Full circle for Jeff Fisher, new D-boss

Along the way, Williams said he was able to see the game from a different perspective and get a better grasp on how other teams around the league were evolving outside the microscope of a one-week game-planning session.

In 2013, Williams returned to the Tennessee Titans as a senior defensive assistant. He helped the team finish 14th in the league in total yards allowed and 16th in scoring defense -- after finishing 27th in total yards and last in scoring defense in 2012.

The Rams' defense, meanwhile, failed to live up to lofty expectations, and finished in the middle of the pack again. By the end of the season, the Rams ranked 15th in yards allowed per game and 13th in points allowed.

Although those numbers weren't awful, they fell short of what was taking place with the other three NFC West Division defenses.

As word trickled out that the Rams were bringing Williams back, Fisher said his phone began to light up with players excited about working with him. Fisher made his way down to the weight room to tell middle linebacker James Laurinaitis.

Unfazed by any lingering bounty scandal fallout, Laurinaitis joined his teammates and Fisher in welcoming Williams back.

"I think that's a thing of the past," Laurinaitis said. "I think Gregg has learned from it and changed. Everyone I have heard from that has played for him absolutely loves the guy. He's one of those coaches where you are going to buy into his program and he's going to have your back."

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