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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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Over/under: Redskins running backs in 2017

Over/under: Redskins running backs in 2017

Redskins running backs over-under

The Redskins’ running backs depth chart looks quite different from how it did a year ago. Rob Kelley, who was “ninth-string” back last year per Jay Gruden, is the starter. Samaje Perine enters the mix with expectations that exceed those normally assigned to a fourth-round pick. Chris Thompson is the constant as the third-down back. What kind of numbers will they put up this year? Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay go over-under on some Redskins running back stats. 

Rob Kelley, 1,000 rushing yards

Tandler: If you project Kelley’s production in the nine games he started over 16 games it comes to about 1,050 yards. He had his ups and downs in those nine starts and he will have them this year. But he should have enough ups to be able to average the 62.5 yards per game needed to hit the thousand-yard mark. Over

Finlay: Unlike wide receivers, where 25 guys broke the 1,000 yard mark in 2016, it's getting harder and harder for a running back to hit four-figures. In 2016, only 12 RBs ran for more than 1,000 yards, and only eight got over 1,100 yards. As the NFL becomes more and more of a passing league, less backs are getting the carries sufficient for a 1,000 yard season. The Redskins haven't had a 1,000 yard rusher since Alfred Morris in 2014. While I think Kelley gets the bulk of the yardage, I think it caps out about 900 yards and Chris Thompson and Samaje Perine creep into the total. Under

RELATED: Who's next at QB for the Redskins?

Kelley, 10 rushing touchdowns

Tandler: He scored six as the starter last year and doing the math that comes to 11 over 16 games. But last year there wasn’t a player like Perine, who could come into the game and vulture some touchdowns after Kelley did the work to get the ball in goal to go position. Under

Finlay: Sorry to keep going back to stats, but last year only seven running backs got to 10 TDs or more. Only seven! Hard to see Kelley getting there on a team that didn't run all that much, or all that well either, in 2016. Under

Samaje Perine, 500 rushing yards

Tandler: It tough to set a line for a guy who hasn’t played. I’ll go off Matt Jones’ 2015 rookie season when he gained 490 yards while sharing time with Alfred Morris. If Perine averages four yards per carry, which is not hard to do, he’ll need about eight carries per game to get to 500. It’s close but if Kelley is effective, as I believe he will be, Perine might not get enough carries to have a chance. Under

Finlay: Tandler's Matt Jones comp pretty much works for Perine, but Jones had explosive speed that Perine doesn't have. A better comp for me was Derrick Henry last year as a rookie with the Titans. DeMarco Murray was established as the top dog, and Henry worked for a productive 490 yards. Under

MORE REDSKINS: Offer to Cousins not nearly enough

Chris Thompson, 60 pass receptions

Tandler: His role is beyond just third down. If the Redskins are behind in the fourth quarter, Thompson is usually in there to try to help spark a rally. Along with TE Jordan Reed and WR Jamison Crowder, Thompson will benefit from Kirk Cousins’ familiarity with him. Over

Finlay: Thompson should be a strong contributor in 2017, but 60 catches is a lot for a running back. Only David Johnson (80) and Le'Veon Bell (75) went over that number in 2016, while James White had exactly 60 catches. Thompson grabbed 49 balls in 2016, an impressive total. I could actually see Thompson getting a bigger percentage increase in carries, he had 68 rushes last season with a very solid 5.2 YPC, than catches. Under

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Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

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#RedskinsTalk Podcast: Final refresh before 2017 season truly begins

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#RedskinsTalk Podcast: Final refresh before 2017 season truly begins

Rich Tandler and JP Finlay wrap up the Redskins offseason and prepare for what will be the most intriguing and the most overplayed storylines at training camp in Richmond.

<<<NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT>>>

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back