family _ Fisher and Williams have reunited.
    Blood brothers again.

    Life in the NFL, dude. Plus Walton gets paid for an extra year. If he's as good as you are inferring, he'll find work.

    I wish I knew the back story here. But I don't, at least not yet.

    Finally, Captain Obvious.

    But how long was Gregg Williams waiting in the wings?

    Williams blew his cover earlier this month when he attended a party at Mike Shannon's restaurant, hosted by Adam Wainwright, to salute retiring Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter. That was on Friday, Jan. 17. STLtoday.com posted some online photos of the event, and one included Williams.
    (And here's the photo, in case you missed it.)

    Blew his cover? Where was your story on that?

    When I saw the photo online I thought it was odd for Williams to be there, hanging out with Cardinals' people and local celebs. Was he living in the STL area? Did he just keep the house/condo that he purchased here when Fisher originally hired him? It's not as if Williams was sitting around St. Louis during the 2013 season. He was down in Nashville, assisting the Titans.

    Was something in the works? Is that why Williams suddenly popped up at Shannon's?

    Though Williams' presence at the event was curious, I didn't think it meant anything at the time ... Fisher indicated that he wasn't making any staff changes (of course he wasn't), and a few weeks had passed since the end of the Rams' season. At that point there was no reason to suspect that Williams was back in town, about to make a rather unusual return to Rams Park.

    All of this is very peculiar.

    Why?

    One question: can Rams' defensive players trust Gregg Williams? After all he named names of Saints people when he chose to cooperate with the NFL's investigation into Bountygate.

    Second and related question: after Fisher fired his son, how could Williams possibly come back to the Rams and be all buddy-buddy with Fisher? Dang, that is cold.

    Maybe Williams is aware his kid's kind of a d***.

    Third question: is Blake Williams coming back? Apparently not ... but with these folks who the hell knows? Heck, Tim Walton may be back in a few weeks. Just kidding about that. I think.

    Fourth question: Can Williams be an effective coach after being defanged by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in Bountygate?

    Semi-fair question, but sort of irrelevant.

    Fifth and related question: The Rams already were racking up the personal fouls and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties; now that Williams' special brand of motivational coaching is back in place, will the 2014 Rammers set a league record for most personal fouls?

    Think it's been demonstrated that Carolina, Seattle and SF may have had something to do with that, but it is a true statement - finally.

    Sixth question: any chance that Fisher makes offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer sleep with the fishes?

    Nothing to do with anything - although I wouldn't lose any sleep.

    The Gregg Williams' rehiring does makes sense in a significant way.

    Fisher and Williams go back a long time, and Fisher likes to keep things in his coaching "family."
    (Well, except for Blake.)

    Fisher has two longtime, loyal aides on his defensive staff: assistant head coach Dave McGinnis and secondary coach Chuck Cecil. Both are capable of running the defense. As is Fisher, who has a defensive background.

    And maybe that was part of the problem with Walton.

    It's got to be just a little tricky for a young defensive coach _ or an outsider _ to establish authority over the defense with Fisher and his loyal associates watching over his shoulder.

    And obviously that happened. And it probably a lot, even though Fisher denied a report (of course he did) that said he'd taken over the defense from Walton during the '13 season. There were, and are, a lot of bosses on the defensive side of the coaching staff. So maybe the only way this will work is if Fisher has a crony in place.

    I'm not defending Walton, who developed an inexplicable fondness for soft "off" coverage defense in which his cornerbacks lined up approximately 80 yards away from the opposing receivers. (Yes I exaggerate, but still.) The Rams' defense was burned for a completion rate of 68.1 percent, worst in the NFL. They also ranked last in the league by allowing 8.06 yards per passing attempt, and finished 24th with a 94.7 passer rating against them.

    The Rams allowed offenses to score 327 points in 2012, Fisher's first season. In 2013, they gave up the same number on defense: 327 points. The improvement wasn't there; if anything the team's young cornerbacks regressed.

    No, this isn't about whether Walton deserved to get sacked.

    If anything this termination reflects more poorly on Fisher than Walton, because Fisher made this hire _ choosing the relatively inexperienced Walton over more veteran, proven DC candidates.

    Please elaborate, or quote from a previous column the candidates you are referring to.

    And then Fisher rolled on Walton to bring back an old associate.

    I'm baffled by the frequent change and instability at such a crucial position on the staff.

    What frequent change?

    Before we found out that Gregg Williams was indeed returning, this is what I had written to end the Bytes:
    "Frankly, unless it's a Fisher crony, someone from his coaching "family" or a coach already on staff, I don't know why anyone from the outside would want to take the Rams' defensive coordinator post. It's not exactly a shelter for job security."

    Well, now we know.

    Fisher went with a crony.

    Fisher is keeping the job in his football family.

    I think this ois what absolutely pisses me off the most, and not directed solely at Bernie. Newsflash - EVERY head coach in the NFL brings in someone he knows - DUH!

    Maybe this time Gregg Williams will stay awhile.

    Thanks for reading ...

    -Bernie

    This rant is wrong on so many levels that I do not know where to start, and I'm on my way to a meeting: to be continued...

    This may be the most irritated I have ever been after reading a column - is it just me?
    Last edited by VegasRam; -01-30-2014 at 02:25 PM.

    "the Heart Lies and the Head Plays Tricks with us, but the Eyes See True".

  2. #2
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    Re: Bernie's Bytes

    Williams was the guy Fisher wanted all along. So now he has him. What's the big deal?

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    Re: Bernie's Bytes

    Bernie didn't agree.
    "I've been saving the Universe for over a thousand years. I figure it owes me just this once."

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    Re: Bernie's Bytes

    The way I see it...Walton did not deserve to get fired. but it's part of the business of the NFL. Fisher gave him an opportunity and he did not meet or surpass Fishers exceptions. What should Fisher or Rams fans settle for a player or a coach if we can get an upgrade? Clemens played well but he will be replaced. To say this reflects poorly on Fisher is sad, the same people saying this now would be the same people ripping Fisher next year if we don't make the playoffs.

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    Re: Bernie's Bytes

    Quote Originally Posted by BrokenWing View Post
    Bernie didn't agree.
    This was my thoughts while reading this article... Bernie is butt-hurt because he didn't get insider info that this was going to happen.

    gap

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    For a second, I thought that was a BernieM post.

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    Re: Bernie's Bytes

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    For a second, I thought that was a BernieM post.
    Wasn't a BernieM? Wait WHAT!!!!












    *rereads*

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    demiurge is offline Registered User
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    Re: Bernie's Bytes

    Walton has nothing to complain about. His D underperformed and the HC had to step in and help straighten it out. The Rams had the best pass rush in the league, and still managed to give up the highest completion rate in the league - 68.1%. That should NEVER happen.

    I'm glad Walton is gone. I'm a bit leary of Williams, but I know he won't let the Rams secondary suck as badly as they did last year, and he will let them play and put them in a position to make plays.
    live4ramin likes this.

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    Re: Bernie's Bytes

    [B]Ram Bytes: Fisher's bizarre coaching carousel[/B

    Blake Williams didn't have the official title of defensive coordinator but essentially was entrusted to run the defense. He supposedly didn't work well with other coaches, and didn't always follow Fisher's suggestions _ blatantly ignoring the head coach's instructions at times. So Fisher sent the young Williams away.
    Tthat is astonishing? A real mystery!

    One question: can Rams' defensive players trust Gregg Williams? After all he named names of Saints people when he chose to cooperate with the NFL's investigation into Bountygate.
    Of course. The league already had the goods - the horse was already out of the barn and far afield. Williams agreed to cooperate - it's not like he was the leader of a witch hunt.

    Second and related question: after Fisher fired his son, how could Williams possibly come back to the Rams and be all buddy-buddy with Fisher? Dang, that is cold.
    So - nevermind whats best for the team. Just be sure not to hurt anyone's feelings - clearly that should take precedence over all Fisher's executive decisions regarding team and coaching staff personnel.

    Fourth question: Can Williams be an effective coach after being defanged by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in Bountygate?
    De-fanged? Good lord! Gregg has arguably been an extremely effective coach throughout his career. Just because he must refine his actual verbiage, do you really believe he's going to forget all he's learned, and his ability to implement it? Gregg can simply say: "Hit em so hard they'll think twice about coming across the middle", instead of more graphic terms. Could it be that Fish brought this "crony" aboard, precisely because of his coaching genius, and ability to get his players to buy in and battle for him?

    Fifth and related question: The Rams already were racking up the personal fouls and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties; now that Williams' special brand of motivational coaching is back in place, will the 2014 Rammers set a league record for most personal fouls?
    If anything, Gregg will IMO be an asset in this area - particularly given the undisciplined behavior Rams displayed on multiple occasions in 2013. Williams will stress discipline. It's okay to get in opposing players heads - not through trash talking - rather by being focused, knowing and executing your assignments - if you make legal hits with bad intentions, that will get in a player's head far better than trash talking. If the players require proof, all Gregg need to is show the tape of the 2nd tussle vs the sqawks in Seattle. In the end, a disciplined team will usually perform better than a team with too many loose cannons.

    Before we found out that Gregg Williams was indeed returning, this is what I had written to end the Bytes:
    "Frankly, unless it's a Fisher crony, someone from his coaching "family" or a coach already on staff, I don't know why anyone from the outside would want to take the Rams' defensive coordinator post. It's not exactly a shelter for job security."
    Priceless! So Jeff's 1st priority when hiring coaches should be to assure them of job security. If one wants job security, one must earn it by means of one's performance. Make yourself invaluable to an employer, and you will have a great shot at job security.

    Bernie

    Quote Originally Posted by VegasRam View Post
    This rant is wrong on so many levels that I do not know where to start, and I'm on my way to a meeting: to be continued...

    This may be the most irritated I have ever been after reading a column - is it just me?

    Couldn't agree more!

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