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Need to Know: Shanahan expects quick resolution

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Need to Know: Shanahan expects quick resolution

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, December 24, five days before the Washington Redskins visit the New York Giants.

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Five notes and quotes from Mike Shanahan’s Monday news conference:

1. As noted here yesterday, Shanahan said after the game that he thought there was a block in the back during Michael Spurlock’s 62-yard punt return. He said a look at the film confirmed it. "There’s no question it was, but hey, we’ve still got to – somebody else has to – make the play. Yeah, they [the officials] missed one there, but they’ll miss some on our side as well.”

2. Shanahan has said many times that he will meet with Daniel Snyder at the end of the season to determine his future. He was asked if he expected the meeting and resolution to happen quickly. “I’m sure it will,” he said. “But you’ll have to ask Dan to make sure. I can’t answer that.”

3. On the Redskins last play from scrimmage, Cousins' fourth-down pass that only Fred Davis, who wasn't in the game, could catch, it appeared that there was some confusion from the line. There was. On a critical play in the 15th game of the fourth season under this coaching staff, a 13-year veteran doesn’t know where he should be lining up. ““Well, he [Moss] should have been on the other side. Santana heard a different formation and he [Cousins] was trying to bring him across and we didn’t get it communicated.”

4. After saying that he prefers natural grass but the future of the FedEx playing surface is up to Snyder, Shanahan basically threw the FedEx grass under the bus. “Two or three years in a row, you see how bad that field is, it’s [field turf] something you would definitely look at.”

5. Even though there is absolutely nothing on the line on Sunday, Shanahan still won’t give some younger players a look during the Giants game. “Still the same – you’ve got to earn the right to play. If it’s really close or somebody has played a little bit better, regardless of who that person is, he’ll get a chance to play.”

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Timeline

—Days until: Redskins @ Giants 5; Free agency starts 77; 2014 NFL Draft 135

—Today’s schedule: Practice 11:50; Mike Shanahan and Kirk Cousins news conferences and player availability after practice (Note that this is the usual Wednesday schedule; they will take the usual Tuesday off day on Christmas Day)

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Shanahan on QB hits

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Redskins interview another former Chargers defensive coordinator

Redskins interview another former Chargers defensive coordinator

The Redskins continue to cast a wide net in their search for a new defensive coordinator. On Thursday, they interviewed John Pagano, who was recently let go as the defensive coordinator of the Chargers.

Pagano, the brother of Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, has been coaching with the Chargers since 2002. That year he started as a quality control coach and then he was the linebackers coach from 2005-2011. The Chargers fired defensive coordinator Greg Manusky, a current Redskins coach and another candidate to run the defense in Washington, after the 2011 season and Pagano was promoted into that job.

Related: Projecting the Redskins' roster--defense

In Pagano’s five seasons with the Chargers, the performance of the defense was respectable. In terms of total yards, San Diego was in the top 10 twice and only once were they ranked worse than 20th.

The Redskins fired defensive coordinator Joe Barry on January 5. The list of candidates they have interviewed includes Mike Pettine, Gus Bradley, Rob Ryan, Manusky, and Jason Tarver. They are expected to interview former Jets and Bills defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman on Friday.

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

None of the candidates they have interviewed have accepted positions with other teams so they are all still in play. There is no timetable for the team to make a decision, although the sense is that the process is coming to a close and will be concluded in the near future.

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.

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Need to Know: How long is too long in the Redskins' defensive coordinator search?

Need to Know: How long is too long in the Redskins' defensive coordinator search?

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, January 20, 97 days before the NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 40
NFL free agency starts 48
First Sunday of 2017 season 233

Will Pleasant push the defensive coordinator search to a conclusion?

Is the Redskins’ search for a defensive coordinator taking too long? Joe Barry was fired two weeks ago yesterday. The Redskins have made it clear that they want to be very thorough in their search. But taking time creates problems and one just popped up. Assistant defensive back coach Aubrey Pleasant apparently has the option to follow Sean McVay to Los Angeles. But the Redskins want to hold on to him.

The problem is that they don’t want to sign Pleasant to be, say, the cornerbacks coach and tie the hands of the incoming defensive coordinator. They already would like the new guy to keep OLB coach Greg Manusky and ILB coach Kirk Olivadotti. Locking in a third position coach might made it very hard to persuade a quality coordinator to come on board.

Related: Projecting the Redskins' roster--defense

However, they can’t hold Pleasant, who is a young, energetic coach who relates well to the players, back indefinitely. Presumably McVay and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips have a bigger role in mind for him and they won’t wait forever for him to get things resolved in Washington.

But it’s not like the Pleasant situation will need to be resolved by the close of business today. We’re talking days, not hours. How many days? They could lose him due because of the Redskins’ deliberate process if it stretches into sometime early next week. I think the chances are strong that there will be a decision on the new defensive coordinator by, say, the close of business on Tuesday.

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

I’ll wrap this up with a quick round of laying out the $100 in casino chips on the various defensive coordinator candidates. Things have changed since I did it on Monday. I’ll still make Greg Manusky the favorite but I’ll drop him down five bucks to $35. I’m downgrading Mike Pettine down to a $10 wager; I’ve heard that the organization was not impressed with his interview. I’m more than doubling the wager on Gus Bradley to $25. It’s been a few days since reports that the Chargers were pressing him for a decision and yet he remains in play. I’m going with $10 on Dennis Thurmon, who is from the school of the aggressive style of play that Jay Gruden is looking for. Rob Ryan gets not a cent and the remaining $20, including John Pagao, who interviewed yesterday, goes on the field.

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In case you missed it

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.