Redskins Make a Key Stop

The Redskins signed Gregg Williams to a three-year extension, stopping teams that were hot after the team's defensive guru from hiring him away as their head coach.

Redskins reward Williams


The Redskins' players long have wanted stability. They just got a lot more.

The signing of assistant head coach for defense Gregg Williams to a three-year extension represents a continued turnaround from the first five seasons under owner Dan Snyder when five coordinators guided the Redskins' defense.

Now it's Williams job for at least another year. According to coach and team president Joe Gibbs, the contract does not prevent him from seeking a head coaching job until 2007. Rather, Williams has told the Redskins he won't look at any other jobs now.

But even if Williams left after next year, having a top coordinator for three years represents a coup for any franchise.

Williams easily could have left for a head coaching job. Or, at least, get an interview. Houston, Kansas City and St. Louis were among the teams most interested in Williams. But, as we've reported recently, Williams has maintained that he was happy in Washington and didn't want to move his family again. He likes working with Joe Gibbs and is happy with Snyder.

Some players found out Monday night courtesy of Williams, removing a distraction from Saturday's playoff game at Tampa Bay.

''That's good,'' Redskins corner Walt Harris said. ''For a long time this organization had different coaches coming in and out. To have some stability from a coaching standpoint helps players out a lot.''

The move could signal Williams' role as likely successor to Gibbs. But Gibbs has said he plans on fulfillilng the five years of his original deal. Still, Williams is being paid well and if things continue to go well he would be a natural choice to replace Gibbs. However, Gibbs did not want to address that.

Don't forget: Williams turned down interviews last year, too.

''It's hard for coach of his intelligence to just stay and be a defensive coordinator,'' Redskins safety Ryan Clark said, ''when there lot teams who would love to knock on his door and have him be head coach for their team.''

The players enjoy working for Williams.

''It's his communication with the players,'' Clark said. ''He's done a great job from that end and the players understand and know what he demands of them and he surrounded himself with a lot of great coaches. When you have a great staff as well as coach Williams, you're bound to have good success.''

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