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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell encouraged St. Louis Rams to hire Gregg Williams

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(USA Today Sports Images)

St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher did not need a list of references from Gregg Williams before officially hiring him earlier this week, but received an unexpected endorsement.

Williams was slated to join St. Louis’ coaching staff in 2012. However, he was suspended for one season by the NFL because of his role in the Saints’ bounty scandal. He was reinstated last year, and spent last season as a senior assistant/defense with the Tennessee Titans.

Prior to hiring Williams as a defensive coordinator, Fisher spoke with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Goodell did not express any hesitation about Williams regaining a position of power in the NFL.

"Reached out to Gregg in late January," Fisher said (via the team’s website). "We spent several days together discussing the past, putting the past behind us, discussing the present, the future, and the direction we wanted to go with our defense.

"I also had a conversation with the commissioner, who not only endorsed Gregg, but also felt that Gregg would be a good move for this organization. Gregg and I came to terms with a lot of things. We worked out an agreement."

While most people are familiar with Williams because of the negative incident in New Orleans, he previously was on Fisher’s staff with the Titans/Oilers, including four as a defensive coordinator.

In addition, Williams is a Missouri native who played quarterback at Northeast Missouri State, and expressed excitement about returning to his home state.

"I’ve always thought that this was a possibility (to coach in St. Louis)," Williams said (via the team's website). "I always thought this was a great place to be. This is a great league we have a chance to work in. I’m very blessed and honored to get a chance to work every single day in the National Football League."

Goodell agrees.

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Anwar S Richardson is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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