Buffalo's coach from 2001 to 2003, Williams spent the past three seasons as defensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Rams. He replaces Ray Horton, who was fired by Hue Jackson after Cleveland went 1-15 this season. It's the second time Horton has been dismissed by the Browns after one season.
The 58-year-old Williams will take over a defense that lacked playmakers and was gashed for big yardage. The Browns were ranked 31st in yards allowed, 31st in rushing and 30th in points allowed.
Williams has managed to get his career back on track following his suspension in 2012 for having a role in New Orleans' pay-for-performance scandal, which came to be known as “Bountygate.”
Williams ran the Saints' defense when they won the Super Bowl in 2009.