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Need to Know: The Redskins' third option

rich-bisaccia-2.png

Need to Know: The Redskins' third option

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, January 4, 66 days before the start of NFL free agency.

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“We’re going to look for someone who is a leader first and it could be on the offensive side of the ball, defense or special team,” Bruce Allen said after Mike Shanahan was fired on Monday. “There have been a couple special teams coaches who have made great head coaches.”

So into the debate over an offensive coach vs. a defensive guy jumps a third option. Allen interviewed current Cowboys and ex-Bucs and Chargers special teams coach Rich Bisaccia (pronounced Be-sach-ia) on Friday. This wasn’t a cursory interview for an old associate (the two worked together when Allen was the GM in Tampa Bay) or an attempt to pick the brain of a coach for a division rival. Bisaccia seems to be a legitimate candidate for the job.

Here are five quotes about Bisaccia:

1. "Oh, my goodness. You have to talk to the man,” said Bucs Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp. “You can see the passion and fire in him. He has the ability to touch the star player or the kid who has no shot. The man is special. I love Rich.''

2. “He's full of energy, and he's genuine,” said Bucs safety John Lynch. “And he can tell some great stories.”

3. “He’s one of these guys who just has an infectious personality, and I think that’s a really important trait for all coaches,” said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett. “The players play as hard for him as I’ve ever seen any players play for any coach.”

4. “I would say to sum him up, he’s a guy that you would go to war for,” said Chargers linebacker and special teams ace Bront Bird. “He’s a true leader of men. His intensity, passion and most of all knowledge of the craft brings out the very best of his players.”

5. "He's an excellent coach,'' said Jon Gruden, Bisaccia's boss for eight seasons while with the Bucs. "He's as versatile a coach as I've been around. He could coach any position. I strongly considered making him our defensive line coach when Rod Marinelli left town. I let him coach running backs, and he did an outstanding job.”

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Timeline

—On this date in 1983, Mark Moseley was named the NFL MVP for the 1982 season. He is the only kicker to receive the award.

—Days until: NFL free agency 66; 2014 NFL Draft 124; 2014 Opening Sunday 246

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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. 

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

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

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