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

Kapri BibbsOct 23 07:02p

The Denver Broncos have declared OG Ben Garland, RB Kapri Bibbs, OT Michael Schofield, DL Mitch Unrein, RB Montee Ball, S Omar Bolden, LB Steven Johnson inactive for Week 8.

Manti Te'oOct 23 07:02p

The San Diego Chargers have declared CB Steve Williams, RB Ryan Mathews, CB Brandon Flowers, RB Donald Brown, LB Manti Te'o, LBs Jeremiah Attaochu and Cordarro Law inactive for Week 8.

Perry RileyOct 23 05:49p

Washington Redskins LB Perry Riley (knee) will start as soon as he is healthy enough to do so, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

John SullivanOct 23 05:46p

Minnesota Vikings C John Sullivan (concussion) is still in the testing phase to be cleared for a concussion, but he has not been cleared to this point. Head coach [ More ]

Justin TuckOct 23 05:42p

Oakland Raiders TE David Ausberry (foot), CB Keith McGill (groin), DE LaMarr Woodley (bicep) and FS Usama Young (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. OT Khalif Barnes (quadriceps), [ More ]

Brett KeiselOct 23 05:42p

Pittsburgh Steelers OT Marcus Gilbert (concussion), DE Brett Keisel (non-injury), DT Steve McLendon (shoulder) and SS Troy Polamalu (non-injury) didn't practice Thursday, Oct. 23. CB Ike Taylor (forearm) and [ More ]

Lance BriggsOct 23 05:42p

Chicago Bears DE Jared Allen (rest), S Danny McCray (knee) and WR Chris Williams (illness) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. LBs Lance Briggs (ribs), Jonathan Bostic (back), CB [ More ]

Quentin GrovesOct 23 05:42p

Tennessee Titans LB Quentin Groves (ankle) and CB Coty Sensabaugh (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. DE Ropati Pitoitua (hand) and TE Taylor Thompson (knee) were limited.

Zach MettenbergerOct 23 05:34p

Tennessee Titans QB Zach Mettenberger has been named the starting quarterback for Week 8, according to head coach Ken Whisenhunt. QB Jake Locker will serve as the backup quarterback.

Sharrif FloydOct 23 05:32p

Minnesota Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (hernia) and S Antone Exum (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. LB Gerald Hodges (hamstring), C John Sullivan (concussion), DT Sharrif Floyd (ankle), [ More ]

Nick MangoldOct 23 05:32p

New York Jets OT Oday Aboushi (shoulder), CB Phillip Adams (groin), OG Willie Colon (knee), LB David Harris (shoulder), LB Trevor Reilly (knee) and WR Greg Salas (wrist, ankle) [ More ]

Dashon GoldsonOct 23 05:22p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Brandon Magee (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. LB Jonathan Casillas (hamstring), OT Anthony Collins (knee), FS Dashon Goldson (ankle) and CB Keith Tandy [ More ]

Daryl SmithOct 23 05:22p

Baltimore Ravens DE Chris Canty (wrist) and LB Daryl Smith (non-injury) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. OT Eugene Monroe (knee) and OG Kelechi Osemele (knee) practiced in full.

Colt McCoyOct 23 05:22p

Washington Redskins QB Colt McCoy will start Week 8, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

Josh McCownOct 23 05:12p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Josh McCown (thumb) was limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 23.

Brandon ThompsonOct 23 04:52p

Cincinnati Bengals OT Andrew Whitworth (rest) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. OG Clint Boling (rest) and CB Leon Hall (back) were limited, while TE Kevin Brock (neck), LB [ More ]

A.J. GreenOct 23 04:52p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) sat out of practice for the second straight day Thursday, Oct. 23.

Morgan BurnettOct 23 04:42p

Green Bay Packers S Morgan Burnett (calf) and CB Sam Shields (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. DE Datone Jones (ankle) was limited.

James StarksOct 23 04:42p

Green Bay Packers RB James Starks (ankle) was limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 23, after not practicing Wednesday, Oct. 22.

Thomas DavisOct 23 04:33p

Carolina Panthers CB Bene Benwikere (ankle), LB Chase Blackburn (knee), WR Philly Brown (concussion), OG Nate Chandler (thigh), OG Amini Silatolu (calf), OG Trai Turner (knee) and RB Fozzy [ More ]

Jonathan GoodwinOct 23 04:32p

New Orleans Saints C Jonathan Goodwin (knee, ankle) and LB Kyle Knox (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. CB Keenan Lewis (knee, shoulder), LB Ramon Humber (ankle) and [ More ]

Pierre ThomasOct 23 04:22p

New Orleans RB Pierre Thomas (ribs, shoulder) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23.

R. Griffin IIIOct 23 04:22p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) is unlikely to be ready to play Monday, Oct. 27, against the Dallas Cowboys, according to head coach Jay Gruden. Gruden said [ More ]

Mario WilliamsOct 23 04:22p

Buffalo Bills WR Marquise Goodwin (hamstring) and LB Ty Powell (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 23. WR Marcus Easley (knee) and FS Aaron Williams (neck) were [ More ]

Rashad JohnsonOct 23 04:12p

Arizona Cardinals S Rashad Johnson (knee) underwent an MRI exam on his patellar tendon Monday, Oct. 20, that came back negative. Head coach Bruce Arians said Johnson is dealing with some tendonitis.

Jack CrawfordOct 23 04:12p

Dallas Cowboys DE Jack Crawford (calf), OT Doug Free (foot) and S Jakar Hamilton (non-injury) all did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. LB Bruce Carter (thigh) and DE Anthony [ More ]

Alan BallOct 23 04:02p

Jacksonville Jaguars CB Alan Ball (biceps) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 23, and is considered highly unlikely to play in Week 8, according to head coach Gus Bradley.

Toby GerhartOct 23 03:52p

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Denard Robinson will start at running back in Week 8 even if RB Toby Gerhart (foot) is active, according to head coach Gus Bradley. Gerhart will [ More ]

Trent RichardsonOct 23 03:32p

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 23.

John BoyettOct 23 03:32p

The Denver Broncos released FS John Boyett from their practice squad Thursday, Oct. 23.

Gosder CherilusOct 23 03:32p

Indianapolis Colts LB Erik Walden (rest) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 23. TE Jack Doyle (knee) was limited during practice, while CB Darius Butler (ankle), OT Gosder [ More ]

Brice ButlerOct 23 03:22p

Oakland Raiders WR Brice Butler could receive more playing time moving forward after making a big play in each of the last two weeks. Butler said he has not [ 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