2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Williams putting stamp on Rams' defense

    2014-06-17 18:41

(Eds: Updates. With AP Photos.)
By R.B. FALLSTROM
AP Sports Writer

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Gregg Williams kept saying how much fun he was having, how happy he was to be coaching in his home state, how great players have responded to his high-decibel leadership.

The 91-degree heat that pushed St. Louis Rams players Tuesday gave their new defensive coordinator even more reason to smile.

''You need this,'' Williams said. ''We're going to wish for mild days like this once we get into August in the Midwest.''

The 55-year-old Williams is well into his second stint with coach Jeff Fisher and he's been a vocal presence at workouts the last two weeks. Players, especially the rookies, don't want to get him riled.

''You need someone that is going to help you chase perfection, knowing that it will never be caught but in the process excellence will be achieved,'' said cornerback Lamarcus Joyner, a second-round pick from Florida State's national title team.

''You need people like that in the driver's seat.''

Williams was much more subdued last season when he returned from a one-year suspension as a senior defensive assistant with the Titans. The job description with the Rams restores the voice.

Williams is his own man, announcing the day he was hired that practices would be different. Within the rules of course, he cultivates the image of outlier.

Reporters were told the rest of the coaching staff had to feel some relief when players arrived earlier this month and he'd move on to ''stressing'' someone else. He was sure outside linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar, who played for him at Tennessee, would assure newcomers that ''I'm not as crazy as everybody thinks I am.''

Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer said Williams is ''very creative'' on play-calling out of fronts that look the same before the ball is snapped. But not a wild man, no.

''I don't think so,'' Schottenheimer said. ''I think he's a great football coach.''

Fisher wanted Williams back to put his stamp on a defense the franchise has stocked largely with first-round draft picks and high-dollar free agents. The Rams had one of the NFL's best pass rushes last year but fell short of expectations on defense overall.

''He's the main voice in the room,'' Fisher said. ''You can see the change, you can see the energy. I've had to back him down just a little bit.''

It's tougher to evaluate players when they're not wearing pads and not hitting.

''Pads are the great equalizer,'' middle linebacker James Laurinaitis said.

Williams has compensated by making them think on the fly and barking orders and admonishments from the sideline. He believes a good practice should be ''organized chaos,'' with wrinkles thrown in to keep everybody on their toes.

''We constantly are throwing things out at them that we don't even talk about in meetings,'' Williams said. ''Everybody can con themselves through relaxed states of mind. But you can't fake stress, and that's what the games are.''

Training camp isn't until late July, and Williams is already raring to go, ready to lead the Rams into it. Getting forced to the sidelines in 2012 remains a driving force.

''There's definitely a culture shock,'' Laurinaitis said. ''He demands your all-out effort.''

Williams arrived at Rams Park with a list of 101 things to do. With two OTAs remaining, he was proud to say every box had already been checked.

''This is fun. Last year was really good and this year will be really better,'' Williams said. ''There's a lot to get caught up and the buck stops with me.''

---

Online:

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Mike CampanaroAug 28 09:13a

Baltimore Ravens WR Michael Campanaro remains in the mix for a spot on the 53-man roster. If the team elects to keep just five receivers, he would be competing [ More ]

D. Heyward-BeyAug 28 09:10a

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Darrius Heyward-Bey appears to be in good shape for a roster spot, as the team will likely keep six receivers on the 53-man roster. WRs Antonio [ More ]

Cam NewtonAug 28 12:53a

Updating a previous report, Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (ribs) said Wednesday, Aug. 27, that he will be ready for the regular season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers [ More ]

Frankie HammondAug 27 10:42p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Frankie Hammond Jr. is likely to start in place of suspended WR Dwayne Bowe in Week 1.

Derek CarrAug 27 10:40p

Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr appears firmly entrenched as the primary backup quarterback behind starter QB Matt Schaub (elbow), even though QB Matt McGloin has posted the best numbers of the preseason.

Wes WelkerAug 27 10:31p

Denver Broncos WR Wes Welker (concussion) made another positive step Tuesday, Aug. 26, in his recovery from another concussion, according to head coach John Fox. Welker has still not [ More ]

Matt SchaubAug 27 10:23p

Oakland Raiders QB Matt Schaub (elbow) will be the team's starting quarterback in Week 1 against the New York Jets assuming his elbow is better and he can get [ More ]

Timothy WrightAug 27 10:23p

The New England Patriots really like TE Timothy Wright, acquired from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for OL Logan Mankins. NFL.com's Ian Rapoport even considers him as the team's 'new' [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIAug 27 09:43p

Washington Redskins QBs Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins aren't involved in any kind of quarterback controversy, according to head coach Jay Gruden. The first-team offense has yet to [ More ]

Nate FreeseAug 27 09:27p

Detroit Lions PK Nate Freese has won the kicker job, because the team has released PK Giorgio Tavecchio.

Kory SheetsAug 27 06:53p

Oakland Raiders FS Larry Asante (undisclosed), WR Greg Jenkins (undisclosed) and RB Kory Sheets (undisclosed) all were placed on the team's Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, Aug. 27.

John PotterAug 27 06:43p

The Miami Dolphins placed PK John Potter (hip) on the Reserved/Injured list Thursday, Aug. 27.

Matt JohnsonAug 27 06:33p

The Dallas Cowboys placed TE Jordan Najvar (undisclosed), S Matt Johnson (hamstring), CB Justin Green (undisclosed), LB DeVonte Holloman (neck) and CB Johnny X. Thomas (undisclosed) were all placed [ More ]

L. WestbrooksAug 27 06:23p

The Cincinnati Bengals placed LB J.K. Schaffer (concussion) and CB Lavelle Westbrooks (thumb) on the Reserve/Injured list.

D.C. JeffersonAug 27 06:23p

Carolina Panthers TE D.C. Jefferson (undisclosed) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, Aug. 27.

Wes WelkerAug 27 06:03p

Denver Broncos WR Wes Welker (concussion) has been ruled out of the team's final preseason game Thursday, Aug. 27, but has been exercising and will travel with the team.

Tim BenfordAug 27 05:23p

Dallas Cowboys waived WR Tim Benford Wednesday, Aug. 27.

Wes WelkerAug 27 05:13p

Denver Broncos WR Wes Welker (concussion) has not been cleared to practice at this point but is making good progress.

Jemea ThomasAug 27 05:03p

The Dallas Cowboys claimed S Jemea Thomas (Patriots) off waivers Wednesday, Aug. 27.

Tandon DossAug 27 05:03p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Ace Sanders (personal) and WR Tandon Doss (ankle) may be able to play in the final preseason game after missing the first three preseason games. Head [ More ]

Josh ScobeeAug 27 04:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars PK Josh Scobee (quadriceps) said he is not sure if will be able to play Week 1 because of his quadriceps injury. PK Kasey Redfern may make [ More ]

D.J. HaydenAug 27 04:33p

Oakland Raiders CB D.J. Hayden (foot) is considered a few weeks away from returning to practice, according to head coach Dennis Allen. Allen said he expects Hayden will be [ More ]

Richard MarshallAug 27 04:23p

San Diego Chargers CB Richard Marshall has been working at safety because of the injury to SS Jahleel Addae (hamstring). Marshall's versatility could help him make the final roster.

Ryan McBeanAug 27 03:53p

The Arizona Cardinals cut DE Ryan McBean Wednesday, Aug. 27.

Tommy KellyAug 27 03:43p

Arizona Cardinals DT Tommy Kelly agreed to terms on a one-year contract Wednesday, Aug. 27. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Josh GordonAug 27 03:03p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon's representatives are considering a lawsuit against the NFL which could seek an injunction to put the suspension on hold until the legal process takes [ More ]

Pierre DesirAug 27 02:43p

The Cleveland Browns may consider placing CB Pierre Desir (knee) on the Active/Reserve/Injured list, which would keep him out for at least eight weeks of the season.

Phillip TannerAug 27 01:53p

The Dallas Cowboys will sign free-agent RB Phillip Tanner (Colts), according to sources.

Josh GordonAug 27 01:43p

Updating previous reports, Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon will be allowed to apply for reinstatement after the 2014 season and not after a full calendar year.

Josh GordonAug 27 01:23p

Updating previous reports, Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon will not be allowed at the team's facility during his one-year suspension. The team hoped they would be able to work with him during the suspension.

Zach ErtzAug 27 01:13p

Philadelphia Eagles TE Zach Ertz is expected to be more involved in the passing game this season and has shown the confidence to be a solid pass catcher, according [ More ]

Josh GordonAug 27 01:03p

Updating a previous report, Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon will not be allowed to file for reinstatement during his one-year suspension, according to a source. His representatives will look [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group