NFL reinstates Gregg Williams, who officially joins the Titans coaching staff

Brian McIntyre
Shutdown Corner

Former New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has been reinstated from his indefinite suspension and has officially joined the Tennessee Titans as a senior assistant/defense on Mike Munchak's coaching staff, the Titans announced on Thursday.

"Commissioner Roger Goodell today notified Gregg Williams and the Tennessee Titans that Williams’ contract with the Titans has been approved and that he has been reinstated," the NFL announced in a statement posted on the Titans' official website. "The commissioner cited several reasons for the reinstatement, including Williams’ forthcoming acknowledgement of and acceptance of responsibility for his role in the bounty program at the Saints, his commitment to never again be involved in a pay-for-performance or bounty system, and his pledge to teach safe play and respect for the rules at all levels of the game.

"The commissioner emphasized that Williams must fully conform to league rules and will be subject to periodic monitoring to confirm his compliance."

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Williams was the Saints' defensive coordinator from 2009-11. The league concluded that the Saints were operating an illegal bounty program during that time, a system that continued even after being directed by ownership to bring it to an end. In the wake of Williams' suspension, an audio tape surfaced of Williams instructing his players to target specific body parts of San Francisco 49ers the night before a 2011 divisional playoff game. There were reports last offseason of Williams overseeing similar bounty programs with the Buffalo Bills, where he was head coach from 2001-03, and Washington Redskins, where he served as defensive coordinator from 2004-07.

Prior to his suspension, Williams had left the Saints to become the defensive coordinator on Jeff Fisher's inaugural staff with the St. Louis Rams. Williams began his NFL coaching career with the Titans in 1990 and was on Fisher's defensive coordinator from 1997-2000.

Williams has a close relationship with Munchak and him joining the Titans' staff has been expected to occur once he was reinstated by the NFL.

"I have known Gregg for over two decades and have seen him work his way up from a quality control coach to a head coach," said Munchak. "He will bring a great deal of defensive knowledge and energy to our staff. The decision to bring him here only came after going through a thoughtful and thorough process."

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