Sunday, January 8, 2017

Gregg Williams Hired As Browns Defensive Coordinator

By Katelin Marshall, @KatelinKnowsCLE

After a dismal 1-15 season, the Cleveland Browns decided to make some changes. They have relieved defensive coordinator Ray Horton of his duty. Horton was in his second stint with the Browns (2013 under Rob Chudzinski). Horton's defense this past season struggled. They ranked 31st in yards per game (392), 21st pass defense (249 yards per game) and 31st against the run (142 yards per game). The defense also only forced 16 turnovers and set the record for most consecutive games giving up 25 or more points to start a season.

The Browns are replacing Horton with Rams' defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Williams has been a defensive coordinator for most of his career (1997-2000 Titans, 2004-2007 Redskins, 2008 Jacksonville, 2009-2011 Saints (where he won a Super Bowl in 2009), 2012, 2014-2016 Rams. And was a head coach once from 2001-2003 with the Bills. This past season the Rams' had the ninth best defense only giving up 337 yards per game.

The main difference between Horton and Williams is defensive scheme. Horton runs an aggressive
3-4 defense (three lineman four linebackers) but Williams runs a 4-3 (four linemen three linebackers). The change to the 4-3 should help the Browns going forward especially since the Browns have the number one overall pick in the draft and could potentially take Myles Garrett who is a 4-3 defensive pass rusher.

Per Mike Silver of NFL network: Hue Jackson wanted Williams because "he can adapt scheme to fit talents of his players."

Williams was part of the Bounty Gate controversy involving the Saints during his tenure. Bounty gate was a "pay for performance" program where members of the Saints would put out bounties on opposing players and claim the bounty when they injured the player. It was also alleged that Williams had the same "bounty" programs during his time with the Redskins, Bills, and Titans.

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