SUNDAY, 12:12pm: The Browns have made the hire official, and as Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal tweets, Jackson will allow Williams to bring his own assistants. Therefore, there will be changes on the defensive staff, and Ulrich adds (via Twitter) that Jackson is “not done” evaluating the staff as a whole, so other changes could be on the way. Jackson will, however, retain play-calling duties, as Ulrich tweets.
SATURDAY, 08:22pm: Gregg Williams will replace Ray Horton as the Browns’ defensive coordinator, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). The team recently extended an offer for the veteran DC to come in, and as a result, “wholesale changes” are coming to the Browns’ defense, per La Canfora.
The 58-year-old DC will transition from a Rams defense he helped elevate into one of the more formidable units in the game over the past three years to one that ranked as the No. 31 DVOA group during a horrendous Browns campaign.
Williams was reportedly open to staying in Los Angeles but understood that was unlikely after Jeff Fisher‘s departure. We heard earlier today Williams could bring some Rams assistants to northeast Ohio with him. He also might be bringing a new defense along. The Rams operated as a 4-3 defense during Williams’ years, and the Browns use a 3-4. Although, Cleveland isn’t exactly at the rebuilding stage where it couldn’t retool.
La Canfora confirms Williams plans to bring three or four coaches to with him to Cleveland, adding that Hue Jackson signed off on this change despite being close to Horton. The reporter adds Horton became unpopular on the personnel side of the organization.
Rebounding after the Bountygate scandal forced him off the sidelines for a year, Williams helped the Rams elevate into an upper-echelon defense this season despite one of the league’s worst offenses. The Browns boasted the league’s No. 27 defense in 2015 and 31st-ranked outfit this season, the latter coming after the organization made a change to go with a grass-roots rebuilding operation. That came after several recent rebuilds failed, but the Browns will have a proven DC around which to construct a stoppage corps in the near future.
This will be Williams’ seventh DC gig, with a three-year HC tenure with the Bills coming in between that lengthy run that dates back to running the Tennessee Oilers’ defense in 1997.
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