Polarizing Ex-Jets Coach Makes Football Comeback: Report

Robert Saleh, Jets

Getty New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh grimacing on the sideline during an NFL game.

It looks like a longtime former NFL coach is making a football comeback.

ESPN Pro Football Reporter, Kevin Seifert shared on social media that former New York Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is heading to the XFL.

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In an official announcement, the XFL revealed a cluster of assistant coaching hires. The biggest of which was Williams.

The 63-year-old veteran coach last served as the defensive coordinator for the Jets from 2019 through 2020.

He was fired on December 7 2020 after making an infamous all-out blitz call on third and 10 with just 13 seconds remaining in the game.

The Jets were playing the Las Vegas Raiders at home in Week 13 and the silver and black needed a touchdown to win the game down 28 to 24. Williams’ blitz call didn’t work and Derek Carr hit former first-round wide receiver Henry Ruggs III in stride for a 46-yard touchdown strike.

With the loss, Gang Green dropped to 0-12 as fans were begging the team to “tank for Trevor” Lawrence.

Since being fired by the Jets in 2020, Williams has been out of the football scene but he will be making his epic return as the DC for head coach Reggie Barlow’s team, per ESPN.

We don’t know what team he will coach for because the team names haven’t been announced as the XFL works through the legalities and negotiations with local markets.

Although what we do know is the regular-season opener is set for February 18 in 2023. All of the games will be broadcast exclusively through ESPN and Disney.


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Speaking of fired defensive coordinators, there is a ton of pressure on Jeff Ulbrich who is entering his second season with the green and white.

Last year the Jets’ defense was ranked last or bottom five in nearly every major defensive category. Ulbrich seemingly got a pass because it was the first year of the system and that side of the ball suffered an inordinate amount of injuries.

Heading into 2022 there is “no excuse” as Connor Hughes noted in a recent column for The Athletic.

“There is absolutely no excuse for the Jets not to have a remarkably improved defense. You can make the argument they’ve improved at every  position — and substantially so at edge and corner.”

When head coach Robert Saleh was asked about the status of Ulbrich after the season on The Michael Kay Show he said with a laugh, “come on man we just finished our first season.”

It makes sense that Saleh would back his guy after a single season, but the leash will be a lot shorter heading into 2022. He can’t afford to sit idly by if the defense continues to collapse like a used lawn chair.

It’ll be up to the man heralded as a defensive mastermind to step in and take things over, if they continue to progress south.


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