Rams fire defensive coordinator Tim Walton

News-DemocratJanuary 29, 2014 

— The St. Louis Rams fired defensive coordinator Tim Walton on Wednesday, and reportedly plan to bring back Gregg Williams to fill the position he briefly held in 2012.

Soon after he became the Rams' head coach in January, 2012, Jeff Fisher hired Williams as his defensive coordinator.

Williams was relieved of his duties after being suspended by the NFL for his role in the New Orleans Saints' Bountygate scandal in March 2012.

ESPN reported Wednesday that the Rams will hire Williams to replace Walton.

Fisher and Williams were best friends back in 2012, but it was unknown how much damage Williams' suspension had done to that relationship.

Williams' son, Blake, was the Rams' defacto defensive coordinator in 2012, before being relieved of his duties after the season.

The Rams wanted to bring in Rob Ryan to be their defensive coordinator last winter, but he backed out at the last minute and ended up taking the job of defensive coordinator with the Saints.

Walton was hired from the Detroit Lions. He'd worked under Fisher disciple Jim Schwartz.

The Rams struggled on defense early last season under Walton. They gave up 31 points in losses to the Atlanta Falvons and Dallas Cowboys and 35 points in a loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

It was rumored that Fisher took a more active role in calling plays around midseason, and the Rams' defense ended up the season ranked a respectible 15th overall.

However, the Rams' pass defense was especially soft this season as they allowed opponents to complete 68.1 percent of their throws, tying them with the Oakland Raiders for the worst mark in the NFL.

"I would like to thank Tim for his hard work and contributions to our defense,'' Fisher said in a short statement released by the Rams on Wednesday. "I wish him well in the future.''

Williams served as a senior defensive assistant with Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Jerry Gray last season.

Neither Williams nor Gray were retained by the Titans when Ken Whisenhunt was hired to replace coach Mike Munchak a couple of weeks ago.

Williams is known for his fiery, aggressive coaching style, but that style got him in trouble with the NFL for allegedly running a program that paid bonuses or bounties to defensive players.

Contact reporter Steve Korte at skorte@bnd.com or 239-2522.

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