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Godspeed Gregg Williams. Don't %&*$# This Up.

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(play song)

Good morning Who Dat Nation! Lovely day, isn't it? I figure no better song sums up the feelings of Saints fans everywhere and when I thought about the concept of this post it immediately came to mind. It truly is a beautiful day because once again the Saints have given us all hope that next years team may actually be a sucessful one. The man pictured above represents a big change for the pitiful Saints defense. One that it desperately needs. Get a good look at his sitcom-dad good looks and hair that would make Jimmy Johnson jealous because he represents our last chance at putting together a winning football team.

If I'm really being honest however, I will admit that I am not as excited as the next Who Dat. For I am of the cautiously optimistic persuasion and have learned my lessons. I know I've said this many times over but it really can't be emphasized enough. We've all been through this before and we all know how it almost always ends. After the last two off-seasons I refuse to let my hopes skyrocket as they are wont to do. Am I the only person who finds the two "g's" in Gregg to be a bit ominous? Sure, the hiring of Williams looks very promising. But so did the acquisition of Jason David. So did the addition of Randall Gay. So did the trade for Shockey. But when trying to improve a defense are all of these individual transactions incomparable to the inevitable, all-encompassing influence that a new defensive coordinator brings? More simply, does a change in defensive coordinator have an impact much greater than that of any free agent acquisition, top draft choice or big time trade? Let's hope so. Until then I remain cautiously optimistic. For better or worse though, it's a new era in New Orleans Saints history.

Feel free to stop the song above. Or just let it play over...and over...and over and....

I have put together some facts, figures and information to help us all get better acquainted with our new defensive guru.

First is Gregg's coaching history, taken from the New Orleans Saints official website.

Team Years Position
Excelsior High School (MO) 1980-83 Assistant Coach
Belton High School (MO) 1984-87 Head Coach
University of Houston 1988-89 Graduate Assistant
Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans 1990-2000 Graduate Assistant, Special Teams Coach, Defensive Coordinator
Buffalo Bills 2001-2003 Head Coach
Washington Redskins 2004-2007 Defensive Coordinator
Jacksonville Jaguars 2008 Defensive Coordinator/Assistant Head Coach, Defense

And this is what the 2008 Jacksonville Jaguars media guide had written about Mr. Williams.

Gregg Williams was named defensive coordinator/assistant head coach, defense for the Jaguars on January 31, 2008.Williams is a veteran of 18 years in the NFL including three as a head coach.

In five of the last eight years, Williams'defenses have ranked in the top 10 in the league - including three top three's in the past five years - with three different teams.

Williams spent four seasons (2004-07) asassistant head coach/defensive coordinator with the Washington Redskins. From 2004-07, the Redskins ranked sixth in the NFL in defense (306.6), second in the NFC, and seventh in rushing defense (103.8). The Redskins allowed only 19.4 points per gameduring that span, the ninth-fewest in the NFL.

In 2005, the Redskins defense propelled the club to its first postseason appearance since 1999. The defense allowed only 11.7 points per game in the last six games. The defense finished ranked ninth in the NFL and sixth in the NFC. In his first season with the Redskins, Williams' unit ranked third in the NFL and first in the NFC. They also finished third against the rush and seventh against the pass in the NFL.

Before joining the Redskins, Williams spent three seasons as head coach of the Buffalo Bills. During his tenure in Buffalo, his defenses improved each of the three seasons.In 2003, the defense finished second in the NFL, improving from 15th in 2002 and 21st in 2001. Overall, the Bills' 2003 defensive and special teams units finished among the NFL's top-five teams in nine categories.

Williams spent 11 seasons with theTennessee organization (1990-2000), includingfour seasons as the defensive coordinatorfrom 1997-2000. He was hired in 1990 asa defensive quality control coach and was promoted to special teams coach in 1993.Before taking over as defensive coordinator, Williams spent three seasons (1994-96) as linebackers coach.

In 2000, the Titans' defensive unit led theNFL in total defense for the first time sincejoining the NFL and the 191 points allowedwere the third-fewest in the NFL since theleague adopted a 16-game schedule in 1978.The team also established the franchise' single-season records for sacks(55), fewest passingyards allowed(2,424) and fewest touchdowns allowed (17).The Titans ranked first in the NFL from 1999-2000 with 109 sacks.

Prior to joining the NFL coaching ranks,Williams served as a graduate assistant atthe University of Houston from 1988-89under former Oilers and Redskins headcoach Jack Pardee. From 1984-87, Williamswas the head coach at Belton (MO) HighSchool after beginning his coaching careeras an assistant coach at Excelsior Springs(MO) High School.

At each stop along the way, Williams has been heavily involved inthe community. Williams created the Gregg Williams Foundation, Inc.in 2004 to benefit the children in his hometown of Excelsior Springs, Mo. The foundation's host website is www.greggwilliamsfoundation.org. For the past fouryears, he has hosted the Gregg WilliamsTiger Golf Classic as well as a coaching clinic and seven-on-seven tournament with a lineman challenge with funds raised goingtowards the installment of new scoreboards for the high school gym, college scholarship programs, recreation parks, a practice field irrigation system and a newly formed Robotics Team within the school's science department.

Williams played quarterback and alsoplayed baseball at Northeast Missouri State where he earned a bachelor of science degree. He later earned his master's degreein education from Central Missouri State. Williams and his wife, Leigh Ann, have a daughter, Amy, and two sons, Blake and Chase.

Let's also take a quick look at some stats pertaining to the defenses that Gregg Williams has been in charge of. The most important stat you want to look at is the "Yds/Game" rank. Williams has had a top ten defense in three out of five seasons.

Team Yds / Game Yds / Play Rush Yds / Game Rush Yds / Play Pass Yds / Game Pass Yds / Play Int. Rate Sacks / Pass Att. First Downs / Game Punt Return Avg Kickoff Return Avg 3rd Down Pct 4th Down Pct Red Zone Pct Goal to Go% Points / Game Point Diff./ Game Yard Diff. / Game
2008-JAX 330.9 5.74 106.8 3.99 224.1 7.71 2.80% 6.24% 18.1 8.7 19.9 41.00% 45.45% 58.49% 67.65% 22.9 -4.1

-11.8

Rank 17 27 13t 13 24 30 15 16 11 12 3 22 11t 25 18 21 24 22

Team Yds / Game Yds / Play Rush Yds / Game Rush Yds / Play Pass Yds / Game Pass Yds / Play Int. Rate Sacks / Pass Att. First Downs / Game Punt Return Avg Kickoff Return Avg 3rd Down Pct 4th Down Pct Red Zone Pct Goal to Go% Points / Game Point Diff./ Game Yard Diff. / Game
2007-WAS 305.3 4.76 91.3 3.73 214.0 5.69 2.33% 5.48% 18.2 6.3 19.5 35.78% 58.82% 48.98% 67.86% 19.4 1.5 28.1
Rank 8 4 4 3 16 5 27 27 13 6 3 6 25 9 16 11 12 9

Team Yds / Game Yds / Play Rush Yds / Game Rush Yds / Play Pass Yds / Game Pass Yds / Play Int. Rate Sacks / Pass Att. First Downs / Game Punt Return Avg Kickoff Return Avg 3rd Down Pct 4th Down Pct Red Zone Pct Goal to Go% Points / Game Point Diff./ Game Yard Diff. / Game
2006-WAS 355.5 5.71 137.3 4.47 218.2 7.18 1.23% 3.91% 18.8 7.1 20.8 43.69% 66.67% 47.92% 72.00% 23.5 -4.3 -27.8
Rank 31 32 27 25 23 32 32 32 19 8 4 26 29 10 26t 27 24 23

Team Yds / Game Yds / Play Rush Yds / Game Rush Yds / Play Pass Yds / Game Pass Yds / Play Int. Rate Sacks / Pass Att. First Downs / Game Punt Return Avg Kickoff Return Avg 3rd Down Pct 4th Down Pct Red Zone Pct Goal to Go% Points / Game Point Diff./ Game Yard Diff. / Game
2005-WAS 297.9 4.86 105.4 4.10 192.6 5.76 2.99% 6.54% 16.1 4.7 20.9 36.49% 38.46% 45.95% 68.42% 18.3 4.1 32.6
Rank 9 10 13 21 10 3 17 21 3 2 6 11 12t 7 15t 9 11 9

Team Yds / Game Yds / Play Rush Yds / Game Rush Yds / Play Pass Yds / Game Pass Yds / Play Int. Rate Sacks / Pass Att. First Downs / Game Punt Return Avg Kickoff Return Avg 3rd Down Pct 4th Down Pct Red Zone Pct Goal to Go% Points / Game Point Diff./ Game Yard Diff. / Game
2004-WAS 267.6 4.40 81.5 3.11 186.1 5.78 3.50% 7.77% 15.7 11.2 21.5 30.97% 41.18% 51.35% 66.67% 16.6 -1.6 7.3
Rank 3 2 2 1 7 2 13 13 3 26 13 2 12 15 11t 5 19 14

This was the only YouTube video I could find of Gregg Williams. It's an interview from a local news station following the death of Sean Taylor, whom Williams coached.

And finally, here is all the rest of the linkage from around the net about the hiring.

Saints Agree to Hire Williams as Defensive Coordinator

Hiring Williams is Saints' boldest move since picking up Brees

Saints hire Gregg Williams to be defensive coordinator

Saints land new defensive weapon: Williams