Apologetic Williams takes job with Titans

McClatchy news servicesFebruary 8, 2013 

Gregg Williams knows he’s got to prove himself every day.

The former New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator said he received a “great rebirth” Thursday when he was reinstated by the NFL and hired by the Tennessee Titans after serving a one-season suspension for his role in the Saints’ bounty scandal.

But now that he’s back in the league, he’ll have to change the way he’s done things.

“I’ve got a very positive outlook on things,” Williams said. “I understand and respect the game an awful lot, and the past is the past and what I’m talking about doing right now is creating a résumé from this day forward.”

Williams took the first step when the Titans hired him as a senior assistant coach for defense. Williams thanked NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for reinstating him.

“I take full responsibility and apologize for my previous actions, and I’ve used this year to reorganize my life and put focus on positive energy and positive ways to inspire and coach and motivate in this profession,” Williams said, reading from a statement at a news conference. “I’m grateful for this opportunity.”

The league issued a statement saying that Goodell cited several reasons for reinstating Williams, including Williams accepting responsibility for his role in the bounty program, his commitment to never be involved in any pay-for-performance system and pledging to teach safe play and respect for the rules.

“The commissioner emphasized that Williams must fully conform to league rules and will be subject to periodic monitoring to confirm his compliance,” the NFL said in its statement.

Williams, who was suspended indefinitely last March, is the last person involved in the scandal to be reinstated by league. New Orleans coach Sean Payton had his suspension lifted on Jan. 22.

Saints general manager Mickey Loomis was suspended for eight games and assistant head coach Joe Vitt for six. Four current or former Saints players were suspended after an investigation found the club had a performance pool offering cash rewards for key plays, including big hits. The player suspensions eventually were overturned.

SYMPOSIUM DEEMS ‘REDSKINS’ A RACIAL SLUR

Hurtful names and racial stereotypes of all types were discussed and dissected Thursday in a daylong symposium at the Smithsonian, and the Washington Redskins were at the top of the list for nearly all those who spoke.

“I can only imagine what it would be like to be at a football game at FedEx Field in a crowd of close to 90,000, all screaming at the top of their lungs, when what they are screaming is a racial slur,” said Judith Bartnoff, a deputy presiding judge in District of Columbia Superior Court.

Organizers say the Redskins did not respond to an invitation to participate, and no one stood up to defend the Redskins’ name when the audience was invited to participate.

Suzan Shown Harjo, president of the Washington-based Morning Star Institute, an advocacy group, said there are some 900 troublesome nicknames and mascots across the country, down from a peak of more than 3,000 in the early 1970s.

EXTRA POINTS

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson had surgery to repair a sports hernia in his abdomen, an injury that bothered him for much of the final month of the season. … The Giants re-signed veteran defensive tackle Shaun Rogers, who missed last season after developing a blood clot in his leg following an exhibition game. … The Eagles will hire Browns linebackers coach Billy Davis to be their defensive coordinator, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press.

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