Saints preparing to face Williams

Jim Hanifan and Gregg Williams (USA TODAY Sports)

ST. LOUIS — There hasn’t been much talk, if any, at Rams Park about Rams’ defensive coordinator Gregg Williams facing one of his former teams, the New Orleans Saints, in the preseason opener on Friday. But the Saints have been talking about Williams.

The new Rams’ defensive coordinator is also the former New Orleans defensive coordinator, the one infamously involved in the Saints’ bounty scandal that rocked the NFL a few years ago and resulted in him serving a one-year ban from the league.

Saints tight end Jimmy Graham told The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune that the team reviewed the Saints’ film from the 2011 preseason opener against the San Francisco 49ers, when Williams repeatedly blitzed the 49ers quarterbacks, Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick.

"He (Williams) zero-blitzed four times out of (the first) nine (plays)," Graham told the newspaper on Wednesday. "That's who he is, and he brings it."

The Saints sacked Smith twice and Kaepernick four times, leading to three 49ers’ fumbles (two by Kaepernick and one by Smith).

New Orleans was credited with 10 quarterback hits in the 24-3 victory as the 49ers quarterback combined to complete 11 of 26 passes for 98 yards with two interceptions.

Times-Picayune columnist Larry Holder wrote on Thursday that the Saints should sit out their offensive starters on Friday night, that it’s “not worth the risk of playing the Saints’ most valuable offensive assets.”

Quarterback Drew Brees isn’t going to play anyway because he’s been dealing with an oblique injury during training camp, but Holder said his advice would have been to sit Brees no matter what.

You can read Holder’s column here. It includes some interesting quotes from Saints assistant head coach Joe Vitt about Williams from his testimony for the bounty hearings.

Yeah, the Rams’ preseason opener just got a lot more interesting.

You can follow Nate Latsch on Twitter at @NateLatsch or email him at natelatsch@gmail.com

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