On the day the Jets officially announced the hiring of Gregg Williams as defensive coordinator, newly hired head coach Adam Gase raved about his new head coach of the defense.
Gase expressed zero concern about the famous Bountygate involvement Williams spearheaded while coaching in New Orleans that led to the NFL suspending him for the entire 2012 season.
“Gregg was penalized for that heavily,’’ Gase said on the Pro Football Talk podcast Wednesday. “Football was taken away from him. He did his time. That’s what makes this country great, right? People get second chances all the time. He’s gotten a second chance. He’s done it right. He’s gone and worked extremely hard to do things right.
“For me or anyone else to hold that over his head, to me, is wrong. It’s like when we give players second opportunities. It’s the same thing. People make mistakes. We’ve moved on from it. That’s not something I’m even concerned about.’’
Gase added he “always wanted to work’’ with Williams.
“I’ve always wanted to go against him in practice,’’ Gase said. “I love the way his players feel about him [with] the swagger, the attitude that he brings to his group. I love his experience and the fact that he’s been a head coach.
“He takes over Cleveland and they’re winning ballgames over there … and he’s acting like this is what it was going to be the whole time. He didn’t even blink an eye. I love that about him. His attitude is just infectious.’’
Gase said he’s excited about the energy Williams is going to bring to the defense.
“I just keep picturing practice,’’ he said. “This is what’s going to be the difference-maker for us. It’s going to be like a game every day. The competition and competitiveness between Gregg, myself, the staffs. That’s how you get that energy you want. The players feel that.’’
The Williams hire, on a reported a three-year contract, coupled with the Jets retaining special teams coach Brant Boyer with a contract extension, locks in two of Gase’s three coordinator positions, with offensive coordinator, among other position-coach jobs, still to be filled.
Gase, who will be calling the plays, is expected to bring in Dowell Loggains, who was his right-hand man on offense with the Dolphins. It’s not known, however, whether Loggains has been released from his Miami contract.
Loggains was quarterbacks coach when Gase was offensive coordinator for the Bears in 2015, and the Dolphins’ offensive coordinator under Gase last season.
Williams comes to the Jets after spending the past two years with the Browns. He was the defensive coordinator for the first 24 of those games then served as the interim head coach for the final eight games of the 2018 season after Hue Jackson was fired, going 5-3.
Williams was the defensive coordinator with the Rams, Saints, Jaguars, Redskins and Titans. He went 17-31 as the head coach of the Bills from 2001-03.
“I’ve known him for a while,’’ Gase said of Williams in an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio on Wednesday. “I’ve always appreciated competing against him. It was always a challenge. [I] always loved the way his guys played, the intensity they played with, they defended every blade of grass. I mean, they would always get after it. It was always really tough to move the ball, it was tough to get in the end zone and you knew you were in for a 60-minute battle. His guys always just always played exactly the way you want a defense to play.”
Boyer will enter his fourth year with the Jets and is coming off an impressive 2018 season during which coached kicker Jason Myers and kick returner Andre Roberts — both newcomers to the team last season — to Pro Bowl berths. Roberts also was named to the All-Pro team.