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Kicking drags down special teams grade

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Kicking drags down special teams grade

By Tarik El-Bashir
CSNwashington.comSpecial teamsGrade vs. Buccaneers: CComment: Its not really fair to punish an entire unit because of one players struggles. But its also impossible to give the special teams any grade better than adequate after Sundays near miss in Tampa.As it turned out, of coruse, Billy Cundiff was the hero after connecting from 41 yards out with seven seconds remaining, lifting the Redskins to a 24-22 victory. But the veteran also came oh-so close to being the goat after missing attempts from 41, 57 and 31 yards out.Cundiff accepted the blame for the first three misses, calling the chip shot he yanked wide in the fourth quarter a mental error. But he also mentioned that the Redskins field goal unit has yet to completely gel when it comes to timing, which is concerning given that Sundays game was the third since long snapper Justin Snow replaced the injured Nick Sundberg.Theres a big timing aspect, Cundiff said after the game. Justin is snapping the ball and Sav Rocca is holding the ball well. Its up to me to get into rhythm with those two guys. Those guys have been around a long time, and they are doing their job great. Its matter of me getting on their page and thats a tough thing to do.He added: There are a lot of things involved in there. Were still trying to gel and mesh.Overall, Cundiff ranks 30thin field goal accuracy, making 6 of his 10 attempts, which includes misses from 62 and 57 yards out.Coach Mike Shanahan said on Monday that Cundiff the team wont hold any kicking tryouts this week. But you cant imagine hell stand pat again if Cundiff struggles against the Falcons on Sunday.

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Redskins set to interview new defensive coordinator candidate in Dennis Thurman, per report

Redskins set to interview new defensive coordinator candidate in Dennis Thurman, per report

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. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

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Callahan takes himself out of running for Redskins' offensive coordinator job

Callahan takes himself out of running for Redskins' offensive coordinator job

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.

More Redskins: Setting the odds on what will happen with Cousins

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.

Related: Projecting the Redskins' roster--defense

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.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.