Williams out of running for Redskins' coaching job

Updated: January 25, 2008, 11:35 PM ET
By Chris Mortensen | ESPN.com

What appeared obvious is now official: Gregg Williams is no longer under consideration for the Washington Redskins head coaching vacancy, high-ranking team and league sources have told ESPN's Chris Mortensen.

However, Williams said Friday night that he has yet to be informed of that decision and strongly rebutted any notion that he criticized former Redskins coach Joe Gibbs during the interview process, as team and league sources claimed Friday.

"I haven't been told anything," said Williams. "And I would never, ever dump on Joe Gibbs. He is one of the best people I have ever been around in life. I came here because of Joe Gibbs. He's in the Hall of Fame as a coach and he's a better person than he is a football coach. I can't believe anybody would suggest I dumped on Joe. That's completely false."

Williams said that he had three interview sessions, not four as reported, with Redskins owner Dan Snyder and Vinny Cerrato, the team's executive vice president of player personnel. He said there was never any tension in those interviews.

"Dan and I, and Vinny, had a good time during the process," said Williams. "As far as I'm concerned, everything went well. We laughed, we joked. We never had anything we disagreed on, not really. Vinny and I have gotten along very well, too."

Williams did not say whether he is disappointed about the news that he was no longer a candidate for the job.

"All I can tell you is that I'm very comfortable in my own skin and I learned how to do that from being around Joe Gibbs," he said. "I'm not in control of this but I'm very content with where I am in life right now."

A source close to Williams theorized that the Redskins may start a smear campaign against the defensive coordinator because he has had strong support from players, media and Redskins' fans.

Williams technically remains under contract and has not yet been fired. The Washington Post reported that the Jacksonville Jaguars have an interest in Williams as defensive coordinator to replace Mike Smith, who was hired as Atlanta's head coach.

That leaves former Giants coach Jim Fassel and Colts defensive coordinator Ron Meeks alive in the process, although the Redskins will wait until after the Super Bowl before naming a coach. They may seek permission to interview Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo after the game.

The Redskins hired Seahawks quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn as their new offensive coordinator, ESPN's John Clayton reported earlier. The team is expected to announce that addition on Saturday and team sources also have said offensive coordinator Al Saunders was given permission to speak with the St. Louis Rams about the same position.

Chris Mortensen is an NFL analyst for ESPN.

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