Former Washington assistant head coach Gregg Williams doesn’t bear a grudge towards Dan Snyder for firing him instead of promoting him two years ago next month, saying that he and the Redskins’ owner are still “very good friends.”
Speaking at length for the first time about what transpired after Joe Gibbs’ January 2008 retirement, the unbeaten Saints’ new defensive coordinator told New Orleans media on Friday that he was never led to believe he would succeed the Hall of Fame coach.
“No, at no point in time did I think about those type of things,” Williams said. “I’ve got a strong personality and he owns the team. It’s OK. Dan and I are still very good friends. Dan treated my family so well. He treated me well when I was there. We are still really good friends. I really enjoyed being around him. He’s very intelligent and very aggressive in his thinking, proactive in what he wants done.”
Williams became Jacksonville’s coordinator after being dismissed by Snyder despite running a top 10 defense during three of his four seasons in Washington.
Williams, who came to Washington after being let go as Buffalo’s coach, said Friday that such ousters are the nature of working in the high-pressure world of the NFL.
“No, it really wasn’t,” Williams said when asked if his departure from the Redskins was a difficult period. “I wouldn’t have the chance to be here if it wasn’t that type of opportunity.”
Williams said “there is no emotion” as he prepares to face his former team for the first time, not counting a preseason game while he was with the Jaguars.
Williams added that he turned down four chances to be a head coach after the 2005 season — with Houston, Kansas City, Minnesota and St. Louis — to remain in Washington so that his daughter could finish high school in Loudoun County. He still owns “my favorite home ever” in Leesburg so that youngest son, Chase, a star linebacker who’s headed to Virginia Tech next year, could do the same.
— David Elfin
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