On his first day back at work, a slimmed-down Gregg Williams met with reporters at his introductory press conference with the Tennessee Titans and spoke of change.
Hours after being reinstated by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Williams didn't dodge questions about the bounty scandal that shattered the New Orleans Saints in 2012 and left the former defensive coordinator wandering an abyss.
"I take full responsibility for my actions, and have used this year to reorganize my life," Williams told reporters after being announced as Tennessee's senior defensive assistant. "I am grateful for this opportunity."
Williams hit the podium looking like a different human being. He's shed 30 pounds, grown a goatee and looks years younger than when he roamed the sideline in New Orleans.
"You can take any type of situation and use it as a chance to improve," Williams said, who told the room his lengthy suspension was filled with travel and a quest for self-improvement.
Williams appeared along with Titans coach Mike Munchak and defensive coordinator Jerry Gray. The trio repeatedly downplayed suggestions of a potential power struggle within the defensive coaching ranks. Williams preached cooperation and a collaborative approach to help turn around a unit that allowed 374.9 yards per game (sixth-worst in the league) and bled points to the tune of 29.4 per outing.
Munchak said he initially avoided pursuing Williams "because of all the stuff that happened in New Orleans," but spoke with Goodell for hours, asking questions and going through the league's view of the bounty scandal and Williams' role in it.
"I felt good about the talks with (Goodell)," Munchak said, who said he later met with Williams at length in Nashville and was "encouraged" by what he saw and heard from his longtime friend.
"I understand and respect the game. The past is the past," Williams said, adding that he's in Tennessee to build a resume "from this day forward."
Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.