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Could another stunning hire be on tap for the Redskins?

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Could another stunning hire be on tap for the Redskins?

Ten years ago today, the Redskins’ search for a new head coach revolved around guys like Ray Rhodes and some other retreads who had been fired as head coaches at least once. At least that was what we knew during the search for Steve Spurrier’s replacement.

But on the evening of January 7, 2004 word began to leak out that the legendary Joe Gibbs had agreed to return to coach the Redskins. The move sent Redskins Nation sky high, in part because it so totally unexpected.

There are currently 11 names on the known Redskins’ coaching search list and a few more usual suspects who could be added to the mix. By now we all know who those coaches are, a collection of NFL coordinators with a college coach or two sprinkled in there.

But in meetings with reporters last week Bruce Allen made it clear that the list of potential Redskins head coaches that he is working from is longer than the one that we know of.

If there are several unknown candidates under serious consideration we have the potential for a shocker like we saw 10 years ago.

Of course, it couldn’t be exactly the same as the return of Gibbs. There isn’t going to be a Gibbs 3.0. There is no other former Redskins coach out there who would take the job, much less elicit a positive fan reaction.

How about a former coach from another team? At this point, with all of his denials, Bill Cowher would be a stunning hire. Ditto for Jon Gruden.

Or maybe a shocker could come out of the college ranks. Bob Stoops of Oklahoma has been tied to the Browns job although the team has refuted the story. Could he get a call from the Redskins? Could David Shaw of Stanford, Kevin Sumlin of Texas A&M or Art Briles of Baylor recant their recent pledges to stay in place and make the jump to the Redskins?

The thing is, we could go on for a few thousand words here and throw names out and still not hit on who the stunning surprise hire might end up being. That’s the definition of a stunner, something that absolutely nobody on the outside sees coming.

And, by definition, it’s unlikely that we will have a shocking ending to the Redskins coaching search. Take your pick of the usual suspects and you’ll probably be right.

Probably. But be prepared, anything is possible.

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3 reasons why Redskins promoting Matt Cavanaugh to offensive coordinator makes sense

3 reasons why Redskins promoting Matt Cavanaugh to offensive coordinator makes sense

Championship Sunday produced a flurry of Redskins news. A pair of internal promotions erased the team's vacant coordinator positions, as Greg Manusky landed the defensive coordinator spot and Matt Cavanaugh will take over as offensive coordinator. When Sean McVay left to coach the Rams, many expected Cavanaugh to take over his spot. Here are three reasons why:

  1. If it ain't broke, don't fix it - There was plenty to criticize from the Redskins the last two seasons, but not much of it came on offense. Cavanaugh joined the organization in 2015 as quarterback coach, and the offense has consistently improved in those two seasons. Though the team struggled to score TDs in the Red Zone, the 2016 version of the Redskins moved the ball at a team-record clip and ranked among the top offensive teams in NFL yardage. When something is working as well as the 'Skins offense, it's not wise to change it dramatically.
  2. Impressive work - Cavanaugh began coaching QBs for the Redskins in 2015. Kirk Cousins took over as Redskins starting quarterback in 2015. In two years working together, Cousins twice broke the Redskins franchise passing record and is now poised to get a mega-contract in free agency. Talking after the 'Skins loss to the Giants earlier this month, Jay Gruden said, "I think [Cousins'] really improved his game a lot in the last couple years. And a lot of it has to do with Matt Cavanaugh and Sean McVay."
  3. Make the call - The biggest question remaining for the Redskins - outside of the HUGE unknown surrounding Cousins - will be about play calling. All indications are that Jay Gruden will return to calling the plays from the Washington sideline, and obviously, that's a situation Cavanaugh understands. For two seasons now, Cavanaugh along with McVay, Gruden and offensive line coach Bill Callahan have had input on play calling. With McVay gone, Cavanaugh and Callahan will likely contribute even more in support of Gruden. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

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Poll: What is your approval rating for the Manusky hire?

Poll: What is your approval rating for the Manusky hire?

Hit the poll and then come back here to comment or just replay on Twitter. Thanks!