Vilma: Williams deserves another head-coaching opportunity

Posted Nov. 19, 2010 @ 6:14 p.m.
Posted By Dan Parr

The Saints' defense took chances, forced turnovers, gained notoriety as a physical, hard-hitting group and helped the team win the Super Bowl in Gregg Williams' first season as its coordinator.

Turnovers are no longer coming in bunches for New Orleans in Williams' second year at the helm, but the unit is actually doing a better job of keeping teams from moving the chains. The Saints' defense is ranked toward the top of the league, and it's giving up just 16.8 points per game.

While Williams seems to be happy with his current situation, his success in building on what he started in 2009 — and doing it while missing key contributors for long stretches because of injury — has led some to wonder about his future and whether he'll be getting calls to interview for head-coaching vacancies this offseason.

PFW asked team captain MLB Jonathan Vilma, if Williams, who was the Bills' head coach from 2001-03, deserves another chance to lead a team.

"Selfishly, I'm going to say no, he definitely does not deserve a shot as a head coach, just so I can keep him around as long as possible," Vilma said. "But honestly, he definitely does.

"He does a great job with us. He's a great communicator. He understands his personnel, the people he's working with. He does a real good job with that. I think eventually, as much as I don't want him to go, he's going to find a spot somewhere as a head coach."

Buffalo had a 17-31 record during Williams' three seasons at the helm, and while he's considered a very smart coach, some have questioned whether he has what it takes to succeed as a head coach. Sean Payton was willing to sacrifice a portion of his own salary to sign Williams to a three-year deal before last season, though, and Vilma didn't have a bad thing to say about him.

"It would be tough (to replace Williams), but that's the nature of the business," Vilma said. "The NFL (stands for) Not For Long for a reason, whether good or bad. I may not have Gregg for a long time, and that might be a good thing because he's going to be a head coach and he'll go on and do good things."