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Need to Know: Redskins’ coaching staff turnover nearly complete

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Need to Know: Redskins’ coaching staff turnover nearly complete

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, January 24, 96 days before the Washington Redskins go on the clock for the first round of the NFL draft.

Question of the day

We’re changing up the format of Need to Know for the offseason. Every day I’ll give an in-depth answer to a question submitted by a fan on my Twitter feed, via the Real Redskins Facebook page, or in the comments section here. On Twitter address the questions to me at @Rich_TandlerCSN with the #NTK hashtag. There will be a comment thread set up on the Facebook page and if you’re asking your question here, put “for NTK” at the start of the comment.

Today’s question is from the Real Redskins Facebook page:

This question was submitted about a week ago and some things have changed since then. But I wanted to answer to illustrate how few coaches remain from December 30, 2013, the day that Mike Shanahan was relieved of his duties as head coach.

Shanahan, of course, has been replaced by Jay Gruden. Kyle Shanahan is gone, replaced by Sean McVay. He is the only holdover from the Shanahan days on offense after getting the promotion from tight ends coach. The organization, along with many other folks around the league, view McVay as a rising star in the coaching profession and they want to hold on to him. Wes Phillips replaced him as the tight ends coach.

Chris Foerster survived a year as the offensive line coach but Bill Callahan moved in there earlier this month. Bobby Turner left as running backs coach when Shanahan left, as did wide receivers coach Mike McDaniel. They have been replaced by Randy Jordan and Ike Hilliard, respectively.

On defense, Jim Haslett parted ways with the team on New Year’s Eve and was replaced this week by Joe Barry. Secondary coach Raheem Morris would be the only holdover on defense if he stays but it remains to be seen if he will be around in 2015. Jacob Burney, a long time Shanahan crony going back to his days in Denver, will not return as defensive line coach. Linebackers coach Bob Slowik was let go with Shanahan.

The bottom line is that if Morris does wind up leaving, the turnover from the Shanahan years will be 100% complete. There certainly is room to be skeptical about some of the new coaches who have been brought in. Change is not always a positive but there is no question that at least as far as the coaching staff goes the Shanahan era is in the rear view mirror.

Update: I neglected to include the change at special teams coach with Ben Kotwica taking over for Keith Burns.

Timeline

—It’s been 27 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 232 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL Combine 26; NFL free agency starts 45; 2015 NFL Draft 96

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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In case you missed it

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Terrelle Pryor reportedly working out with special glasses based on Antonio Brown's advice

Terrelle Pryor reportedly working out with special glasses based on Antonio Brown's advice

New Redskins receiver Terrelle Pryor has been working out with Steelers All-Pro Antonio Brown this offseason. 

The pair documented their receiving drills, ladder drills and even yoga on social media. But what you didn't see, according to ESPN's John Keim, is Pryor practicing with special glasses that Brown recommended. 

Based on Brown’s advice, Pryor has also worn special sunglasses during offseason workouts, designed to prevent him from seeing an object – in this case the ball – until it is almost upon him. Sometimes he takes his gloves off, just to get a feel for the ball with his hands.

The glasses Keim describes sound more like blinders, or even tunnel vision, but the idea is to help Pryor get an instinctive feel for running routes. 

Despite putting up 1,007 receiving yards with the Browns last year, Pryor has only played the position since 2015. His first four seasons in the NFL were spent trying to make a roster playing quarterback. 

Now penciled into a starting receiver role for the Redskins, he knows he has a lot of catching up to do. 

"The good ones, they ask questions and never think they’ve got it. They always want to learn," Pryor said, "I’m not calling myself a great one, but I think I can get there."

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins Playbook: Some good news for Kirk Cousins

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Redskins Playbook: 2017 schedule reveals some good news for Kirk Cousins

Redskins Playbook: 2017 schedule reveals some good news for Kirk Cousins

The Redskins offense performed at a high level in 2016, moving the ball well though the unit struggled in the red zone. Much of the success comes from Kirk Cousins' ability to quickly advance through his progressions and release the football before he takes too many hits.

Expect more of that in 2017, especially early in the season.

The Redskins don't face their first Top 5 sack defense until Week 9 when they travel to Seattle. From there, Cousins will face another Top 5 sack team when the Vikings visit FedEx Field in Week 10. 

After that, Washington's schedule doesn't feature a Top 5 sack defense until nearly Christmas. Unfortunately for Cousins, those two teams will come back to back in December when the Redskins host the Cardinals and the Broncos.

Sacks should not drive too much worry for Redskins fans. The Washington offensive line only allowed 23 sacks last season, two less than the Cowboys vaunted offensive line gave up on Dak Prescott. Cousins quick release and mastery of Jay Gruden's offense helps too. 

The Redskins have plenty to worry about in 2017, though facing fierce sack opponents shouldn't be too high on the list. 

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