Williams is city council's preference to coach Saints

Updated: January 9, 2006, 10:38 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS -- The New Orleans City Council on Monday unanimously passed a resolution calling on the Saints to hire Doug Williams as the team's new coach.

Doug Williams
Williams

The resolution urges both Saints owner Tom Benson and general manager Mickey Loomis to give "strong consideration to naming Louisiana's own Doug Williams as the Saints head coach or as a high level administrator within the Saints organization."

"Benson never called me," Williams, a pro personnel executive for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, laughed. "Loomis never called me, either."

Meanwhile, Jets defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson became the first to interview for the job when he sat down Monday with Saints officials.

The 48-year-old Henderson has been with the Jets for two seasons. Last year, his defense finished seventh in the league, and was 12th this year. Henderson also is black, and fits the specifications of the "Rooney Rule," which requires that all teams with vacancies to interview at least one minority candidate.

The Saints have asked several teams for permission to speak with coaching candidates. On Tuesday, Loomis and director of player personnel Rick Mueller are scheduled to interview Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Maurice Carthon followed by a meeting Wednesday with Sean Payton, the assistant head coach for the Dallas Cowboys. The Saints already have spoken with former Rams coach Mike Martz.

The council's resolution said that Williams, who grew up in Zachary, La., had coached both high school and college levels, including at Grambling State, and had a stellar career in the NFL, which more than qualified him for the Saints job.

Williams became the second football coach in Grambling State history, replacing Eddie Robinson in 1997. Before that, he was a head coach at Morehouse, and his overall record is 55-26.

He also worked as a scout for the Jacksonville Jaguars and coached at Zachary, Northeast High School and Navy.

Williams retired from the NFL in 1990, having won a Super Bowl as quarterback of the Washington Redskins.

"Seriously, it's very flattering," Williams said. "I don't think I can stop smiling."

The Saints did not return a phone call for comment.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press