FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Gregg Williams did not wish to go there. Neither did Joe Vitt.
The New York Jets’ assistant coaches, reunited seven years after they had been adversaries within the New Orleans Saints’ Bountygate scandal, bristled Thursday when requested about their relationship.
“Is that this a Nationwide Enquirer query?” Vitt snapped. “I like Gregg. He is a buddy.”
Earlier, Williams provided the same response.
“Not a query. Subsequent query,” he mentioned earlier than the Jets’ ultimate offseason apply. “He is an important buddy of mine. He’ll at all times be an important buddy. I do not care what you have written. Go forward, someone else [ask a question].”
Williams and Vitt had been employed in February because the Jets’ defensive coordinator and outdoors linebackers coach, respectively, however this was the primary time the assistant coaches had been made accessible to the media.
The reunion has sparked curiosity as a result of Vitt testified towards Williams within the Bountygate scandal when each had been Saints assistants. Within the hearings, carried out by former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, Vitt accused Williams of mendacity in his testimony.
Williams wound up being suspended indefinitely (then reinstated 11 months later), whereas Vitt acquired a six-game ban. Now they’re collectively on coach Adam Gase’s first workers.
Vitt additionally occurs to be Gase’s father-in-law, including one other layer of intrigue.
Some even have puzzled in regards to the Gase-Williams dynamic as a result of they’re each alpha personalities and are working collectively for the primary time.
Williams spoke glowingly of Gase, saying he has admired him from afar.
“Respect and belief [are] earned, and he has earned my respect and earned my belief now that we’re working collectively on the identical factor,” Williams mentioned. “It has been enjoyable, OK? He is an excellent coach, has an excellent thoughts, has a difficult thoughts conceptually on what we’re doing [on defense].”
The Jets hope that Williams’ fiery teaching type will gas a protection that completed 29th in yards allowed final season. They’ve excessive expectations after signing Professional Bowl center linebacker C.J. Mosley and drafting defensive sort out Quinnen Williams with the third total choose.
Williams did not make any daring predictions for the protection, however there isn’t a doubting his self-confidence.
“My secrets and techniques get out,” Williams mentioned. “The rationale I hold getting employed is tradition — and tradition beats technique any day of the week.”
“Perspective does come first,” he added. “I inform them, ‘Perspective is every little thing. Choose a very good one in the present day.'”
Williams, 60, has been teaching within the NFL since 1990, and he has no intention of retiring any time quickly.
“Folks ask me on a regular basis, How for much longer am I going to do that? I really like what I do. I am a competition-aholic,” he mentioned. “Once I stroll right into a room and no person pays consideration anymore, it is time to do one thing else.”