Jets fire defensive coordinator Gregg Williams a day after bizarre call vs. Raiders

New York Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams looks on before a game
The New York Jets have fired defensive coordinator Gregg Williams the day after he made a controversial call at the end of the team’s game against the Las Vegas Raiders.
(Bill Kostroun / Associated Press)

The New York Jets fired defensive coordinator Gregg Williams a day after his stunning play call may have cost the team its first win of the season, a person with direct knowledge of the decision says.

The still-winless Jets were seconds away from their first victory Sunday until Williams inexplicably called for an all-out blitz against Las Vegas. Derek Carr heaved a perfectly placed 46-yard touchdown pass to Henry Ruggs III — who was in man-to-man, or Cover Zero, coverage with rookie cornerback Lamar Jackson — with five seconds left to lift the Raiders to a 31-28 victory.

Williams took heavy criticism from fans, the media and even team captain Marcus Maye, who said the defense should have received a better call in that situation. It appears to have cost Williams his job.

The person spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday because the team hadn’t announced the move.


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The 62-year-old Williams had been the Jets’ defensive coordinator the last two seasons under Adam Gase. He has had several stops through the NFL during a 30-year career, including with New Orleans, where he was suspended a year for his role in the Saints’ bounty scandal.

It wasn’t immediately clear who would take over calling the defense for the Jets, who are 0-12 and are four losses from joining the 2008 Detroit Lions and 2017 Cleveland Browns — where Williams was the defensive coordinator — as the NFL’s only 0-16 teams.