The Redskins suffered the first on-field injury of training camp Saturday when backup linebacker Jonathan Goff aggravated the right knee injury that caused him to miss all of last season.Its unclear how Goff was hurt, but he went down during 11-on 11-drills as he dropped back in coverage. He suffered a torn ACL in the same knee before the season opener last season as a member of the Giants.Goff, 26, is expected to serve as backup to inside linebackers London Fletcher and Perry Riley. He started 16 games for New York in 2010.We dont know anything yet, said Coach Mike Shanahan, who confirmed that it was his right knee. Well do an MRI sometime this evening.Goff did not return to practice, but was able to walk from the field to the locker room without assistance or a pronounced limp.Some other notes from Shanahans post-practice news conference:Guard Kory Lichtensteiger, who is working his way back from torn ligaments in his right knee, did not participate in the afternoon session. Shanahan said he did not suffer a setback after looking solid Thursday and Friday.We just gave him the third day off and not overwork him, the coach said. He had a couple good days.Asked to assess rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III through three days of camp, Shanahan said, Good.Every day is a learning experience, he added. The more reps you get, the better you feel about the system, the better you feel about NFL defenses, your teammates, what they can do, that they cant do. They say its the hardest position to play in all of sports. I really believe it is, because theres so much to learn.Wide receiver Pierre Garon, who signed a five-year, 42 million contract in March, has impressed the coaching staff with his strength, speed and work ethic. During a cornerback vs. wide receiver drill Saturday, Garon raced past DeAngelo Hall and hauled in an over-the-shoulder pass from Griffin.Theres no question he can be a No. 1 receiver, Shanahan said. Ive been very impressed with the way hes practiced and handled himself since hes been here. Hes got a ton of ability. Ive been very happy. Dezmon Briscoe joined the team after getting claimed off waivers from Tampa Bay on Friday afternoon. Shanahan said Briscoe impressed him on film, and after getting a positive recommendation from defensive backs coach Raheem Morris, who was the Buccaneers head coach last season, he decided to give him a look.Briscoe scored six touchdowns last season, one more than any receiver on the Redskins (Jabar Gaffney, who is no longer with the team).Ive looked at him on film and I liked him, Shanahan said of Briscoe. Look at how many touchdown catches he had last year, what he did in college, good size, so we gave him a chance to compete and see what he can do.Shanahan also sounded somewhat annoyed that tackle Jammal Brown has decided to wait until Tuesday to get his hip examined in New York by his personal doctor.I just know its a little unusual you have to wait a few days to have an MRI, Shanahan said.The Redskins are off Sunday.
Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, January 24, 36 days before the NFL franchise tag deadline.
—NFL free agency starts 44
—NFL Draft 93
—First Sunday of 2017 season 229
Gruden's fate rests on Manusky, McCloughan
In his press conference the day after the Redskins lost to the Giants to end their season, Jay Gruden talked about the decision-making process that would unfold if there were changes in the coaching staff.
“Ultimately I would think it is my call – our call,” he said. “Bruce [Allen] will have some input, Dan [Snyder] will have some input, Scot [McCloughan] will have some input, but from a staff standpoint, I like to think I have a lot of pull on that one.”
That doesn’t make it sound like he was completely free to replace the fired Joe Barry and new Rams head coach Sean McVay with whomever he chose. Others could make suggestions and have input and possibly veto power.
The decision to make Greg Manusky the defensive coordinator likely was influenced by and/or had the approval of, McCloughan. Manusky ran the defense in San Francisco when McCloughan was the GM there. McCloughan was instrumental in getting Manusky to come to the Redskins to coach the outside linebackers a year ago, after he was fired as the Colts’ defensive coordinator.
Having McCloughan’s approval for the hire provides Gruden with some degree of security. If it doesn’t work out, if the Redskins upgrade the talent on defense and still don’t get better results, the heat will be on McCloughan as well as Gruden.
Still, Gruden will be the one in the spotlight this season. When the annual media lists of coaches on the hot season in 2017 come out, Gruden is sure to be atop many of them. It’s simple math, really. In Gruden’s three seasons the team has gone 4-12, 9-7, and 8-7-1. A return to double-digit loss territory would be a regression and there would be legitimate concern over whether Gruden is the guy who can make progress and then maintain it and build on it.
Did Gruden get his first pick for the job? Probably not. It seems that Gus Bradley was the favorite, having built the aggressive Seattle defense and having ties with McCloughan from there and with Gruden and Allen from Tampa Bay. But he decided to head west and take over the Chargers’ defense, perhaps wondering about Gruden’s job security. If Bradley didn’t top the list, then Gruden’s top choice probably was Cincinnati defensive coordinator Paul Guenther. But he is under contract and the Bengals denied permission for him to talk about making a lateral move.
More Redskins: Redskins stay in house
Wade Phillips decided to go to the Rams, who have decidedly better defensive personnel than the Redskins, before he had a chance to meet with Washington. We’re not sure how seriously Gruden pursued Phillips but it’s possible that he would have taken him over Manusky if he had the chance. That means that Manusky was at best Plan C or Plan D.
But that’s water under the bridge. Gruden’s fate now lies in the hands of Manusky and in the hands of McCloughan, who must set out to get the new defensive coordinator a significant talent upgrade. If Gruden gets a better defense and can maintain a top offensive attack (given Kirk Cousins’ contract status, he needs McCloughan’s help there, too) and the Redskins can take the next step he should be expecting to start serious extension talks in 2018.
If the Redskins spin their wheels and end up around .500 again or if they regress and post double-digit losses like they did for five out of six years from 2009-2014 they could be cleaning house and starting over again. That wouldn’t be a good scenario for anyone. The organization is counting on Manusky, who was Plan C, and McCloughan to help Gruden get things on track.
Tandler on Twitter
#Redskins Twitter in 3…2…1… "Why are they signing the long snapper when Cousins is the top priority?"— Rich Tandler (@Rich_TandlerCSN) January 23, 2017
In case you missed it
- Kirk Cousins will make Pro Bowl, per report
- 3 potential concerns with Redskins promotion of Matt Cavanaugh
- Redskins promote Matt Cavanaugh to offensive coordinator
- 3 potential concerns with Redskins' promotion of Manusky
- 3 reasons why promoting Matt Cavanaugh makes sense for Redskins
- Final Countdown: Punch to the gut floors Redskins in Arizona
- Redskins hire Tomsula for D-line, announce coordinators
- Redskins stay in house for coordinator hires
On Monday morning, the Redskins made several new coaching hires official, including Jim Tomsula as the new defensive line coach.
Tomsula was out of football in 2016 after serving as the 49ers head coach for the 2015 season in which the team finished 5-11.
Despite struggling as a head coach, Tomsula gained an odd, if not heavy cult following. It made little sense considering he has the look and demeanor of someone who was put on this earth to coach football and coach football only. But through the glories of the internet came this:
The Jimmy Tomsula rap song.
RELATED: MOST IMPORTANT REDSKINS' FREE AGENTS
It's just a demo, and I suppose the full version could be out there somewhere since this song is over a year old. But there's something hypnotizing about 60 consecutive seconds of "Open up my shirt like im Jimmy Tom-Sula."
How long before we begin hearing this song at FedEx Field on Sundays?