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NFL notes: Titans reportedly interested in hiring Williams

Published January 27, 2013 6:00 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

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.

Williams is the only coach or player who has yet to return to the NFL in the wake of the bounty scandal.

Poll: Players don't like Goodell

As the Super Bowl comes to New Orleans, the sentiments here toward Goodell aren't too welcoming after his rulings in the bounty scandal wrecked the Saints' 2012 season.

They're not so great inside locker rooms, either.

In a recent poll of NFL players conducted by USA Today Sports, 61 percent said they disapprove of the job Goodell has done overall, with most focusing on the increased fines of players for dangerous hits on defenseless receivers and quarterbacks and the perception of the commissioner's investigation into the bounty matter.

The poll of 300 players on active rosters or practice squads was conducted from Dec. 19, 2012, to Jan. 12, 2013, with a margin of error of plus-minus 5 percent.

Goodell's 39 percent approval rating came from a number of respondents noting his role in making the game the most popular of U.S. sports, plus those who realize it's a thankless job no matter who is in charge.

"I think it's obvious that I disapprove," said Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison, who has been fined more than $100,000 for hard hits throughout his career and is one of the most outspoken critics of Goodell over the past few years.

"I feel like what he's doing is not totally for the safety of players. ... A lot of stuff they've done, [such as] fining guys crazy amounts of money for helmet-to-helmet hits and all that and saying you're doing this for the safety of players. But yet you want to add extra games to the regular season."