GREEN BAY – The Packers have hired Greg Williams as passing game coordinator (defense).
Williams, 46, brings 19 years of coaching experience to Green Bay, including 14 seasons in the NFL. Most recently, he served as Arizona's cornerbacks coach for four seasons. In Green Bay, Williams will work alongside sixth-year assistant Ryan Downard, who also has been promoted to defensive backs coach following Jerry Gray's departure to the Atlanta Falcons.
Here are five things to know about Williams:
1. He has worked with some of the NFL's top defensive backs.
Williams has worked with top-tier defensive backs during each of his four NFL stops, including two seasons spent with eight-time Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson in Arizona.
Under Williams' watch in 2020, Peterson and veteran Dre Kirkpatrick combined for six interceptions. Peterson's three INTs that season marked his highest total since 2016 (three) while Kirkpatrick's three INTs tied a career high and surpassed his INT total from his previous three seasons (2017-19) combined.
Williams came to Arizona with Vance Joseph, whom he coached under for one season in Denver. During that 2018 campaign, Williams helped the Broncos tie for fifth in the league in team interceptions (17) while Chris Harris was selected to his fourth Pro Bowl after recording three INTs and a sack.
Williams also spent two seasons (2016-17) as the defensive backs coach with the Colts after seven seasons with the Chargers. Williams' time in San Diego was split between assisting the linebackers (2009-12) and secondary (2013-15). During that latter stretch, safety Eric Weddle was selected to two Pro Bowls (2013-14) and the Chargers ranked fourth in the league in pass defense (214.2 yards per game) in 2014.
2. Williams coached alongside Joe Barry and Rich Bisaccia with the Chargers.
William's tenure in San Diego spanned both Bisaccia's two seasons as the Chargers' special teams coordinator (2011-12), and Barry's three seasons there as linebackers coach (2012-14).
Williams worked directly with Barry in 2012, Williams' fifth and final season assisting the linebackers. That season, San Diego ranked ninth in total defense (326.4 ypg) and sixth in rushing defense (96.4 ypg).
Williams also served on the same Chargers coaching staff as current Packers assistant special teams coach Byron Storer for two seasons. In fact, Storer replaced Williams as assistant linebackers coach in 2013 when Williams shifted to the secondary.
Williams also coached with current Packers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements for two seasons in Arizona (2019-20) and briefly mentored Rasul Douglas for two months before Douglas signed to the Packers' active roster in October 2021.
3. Williams played on both sides of the ball at North Carolina.
He started his college career at receiver before transitioning to strong safety as a junior in 1996. As a senior, the 5-foot-11, 187-pound Williams was named the Tar Heels' most improved defensive player after recording 83 tackles, two INTs and eight passes defensed in nine starts.
He played in four bowl games as a Tar Heel and two of his college squads finished their respective seasons ranked in the Associated Press Top 10. Williams graduated with a degree in sociology.
A native of Bolingbrook, Ill., Williams was a unanimous All-State selection and was named the Player of the Year in the state of Illinois by Gatorade, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune. In addition, he was an all-conference selection in 1992 and 1993 on both offense as a quarterback and defense as a defensive back in high school.
4. He played professionally in the Arena Football League, the XFL and NFL Europe.
Along with attending training camp with Chicago and the New York Giants, Williams played two seasons with the Amsterdam Admirals of NFL Europe (1999-2000). He was given All-Europe honors following the 1999 season with the Admirals after leading the league with six INTs.
In 2001, the San Francisco Demons selected Williams in the 21st round (166th overall) in the XFL Draft. He had 34 tackles and a 49-yard interception in 10 games (nine starts). Afterwards, Williams played with the AFL's Indiana Firebirds (2001-03) and Chicago Rush (2004-05).
5. Williams' coaching career began with a flyer left on his car.
While living in Arizona in the early 2000s, Williams had just left a mall when he noticed a sign-up sheet from the local YCMA calling for kids and coaches. Williams, who was still playing arena football at the time, decided to give it a shot. "I was like, 'I've got nothing to do.' I went over there and coached a 9-, 10- and 11-year-old basketball team at the 'Y' in Tempe, Arizona," Williams told Colts.com in 2016. "After I did that, I said, 'I found what I wanted to do.' I still have the plaque of the team picture at home."
His coaching career officially got started in 2003, as an intern at Arizona State. He then served as an assistant coach at College of DuPage (Ill.) for two seasons (2004-05) before working two years (2006-07) as Arkansas Tech's defensive backs coach and recruiting coordinator. His final coaching season at the collegiate level came in 2008 as a graduate assistant at the University of Pittsburgh.