The Jets hired Gregg Williams as their new defensive coordinator recently, which in terms of his background is both promising and controversial. Williams had previously worked in Cleveland, whose defense had some surprising fantasy value last season. But he's probably best known for his work with the Saints, and the BountyGate controversy.
Adam Gase says Williams has done his time for that misstep, when he ran a bounty fund with the Saints that paid players for injuring opponents. Williams served a year suspension at the time. But it seems like Gase maybe should be a little more concerned -- not specifically because of the Williams hire, but by the team's hiring moves since then.
The Jets rounded out their coaching staff yesterday with another former Saint defensive coach, Joe Vitt. Gase is familiar with Vitt, who happens to be his father-in-law. Presumably he also recalls that Vitt and Williams testified against each other during the BountyGate appeals. Fun coaches room!
If bygones are bygones in that regard, the Williams hire could be good for the Jets defense, at least in fantasy terms. Specifically fumble recoveries. Last year the Browns tied for 1st in the league with 14 fumble recoveries, helping them rank 2nd in takeaways (31). The Jets had half as many fumble recoveries (7), more than only eight teams. They were tied for 16th in takeaways.
|DEFENSIVE TAKEAWAYS, 2018|
If things go sour with the Vitt-Williams relationship, at least one other defensive assistant should have Williams' back -- another new hire, Blake Williams, Gregg's son. Reportedly Gase didn't want to hire him, but agreed to when his new defensive coordinator was upset. So both guys have a family member on staff. Not saying they're not qualified, but....
It's going to be an interesting season on the sidelines for the Jets.