Gregg Williams says he had 11 head coach interview offers in recent years

Williams shocked by Jackson, Haley firings; was hesitant to take interim job

Daryl Ruiter
October 31, 2018 - 4:52 pm
Gregg Williams Cleveland Browns interim head coach

Daryl Ruiter-92.3 The Fan

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Berea, OH (92.3 The Fan) – Come get some.

And if you believe Gregg Williams, many teams have tried.

“Since I left Buffalo I’ve had 11 letters sent in to interview for head coaching jobs, and all of them behind the scenes I have, and four of them I didn’t even have to show up, just sign the contract and come,” Williams said Wednesday when asked if he wanted to be a head coach in the NFL again.

“But the structure has to be correct and I have my thoughts on how things have to be done. I like things here a lot. I will tell you this, is that my biggest and right now all my focus and concentration is on this week and then let’s build weeks upon weeks upon weeks and see how much we can. I can’t ask the players to (not) look ahead if I’m looking ahead, you don’t do that. This business is too tough to do that type of stuff.”

His first and only stint as a head coach with the Bills went well – 3 years with records of 3–13 in 2001, 8–8 in 2002, and 6–10 in 2003 before the team declined to renew his contract.

Williams, the architect of the infamous ‘Bountygate’ scandal that tainted the New Orleans Saints’ Super Bowl XLIV championship season and led to a 1-year suspension from the NFL in 2012, is back in charge of a team – the Browns – as interim coach.

His task: get them to the end of the season after Hue Jackson and Todd Haley were fired Monday.

“I will say this, I was shocked,” Williams said of Jackson’s and Haley’s ouster.

Williams also admitted he hesitated momentarily when asked to take over for the remainder of the season

“The hesitancy was, ‘Uh, not again,’ and I stepped away. I stepped back, but then, it came back to this: I can’t spell quit, let alone do quit,” Williams said. “I’m not going to quit on these players. I’m not going to quit on this organization. I’m not going to do whatever. That’s just how I had to feel, and when we went through the process, we went through the process, and now, let’s get on to Kansas City.

“I blinked a little bit.”

Don’t look for Williams to change too much behind the scenes.

“Things that were being done here worked really well, and things were done very well in lots of areas in this building,” Williams said. “There’s things that are the best I’ve ever been around in this building, and with Hue and lots of different people, with John (Dorsey), and they were already letting me be me. You guys were seeing me be me, so there’s not any change in that. 

“This is a tough business, and if you’re not tough, you don’t belong. You don’t belong at this level if you’re not tough.”