Originally posted on Fox Sports Midwest  |  Last updated 3/23/12
In the wake of the indefinite suspension of defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, Rams coach Jeff Fisher said he wasn't aware of the NFL investigation involving Williams and wouldn't have hired him if he had known. Williams was suspended indefinitely by the NFL effective immediately for his role in the bounty program with the New Orleans Saints from 2009-2011. Williams will miss at least the 2012 season and commissioner Roger Goodell "will review Williams' status at the conclusion of the 2012 season and consider whether to reinstate him, and, if so, on what terms." Fisher did not commit to bringing Williams back when and if he is reinstated. He said, "We'll cross that bridge when we come to it. As I said, I hired Gregg because of his ability. He's very, very talented and wherever he has been, he has put top defenses up year after year. I also want to note that this organization, including myself, had no idea when we hired coach Williams, the potential for this to happen "I've often been asked behind the scenes, 'Had you known about it would you have hired him?' Of course not. You don't go out and hire somebody that's going to potentially be suspended for an entire year. However, I know Gregg and I know him well; Gregg would not have put this organization in this position, accepted this job only to be suspended and put us behind the eight ball if you will. So, it's the National Football League. At times you have to adjust and our staff is prepared to adjust." Asked how Williams took the news, Fisher said, "Certainly, the last few weeks have not been easy on him, anticipating the decision by the commissioner because he really didn't know what to expect. Yes, I would say he was somewhat surprised, shocked, disappointed, but also remorseful. He said, 'Look, Jeff, I made a mistake. And if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't have done that.'" In a statement, Williams said, "I'd like to again apologize wholeheartedly to the NFL, Coach Fisher, the entire Rams organization and all football fans for my actions. Furthermore, I apologize to the players of the NFL for my involvement as it is not a true reflection of my values as a father or coach, nor is it reflective of the great respect I have for this game and its core principle of sportsmanship. I accept full responsibility for my actions. I highly value the 23 years that I've spent in the NFL. "I will continue to cooperate fully with the league and its investigation and I will focus my energies on serving as an advocate for both player safety and sportsmanship. I will do everything possible to re-earn the respect of my colleagues, the NFL and its players in hopes of returning to coaching in the future." Moving forward, Fisher said he will not hire a new defensive coordinator and that coaching the defense will "most likely be a "collective effort." Fisher, assistant head coach Dave McGinnis and secondary coach Chuck Cecil have all been defensive coordinators. Fisher said, "I'll remind you that the playbook that Gregg has originated in my office, so I have a pretty good feel for the defense. At this point, I don't have liberty to say who is going to make the calls and the decisions, but it'll get done and it'll get done effectively. "Again, we've got very talented coaches on this staff and we'll get the job done. I've got confidence in them, I've worked with them. I know what they're about, and so we'll get it done. This is a defense that's very intellectually challenging and we'll get the job done. We'll get the playbook and the scheme across to the players and they'll be successful in it."
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