News -> Sports MON, JAN 28 11:00AM by Teresa M. Walker, AP Sports Writer
Cash of the Titans
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gregg Williams may be a step closer to returning to the NFL after being suspended indefinitely for his role in the Saints' bounty program.
Titans coach Mike Munchak has talked with Williams and is interested in adding him to his Tennessee staff, said a person familiar with the situation. The person spoke Sunday to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the Titans do not discuss personnel moves until they are finalized.
Before the Titans could hire Williams, he must be reinstated by the league. Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended him indefinitely for his role in the New Orleans Saints bounty program, and NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Sunday the league has not yet addressed Williams' potential reinstatement.
Munchak did not immediately answer a message left by the AP on Sunday. The Titans coach has not talked with the media about his team since the day after the season ended.
How quickly the league considers reinstating Williams may take at least a week with the San Francisco 49ers arriving in New Orleans on Sunday to kick off festivities leading up to the Feb. 3 Super Bowl.
Williams is the only coach or player who has yet to return to the NFL in the wake of the bounty scandal.
Goodell just lifted the suspension for New Orleans coach Sean Payton on Tuesday, nearly two weeks earlier than expected. Saints general manager Mickey Loomis was suspended for eight games and assistant head coach Joe Vitt for six. Four current or former Saints players were also suspended after an investigation found the club had a performance pool offering cash rewards for key plays, including big hits. The player suspensions eventually were overturned.
Williams was the Saints defensive coordinator from 2009-11 and was hired by St. Louis in January 2012 by former Titans coach Jeff Fisher before being suspended indefinitely in March 20112. Williams' son, Blake, also was on Fisher's staff as the Rams' linebacker coach — but his contract was not renewed earlier this month.
Munchak has known Williams since 1990. Munchak was playing for the then-Houston Oilers when Williams became an assistant coach with the team. They also coached together with the Oilers; Munchak oversaw the offensive line starting in 1994 and Williams rose from defensive assistant to coaching special teams, then linebackers and finally defensive coordinator.
Williams left the Titans to become head coach of the Buffalo Bills in 2001 before becoming defensive coordinator with the Washington Redskins from 2004-07. He also was defensive coordinator in Jacksonville in 2008 before being hired by the Saints in 2009.
Williams also has a relationship with Munchak's current defensive coordinator, Jerry Gray. When Williams left for Buffalo, Gray went with him and served as Williams' defensive coordinator with the Bills.
Even though Gray currently has the job, the Titans' defense needs help and Munchak will be coaching for his job in 2013 after going 6-10 in his second season as head coach. One reason for the losing record was Tennessee's inability to stop anyone; the Titans set a franchise record allowing 471 points in 2012. The only change Munchak has made to his defensive staff was letting linebackers coach Frank Bush go and moving Chet Paralavecchio into the job from assisting with special teams.
In Williams' last season with the Titans, Tennessee ranked first in the NFL in fewest yards allowed, first in passing yards allowed and third in rushing defense. The Titans also set a franchise-record for fewest points allowed with 191 with an aggressive defense.
MAY 24 Blogger Robert Mann posts this entry about the Baton Rouge Chamber's recent report on Louisiana's higher education system. It's critical to economic development, and yet our system is facing a "funding crisis" with no way to resolve it, the report says. The Chamber says control of tuition and fees must be returned to the higher ed governing boards.
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MAY 24 Jarvis DeBerry posts here about the redonkulus rhetoric that would have us believe NOLA is a safe city with a murder problem. Maybe the city's crime stats don't compare with its murder stats because you can't manipulate a murder, he says: a dead body's a dead body. It just doesn't make sense, he says, and his readers agree: a poll asks if they believe the city is safe, and more than 90 percent say no.
MAY 24 Jindal administration officials announced Thursday that the privatization of public health care is going to cost a lot more than they budgeted for, the Advocate reports here. "I'm so surprised," said no one. Anywhere. The cost they're projecting now is more than $1 billion - a lot more than the $626 million budgeted for it. And, it's more than it cost the state to operate those hospitals. So why are we doing this again?
MAY 24 Blogger CB Forgotston ridicules the recent PR campaign by the state GOP in the wake of a legislative auditor's request to both major parties. The GOP (apparently unaware that the Dems got the same request) started yammering about being targeted because it had "killed" a tax increase. CB finds that laughable, but it's also pretty funny that the GOP was comparing this episode to the IRS scandal (Because the President has so much to do with our state auditor. Right?).
MAY 24 Politico details some recent fund-raising efforts by Sen. David Vitter, which have raised the question of his future political plans. This time, it is a $5,000 per head "bayou weekend" that includes "Cajun cooking" and an all-caps "alligator hunt," the story reports. Funds raised go to a super PAC that can spend money to support Vitter in federal or state races, the story points out.
MAY 24 The pink building on Royal in the quarter was sold at a sheriff's sale Thursday, this Picayune story reports. An injunction that would have halted the sale wasn't enforced because the family failed to post a $150,000 bond, the story reports. So the owner of the mortgages on the building bought it, for nearly $7 million. Now the feuding family will have to negotiate with that company to get a lease on the building that has housed their business for close to 60 years.
MAY 23 This post in Louisiana Voice tells us about a bill by a Winnsboro lege that would require all public high school students to take at least one Course Choice online class in order to graduate. (What?) Blogger Tom Aswell says it's a monument to "waste and corruption," especially in light of the problems he's exposed with the program in recent weeks. Idaho had a similar program, but voters removed it by a 2-1 margin, Aswell says.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.
Philip deMahy Sr., a once respected New Iberia ad exec, was sentenced May 2 to spend the next two years (he faced up to 100 years) in a state penitentiary after state and federal investigators found dozens of images depicting children engaged in lewd sexual acts on his personal computer.