How much faith do the Tennessee Titans have in Gregg Williams? Apparently a lot.
It’s no secret that the team performed poorly on both sides of the ball in their 2012 campaign, but the defense did rank much lower than the offense, along with allowing a franchise record 471 points. Outside of bringing in safeties George Wilson and Bernard Pollard, along with mammoth defensive lineman Sammie Lee Hill, the Titans have done little to address the defensive side of the ball.
It was widely assumed that the rest of the defensive personnel needs would be met through the draft. With the 10th and 40th pick in the draft, not to mention a bevy of other picks to move around with, the Titans had a great opportunity to get a top rated defensive lineman as well as corner or safety. Instead they elected to continue and upgrade the offense and picked guard and wide receiver with their first two selections.
Let’s go back in time and look at an even bigger surprise when defensive coordinator Jerry Gray was able to keep his job. With Chris Palmer losing his job mid season, it was widely speculated that Gray would lose his job once the season was over. Head coach Mike Munchak made a point of saying that there would be no replacements anywhere on the staff unless there was a better option available. Apparently they never found one. Gray can’t be blamed for blown assignments and missed tackles, but he can be blamed for a lot of the play calling and for misplacing players (Michael Griffin).
The Titans have lately brought in defensive end free agents Israel Idonije and John Abraham along with cornerback Jason Allen. While they are still looking to upgrade at any spot possible, the bulk of their personnel moves are done with.
When the Titans elected to retain Gray, it sent a message that the problem resided on the personnel side of the defense and less on the coaching. Now the Titans have followed that up with a relative lack of attention to the players on that side of the ball. So which is it? Coaches or players? What’s the fix?
Enter Gregg Williams.
The amount of control that Williams will have over the defensive is yet to be seen. Jerry Gray will still be calling the plays, but it’s my assumption that Gregg Williams will have a lot more say in what those plays are to begin with. His presence and comments in the meeting rooms and on the sideline will go a long way as well.
Let’s remember, this isn’t a defense that just needed a little tweaking. They set a franchise record in points allowed. And outside of George Wilson and Bernard Pollard, it seems the Titans believe Gregg Williams is the fix.
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