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The Saints hire Greg Williams as their defensive coordinator

The New Orleans Saints hired Gregg Williams to fill their vacant defensive coordinator’s post and revive a defense that allowed 339.5 yards per game.

Coach Sean Payton announced the hiring Thursday.

Williams, who spent last season in the same job for the Jacksonville Jaguars, replaces Gary Gibbs. He was fired 10 days after New Orleans finished the 2008 regular season ranked 23rd in the NFL in total defense.

Jacksonville’s defense allowed 330.9 yards per game this season, which ranked 17th in the league. The unit allowed 22.9 points per game, which was 21st in the NFL.

In five of the last eight years, however, Williams’ defenses have ranked in the top 10 in the league — including three top three’s in the past five years.