Alan Williams enters his 13th season of NFL coaching in 2013 after setting a solid foundation for the Vikings defense in his 1st season with the club in 2012. Williams and Leslie Frazier served on the Indianapolis staff in 2005-06, working with the defensive backs, reaching the pinnacle of football following the 2006 season when the Colts won Super Bowl XLI over Chicago. Williams got his first taste of NFL coaching in 2001 with Tampa Bay as part of Tony Dungy’s staff, and followed him to Indianapolis the following season. In Williams’ previous 12 NFL seasons (2001-12), he has been a part of 11 playoff teams, 7 Division champions and advanced to Super Bowl XLI and XLIV.
In his 1st season with the Vikings, Williams worked with a unit that improved dramatically from the previous season and played well down the stretch as the team won its final 4 games to earn an NFC Wild Card berth after a two-year absence from the postseason. The Vikings jumped to the NFL’s #16 team in total defense and leaped to #19 in the NFL in scoring defense at 21.3 points per game, an improvement from #21 and #30 respectively the season before. The 2012 Vikings allowed 64 points fewer to opposing offenses than the 2011 unit.
The Vikings got high-level performances from proven veterans in 2012 as DE Jared Allen earned his 5th career Pro Bowl berth and led the club with 12.0 sacks. Stalwart LB Chad Greenway led the team in tackles for the 5th straight season with a career-high 191 while CB Antoine Winfield tied a career-high in tackles with and matched his own team record for tackles by a CB in a season with 110. During 2012 the Vikings relied on starting rookie S Harrison Smith in 16 games, rookie DB Josh Robinson 6 times and newly added veteran CB A.J. Jefferson 7 times. Reserve DE Everson Griffen ranked 3rd on the team with 8.0 sacks, doubling his output from his previous 2 seasons with the club. Smith returned a pair of INTs for TDs during the season to match the Vikings rookie record and Griffen added another pick-6 score and notched a Vikings-best 3.0 sacks in the regular season finale vs. Green Bay to clinch a playoff berth.
In Williams’ decade working with the Colts DBs, the club ranked in the top 6 in NFL passing defense 5 times and finished out of the top 15 only once. During Williams’ tenure with Indianapolis he coached a pair of players, Antoine Bethea (2007, ’09) and Bob Sanders (2005, ’07), who each twice earned Pro Bowl honors. Sanders became the 1st Colts player to earn AP Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2007. In 2009 Colts CB Jacob Lacey earned All-Rookie honors after starting 9 games and grabbing 3 INTs, including a TD return.
The Colts’ playoff success was in part due in part to the defense snaring interceptions at record rate. In the 9 straight Colts playoff appearances from 2002-10 the team snared 18 INTs, 2nd in the NFL over that span to only New England’s 22. In regular season play in the same 9 seasons the Colts grabbed 140 INTs and scored 14 times on INT returns. From 2002-10 the Colts allowed the fewest TD passes in the NFL (159), the fewest pass completions of 25+ yards (159) and the 3rd-fewest passing yards (29,993), an average of 208 yards per game and 1.1 passing TDs per game in that span. From 2002-10 the Colts allowed 20+ TD passes only 2 times and had 10+ INTs each year.
The 2008 Colts set an NFL mark by allowing only 6 TD passes, the lowest number allowed in a 16-game season. The 2007 Colts ranked #3 in NFL total defense and #2 in passing defense while grabbing 22 INTs on the season, tied for the 2nd-most in the NFL on the season. The 2007 unit led the NFL in scoring defense, allowing 228 offensive points (14.3 points per game) and yielded 279.7 yards per game. During the Colts 2006 run to the Super Bowl XLI title the defense played at a high level. In the 4 postseason games the Indy defense snared 7 INTs and allowed only 2 second-half TDs in the playoffs, including holding Chicago out of the end zone for the final 3 quarters of the Super Bowl. The Colts DBs sealed the title when Kelvin Hayden returned an INT 56 yards early in the 4th quarter to break open a 22-17 game and provide the final margin in the 29-17 Colts win.
Williams got his break as an NFL coach in 2001 with Tampa Bay under head coach Tony Dungy where he joined a defensive staff that included Monte Kiffin and Mike Tomlin along with John Lynch, Ronde Barber and Donnie Abraham in the backfield. The Bucs went 9-7 and advanced to the NFC Wild Card playoffs.
Williams grew to pursue football as a career during 9 seasons as a player and coach at William & Mary. He was a standout RB from 1988-91, ending his career with over 2,500 yards of total offense and set a school record with 4 TDs in playoff action against Massachusetts. After graduation from the College in 1992 he coached prep football and track at Norview High in his home town of Norfolk, VA from 1992-95 before returning to his alma mater. From 1996-2000, the opening 2 seasons as RBs coach and the final 3 as DBs coach from 1998-2000. Williams and wife, Lisa, have 3 sons- Christian, Solomon and Nathan.