Vikings: DC Alan Williams out as Zimmer's staff takes shape


Vikings defensive coordinator Alan Williams is heading east – but not far.

The Detroit Free Press reports Williams will join the Lions as defensive backs coach. Williams has a long history with the Lions' new head coach, Jim Caldwell. The two worked under Tony Dungy in Tampa Bay in 2001, then spent the next decade together in Indianapolis.

Williams joined the Vikings before the 2012-13 season – replacing Fred Pagac, who served as the defensive coordinator for just on year before being demoted to linebackers coach. In Williams' two years as a coordinator, the Vikings finished close to the bottom of the league in pass defense, according to Pro Football Reference. 24th in the league in 2012, then a drop to 31st this past season.

His departure represents further house cleaning in Minnesota, as new head coach Mike Zimmer shapes his staff. Zimmer gave defensive backs coach Joe Woods his walking papers on Wednesday, according to a report from ESPN's Ben Goessling.

Woods is one of many holdovers from the Leslie Frazier era that won't have a chance to stay on. According to Woods, Zimmer plans to interview special teams coordinator Mike Priefer, offensive line coach Jeff Davidson, wide receivers coach George Stewart, and linebackers coach Pagac for an opportunity to stay with the Vikings.

Additions to Zimmer's staff haven't been announced by the Vikings, but reports indicate that Norv Turner will be the offensive coordinator, Scott Turner will serve as the quarterbacks coach, Jerry Gray will coach the defensive backs and George Edwards may end up being named defensive coordinator. Zimmer's son, Adam, will likely be on the staff as well.

Gray was the defensive coordinator of the Tennessee Titans last season.

Members of Frazier's staff that have already departed include offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave, who left for a job to coach quarterbacks for the Eagles, and quarterbacks coach Craig Johnson, who opted to become Cleveland's wide receivers coach.

Frazier is now the defensive coordinator of the Buccaneers.

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