If the Redskins offensive line improves this season to the point of surprise, many a pundit will have that proverbial egg on their face.That's because right now, most outside observers are not viewing this unit with anything close to sunny-side up optimism.Rotoworld's Evan Silva is the latest to rank the NFL's 32 offensive lines with the Redskins slotted way down the line at 26. No stunner there. Silva stated hisprojections were based on his own notes from the dozen or so games he watches each week; research from Football Outsiders and Pro Football Focus; factoring in"the impact of blocking schemes, rookie expectations, and free agency additions".His evaluation assumes the typical starting lineup with Kory Lichtensteiger at left guard andJammal Brown at right tackle plus rookies Josh LeRibeus and Adam Gettis joining reserves Maurice Hurt, Tyler Polumbus and Erik Cook (not sure why, but tackle Willie Smith, not listed). "Overview: This is another group that could have benefited from continuity that is so vital for zone-blocking teams. Trent Williams (6), Lichtensteiger (11), and Brown (4) combined to miss 21 games due to injury and suspension last season. Though a system fit for the Shanahans' scheme, Chester's game lacks requisite power for right guard. Lichtensteiger, considered a solid starter when healthy, is now coming back from ACL and MCL surgery. Hurt and Cook gained valuable spot-starting experience due to the injuries in front of them, but this year's priority needs simply to be staying healthy. If the Redskins somehow find durability on the line, this could shoot from a bottom-seven unit to the middle of the pack. Robert Griffin III should definitely make it look better."After drafting three lineman and the primary portion of free agency in the books, any improvement figures to come from the current members, though the Lichtensteiger and Brown injury scenarios linger.For comparison's sake, the Eagles (7),Giants (14) and Cowboys (16) all ranked well ahead of the Redskins, though others might quibble on the gap.Of their 2012 non-NFC East opponents, only the Rams (32) finished behind the Redskins while five units ranked among the league's top 10.
The Redskins have conducted interviews with a number of candidates at defensive coordinator, but a new name emerged Thursday morning.
Thurman played cornerback in the NFL for nine years from 1978 to 1986, recording 36 career interceptions in 137 games. The bulk of his playing career was spent with the Dallas Cowboys, but he played his final season with the then St. Louis Rams.
In coaching since 1988, Thurman's coaching career started working with the secondary for the Cardinals before an eight-year run at his alma mater, Southern Cal. From there, Thurman came back to the pros, joining the Ravens coaching staff in 2002 working under Rex Ryan. In 2008, Thurman moved on with Ryan to the New York Jets, and in 2013, was named Jets defensive coordinator In 2014, he went to Buffalo with Ryan to serve as their defensive coordinator when Ryan was named head coach.
In four seasons as a coordinator, two in New York, two in Buffalo, Thurman's defenses ranked no worse than 19th, per Pro Football Reference.
A football lifer like Thurman likely has connections all over the league, but it's interesting to note he has worked with new Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn since 2009. The two were on staffs both with the Jets and the Bills. Another Redskins coordinator candidate Gus Bradley has often been linked with Lynn, though the two have never been on the same staff.
Meeting with Thurman will satisfy the NFL's guidelines to interview minority candidates for coordinator positions. The Rooney Rule, as it was instituted, requires NFL teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching jobs, but only suggests that teams extend the practice to coordinator positions. Washington had set an interview with Carolina's Steve Wilks, but then he was promoted internally to be the Panthers defensive coordinator and the meeting never took place.
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You can strike Redskins offensive line coach Bill Callahan off the list of candidates for the team’s vacant offensive coordinator position.
It’s not a matter of the 60-year-old veteran coach having been passed over by the organization. The simple fact is that Callahan enjoys doing what he’s doing, reports the Washington Post.
“Bill has never been happier in his life,” said Bob LaMonte, Callahan’s agent. What Callahan is doing now is coaching the Redskins’ offensive line and helping in the running game planning. He is well known for keeping the linemen out well after practice ends, schooling them on various techniques and details of their craft.
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LaMonte said that Callahan enjoys working with Jay Gruden and he didn’t rule out the possibility that Callahan may want to take the step up a coordinator job in the future.
Callahan is certainly well qualified for the job. His resume includes 37 years as a coach including seven as an NFL coordinator and two years as the Raiders’ head coach.
The Redskins’ offensive coordinator search still seems to be focused on internal candidates. Quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh is considered to be the favorite, while tight ends coach Wes Phillips could get the promotion, remain with the tight ends, or head west to Los Angeles to join the staff of former Redskins offensive coordinator and new Rams head coach Sean McVay.
In the week since McVay was announced as the Rams’ new head coach there has been little news about the search. The team is also looking for a defensive coordinator after firing Joe Barry two weeks ago. They have announced interviews with four candidates including Rob Ryan and an internal candidate, outside linebackers coach Greg Manusky, earlier this week.