Over the last year or so, Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak cut ties to the team that made Super Bowl XXXIV from his coaching staff.
Last month he fired special teams coach Alan Lowry, who conceived and called Home Run Throwback, the kickoff return that produced the Music City Miracle. A year earlier he let go secondary coach Marcus Robertson, who was a starting safety in 1999.
Thursday, Munchak reached back into the past for a significant addition.
Gregg Williams was named senior assistant/defense after having served a suspension of more than one year for his role in the New Orleans Saints’ so-called "Bountygate" program. The suspension was lifted Thursday.
Williams will be introduced formally at a 2:30 p.m. news conference.
“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,” Munchak said in a statement. “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.”
The Titans allowed more points than any other NFL team in 2012 and gave up more yards than all but five teams.
Only one change to the defensive staff was made since the end of the season. Former special teams assistant Chet Parlavecchio was promoted to linebackers coach in place of Frank Bush, who was fired.
Williams spent nine seasons with the Titans beginning in 1990, the last four as defensive coordinator. In his final season with the franchise Tennessee led the league in total defense and were second only to the Baltimore Ravens in points allowed.
He since has been head coach of the Buffalo Bills and defensive coordinator with three other franchises (Washington, Jacksonville and New Orleans). Four times in 12 years as a coordinator his defense has finished in the top 10 for fewest points allowed.
Former Titans coach Jeff Fisher hired him to run the defense at St. Louis last season, but he sat out the entire year because of the suspension. Other members of the Saints, including coach Sean Payton, also were suspended when it was determined they ran a program that offered financial incentives for causing injury to opposing players.
The NFL released the following in regard to Williams’ reinstatement:
“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 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.”