One year ago, Blake Williams served as the St. Louis Rams' linebackers coach, ostensibly in the service of his father, Gregg, who was supposed to have been the Rams' defensive coordinator.
Then, a couple things happened. Gregg was suspended indefinitely in the New Orleans Saints' BountyGate scandal, and Blake stepped up to help head coach Jeff Fisher run a defense that performed surprisingly well, finishing seventh overall in Football Outsiders' opponent-adjusted metrics, eighth against the pass, and 10th against the run. Despite that, the younger Williams was fired in January of this year.
Why? Cue the scoop from Y! Sports' own Mike Silver:
Blake Williams, according to the source, was fired in part because of a brusque, tactless style in dealing with colleagues and players...
— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) January 2, 2013
Hmmm. In an industry where a high percentage of assistant coaches (especially defensive assistant coaches) can be brusque and tactless on their best days, that was some interesting reasoning. Especially for a tough guy like Fisher. More revealing was that Blake Williams was apparently unable to find employment elsewhere in the NFL, even when his father was re-instated by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and hired by the Tennessee Titans in February.
So, where did Blake Williams wind up? According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, he was recently hired as a defensive consultant for the William Jewell College Cardinals in Liberty, Mo. It's a school that moved on up from NAIA to Division II status last season, and was apparently looking for a big name to go with that big move. Williams will be coaching linebackers and helping with the game plans for a program that was apparently the NAIA's winningest football team during its time there.
“Coach Williams and I have known each other well for quite some time, and I am excited to blend his knowledge and expertise with our team," the team's coach Jerod Kruse said earlier this week in a statement.
William Jewell College is a liberal arts school, with an undergraduate population of 1,100, according to Wikipedia. It was founded in 1849 by civic leaders and members of the Missouri Baptist Convention -- including Robert S. James, a minister who was the father of Frank and Jesse James.
Which, we suppose, would be entirely appropriate in this case.