Asked at the conclusion of practice about Vikings coach Mike Zimmer's comments following his team’s 21-18 overtime win against the Rams last Sunday, Williams was careful with his remarks.
“We’re on to Chicago right now,” Williams told reporters. “I’m not worrying about that. The things that go on in our game is that we’re always going to play, no matter where I’m at, we’re going to play faster, smarter, tougher, for longer than any opponent. That’s all I’m going to say.”
Williams was then asked if it bothers him that people are still bringing up his role in the bounty scandal that rocked the NFL and caused him to be suspended for a year and lose his job as defensive coordinator in Jeff Fisher's first season in St. Louis.
“The whole thing on that is that, that’s long, long ago,” Williams said. “Penalties are down since I got here. Everywhere that I’ve been, we don’t like to do those type of things. But, I will make my one comment on Lamarcus Joyner. He is exactly what I want to coach.
“And if you guys break that play down, you’ll see that Teddy (Bridgewater) tries to shimmy a little bit like he’s getting to run for extra yardage and then lays down. Lamarcus was just trying to tackle him. And that’s the bam-bam part of the play. Those things come up. He’s aggressive. There wasn’t anything. He’s almost trying to avoid the contact. You can see that. Those are things that come up and that’s just part of our game.”
Zimmer had some choice words for the Rams after defensive back Lamarcus Joyner's late hit on his sliding quarterback, Bridgewater, early in the fourth quarter last week.
Bridgewater appeared to be knocked out on the play and left the game with concussion symptoms.
Zimmer said afterward he thought Joyner’s hit, which earned a 15-yard personal foul penalty, was a cheap shot. He refused to elaborate on that, but asked later about his team’s emotions on sideline after that play, the coach told reporters, “if we were out on the street, we probably would have had a fight.”
A reporter then asked Zimmer if he thought the Rams had targeted his quarterback.
“I don’t know about that,” Zimmer said. “I do know that there is a history there of their defensive coordinator, I’ll leave it at that.”
Joyner expressed his regret for the play after the game, and again with reporters this week, and said he wasn’t trying to hurt Bridgewater, who grew up near him in the Miami area.
The Rams defensive back was fined by the NFL for the hit this week.
And then Williams was asked more questions about Zimmer’s comments and Joyner’s hit at his weekly press conference on Friday.
The final query to the Rams’ defensive coordinator about that play was if it is harder on his defense in situations like that playing in a division with quarterbacks who are able to scramble and get extra yards.
“We’re going to play the game through the echo of the whistle,” Williams said. “That’s how we’ve always done it. We’re going to play the game that way and there’s nothing that I can ever pull these guys back. I’ve spent my life trying to speed up decisions, speed up players, get them to play harder, get them to play faster. And bam-bam when something happens like that, it’s just the speed of the game. It’s easy to see in slow motion. It’s easy to say about all of those kinds of things. But, when you’re really playing in a game, it’s a different world out there. It’s a vastly different world.”