Rams hire Walton to run defense
The St. Louis Rams have hired Tim Walton as defensive coordinator, a position they did not fill last season after Gregg Williams was suspended for his role in the Saints' bounty scandal.
Coach Jeff Fisher was expected to discuss the hiring Friday afternoon. He said in a release that the 41-year-old Walton, the secondary coach the past four seasons with the Detroit Lions, was in the same system the Rams are using.
''I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to add coach Walton to our staff,'' Fisher said. ''He will be a huge asset to our staff and we are all looking forward to working with him.''
Fisher was among three former defensive coordinators who shared responsibilities in his first season in St. Louis after Williams was suspended. Williams was reinstated last week and hired by the Titans, where he previously worked under Fisher as a senior defensive assistant.
Earlier in the offseason, the Rams were close to hiring Rob Ryan as defensive coordinator. Instead, they will go with Walton, who was also the third-down package coach for the Lions last season. The Lions were 10th in the NFL in third-down defense, allowing opponents to convert 36.5 percent of their chances.
Walton also was a college coach for 14 seasons, including stints as a defensive coordinator at the University of Miami and Memphis. He was on the LSU staff in 2003 for a team that won the BCS national title.
In college, Walton lettered four seasons at Ohio State as a defensive back and was a co-captain for the 1993 Big Ten championship team.