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Gregg Williams - Expect Him To Withdraw Saturday

Washington Redskins assistant head coach Gregg Williams said he was considering withdrawing from consideration for the team's head coaching position late last night amid reports citing team sources that he was no longer candidate. As of midnight owner Daniel Snyder and executive vice president Vinny Cerrato had not contacted Williams to notify him of any change in his status, and Williams has heard nothing from them since his final interview 10 days ago.

When asked if he would withdraw from consideration given the drawn out process and recent developments, Williams said: "I really haven't even had time to think about it, but it's something I will consider. I want to discuss it with my players and coaching staff, and at this point I haven't had a chance to contact anyone yet." Sources close to Williams said late last night that they expected Williams to formally pull out after speaking to Joe Gibbs, players and his coaches in the morning.

The Redskins are alleging to some media members that Williams somehow disrespected Gibbs during the interview process, and sources close to Williams believe the club has executed a smear campaign on various fronts in recent days to attempt to devalue him as a candidate despite heavy support from fans, coaches and players.

It's odd that ownership - covertly of course, who would dare say something on the record? - would use the excuse of Williams disparaging Gibbs after dragging Williams through a long process, considering he was the first person Gibbs hired when he returned to coaching and that Gibbs recommended Williams be his replacement. Also interesting that word of this would leak word of this around 11 pm on a Friday night - not exactly prime time, eh? Sure that wasn't by design.

Williams said reports that he had made disparaging remarks about former Coach Joe Gibbs during his interview were untrue.

"I haven't heard a thing from (Snyder and Cerrato), but I can assure you that Joe Gibbs is one of the best people I have ever been around in the world and one of my favorite people to ever be around. I came here because Joe Gibbs asked me and I feel honored to work with Joe Gibbs.

"Everybody knows Coach Gibbs is in the Hall of Fame as one of the best coaches who's ever been in this league. But once you are around him you see an even better person than s football coach. I can't believe anyone would even come close to suggesting that I would ever say anything inflammatory or derogatory about Joe Gibbs. He's my idol."

"I pinched myself all the time understanding and knowing that I get a chance to work side by side with him. I wanted to grow as coach and learn a lot more in this profession and what better way to learn form than a master coach who is already in the Hall of Fame.

"What I've learned in patience and how to deal with people and those things - how to build relationships - have been invaluable and will always be invaluable to me and will directly relate to my experiences with Joe Gibbs. With all that being said and done all Redskins know we are a very close knit family and that comes from people like Joe Gibbs and me and I feel tremendously proud that I have had an opportunity to work with Joe Gibbs. I just wish it could have been longer."

Contrary to some reports, the talks between owner Dan Snyder, executive vice president Vinny Cerrato and Williams were amicable, sources said, and Williams supported Gibbs staunchly in public and in private during his four years here.

By Jason La Canfora  |  January 25, 2008; 10:33 PM ET
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