Rams fire DC Walton, hire Gregg Williams

1/29/14 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

The St. Louis Rams were expected to have a pretty strong defense in 2013 after boasting the 14th ranked unit the previous year. With a number of young studs on that side of the ball, one would have thought that the defense would improve and potentially rank in the top 10.

The Rams, however, struggled badly on defense out of the gate. Through the first seven games of the season, the team gave up averages of 373.4 yards and 26.3 points per game. They were able to turn it around in the second half, however, giving up averages of just 322.9 yards and 20.0 points over their final nine games.

Tim Walton was the team's defensive coordinator, but after struggling through the first half of the season, head coach Jeff Fisher and assistant head coach Dave McGinnis began taking on larger roles on the defensive side of the coaching staff. They were able to capitalize on the unit's talent much better than Walton was, and as a result, Walton has been fired by the Rams.

It is an interesting development, as most coaches and coordinators on the hot seat have had their futures decided by now, but the move makes sense nonetheless. Walton comes from a defensive backs coaching background, but the secondary was the Rams' biggest weakness on defense. The defensive line was the only group that consistently played well for St. Louis.

Blog Photo - Rams fire DC Walton, hire Gregg WilliamsWhile most of the big-name coordinators are off the market already, the Rams are reportedly set to hire a notorious defensive coordinator to replace Walton - Gregg Williams.

Once hired as the Rams' defensive coordinator back in 2012, Williams was not able to take the position on the heels of his suspension for the bounty scandal in New Orleans. Reinstated prior to the 2013 season, Williams took a job as a defensive assistant with the Tennessee Titans and essentially ran their defense. After ranking 32nd in points and 27th in yards in 2012, Williams helped the Titans' defense improve to 16th in points and 14th in yards in 2013.

Williams will bring in blitz-heavy 4-3 scheme, which works well considering the Rams' personnel. Defensive ends Robert Quinn and Chris Long are arguably the team's two best defensive players, and they are clearly best suited as 4-3 defensive ends.

A longtime buddy of Jeff Fisher, Williams' aggressive play calling should help the Rams capitalize on their defensive talent. It's a strong hire, especially this far after the conclusion of the regular season.
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1/29/14   |   Scott   |   54783 respect

Greg Williams will give the Rams defense the one thing they have been lacking...an identity