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NOTN: Bugel not a night owl

NOTN: Bugel not a night owl

Notes on the News

Bugel still blows with the Redskins, even without Gibbs - USATODAY.com: Gibbs' departure allows the world to be let in on a little secret: Bugel really isn't a night owl. All those infamous late-night meetings when Gibbs would meet with the coaching staff until the garbage truck arrived at Redskins Park in the wee hours of the morning? That's not Bugel's style.

'I like early bird,' Bugel said. 'I get here about 5:30, quarter to 6 every morning. I have an easy time getting up. Joe didn't like to start until 9 or 10 o' clock.'

That meshes well with Zorn, who gets to work early and plans to goes home at a decent hour.

'This is an early bunch,' Bugel said, 'and I kind of like it.'So, now it's out. All of those years, Joe Gibbs kept the meetings going until nearly dawn and all the while Joe Bugel was wanting to hit the sack.

I thought that it was a forgone conclusion that when Gibbs left, Buges would go back into retirement as well. For his first couple of years back, I was thinking that he should have stayed retired. He was given two 2004 draft picks to develop in Mark Wilson and Jim Molinaro. Neither one panned out. Jon Jansen went out during the first preseason game with an Achilles tear and the team had to pull Ray Brown out of retirement to play right tackle. The nickname he came up with for his charges, The Dirtbags, never took hold because they didn't accomplish anything worthy of gaining a moniker.

Bugel had failed to do what a coach is paid to do, develop talent and make things work when things aren't going well.

The last couple of years, however, he has regained his form. Ladell Betts was able to gain 1,000 yards rushing in a little more than half a season when Clinton Portis was injured in 2006. Last year he coached up rookie free agent Stephon Heyer to the point where he filled in ably for an again-injured Jansen. Jason Fabini moved inside to guard to replace injured Randy Thomas and held his own.

This year, Bugel has the highest rookie o-line draft pick he's had since he's been back in Chad Reinhart plus some rookie free agents with potential in Kerry Brown and Andrew Crummey. A couple of years ago, my confidence that he could make players out of the potential would have been very limited. Now, there is hope.

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Redskins interviewed Greg Manusky for defensive coordinator

Redskins interviewed Greg Manusky for defensive coordinator

The Redskins interviewed current outside linebackers coach Greg Manusky for their defensive coordinator opening, the team announced yesterday.  

Manusky has a long history with the Redskins organization. He served as outside linebackers coach this past season, and was also linebackers coach back in the 2001 season. In his playing days, Manusky was a Redskins linebacker from 1988 to 1990. 

He has held three separate defensive coordinator positions in his coaching career, including with the San Francisco 49ers (2007-2010), San Diego Chargers (2011) and Indianapolis Colts (2012-2015).

For more on his defensive philosophy and background, check out Rich Tandler's profile of Manusky

The Redskins have confirmed four interviews for the defensive coordinator position: Manusky, Rob Ryan, Gus Bradley and Mike Pettine

MORE REDSKINS: Projecting the Redskins' 2017 roster—Defense

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Projecting the Redskins' 2017 roster—Defense

Projecting the Redskins' 2017 roster—Defense

The Redskins are looking at potential free agents and continuing with the draft process as they try to move team from residing in the middle of the pack in the NFL to becoming annual contenders to go deep into the playoffs. The process is all about trying to build a solid 53-man depth chart. Let’s get out the crystal ball and see what that depth chart might look like.

Earlier this week we looked at the offense; today the defense is up. Although there could be a change to a 4-3 base defense in the making depending on who the coordinator is, we’ll line them up in a 3-4 until there is word to the contrary.

*Pending unrestricted free agent

Defensive line

Starters: Chris Baker*, draft pick/free agent X 2
Backups: Matt Ioannidis, Ricky Jean Francois, Anthony Lanier

It seems that Baker wants to stay and give that the Redskins would be starting their D-line virtually from scratch without him the chances of coming up with a deal seem strong. I will spend the entire 99 days between now and the draft saying that it’s not a given that they will take a defensive lineman, or any defensive player, with their top draft pick. But someone like Malik McDowell of Michigan State sure would fit in well here along with a free agent like Bennie Logan of the Eagles. The organization will be looking for leaps forward from Ioannidis and Lanier.

Related: Redskins defensive coordinator resume: Jason Tarver

Outside linebacker

Starters: Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith
Backups: Junior Galette, Trent Murphy, Lynden Trail

Although nothing is certain until pen is put to paper, the chances of Galette giving it another go after two torn Achilles in two years are strong. Trail and Houston Bates will battle for a fifth spot, if there is one. Given Smith’s inconsistency and the uncertainty of Galette’s health it wouldn’t be surprising to see them draft an edge rusher.

Inside linebacker

Starters: Will Compton, free agent
Backups: Martrell Spaight, Mason Foster, draft pick

I’m putting Compton there in dry erase marker, not in Sharpie. They love his leadership and work ethic but he must make more plays. I have a free agent starting beside him because it’s a tough position for a rookie to learn. But if they spend a high draft pick that player could jump into a starting job quickly.  Foster moves into the nickel role that he performed well after Su’a Cravens went out with an injury. Steven Daniels, a 2016 seventh-round pick who spent the year on injured reserve, could push Spaight for a job.

Cornerback

Starters: Josh Norman, Quinton Dunbar
Backups: Kendall Fuller (nickel), Tharold Simon, free agent/draft pick

This could go in a lot of different directions. The only spot set in stone is Norman’s. I have Bashaud Breeland moving to safety, which is something of a speculative hot take. If they make that move, they could spend a high draft pick or substantial free agent money on a corner or they could stay in-house with Dunbar or Fuller. Simon could make the team and contribute or he could be cut.

More Redskins: An early look at first-round draft possibilities

Safety

Starters: Su’a Cravens, Bashaud Breeland
Backups: Will Blackmon, Deshazor Everett, draft pick

Safeties are hard to find. In college, potentially good safeties gravitate towards cornerback, where the NFL money is better. If a good one hits the free agent market, the laws of supply and demand push the price up beyond the value of the position. For those reasons, the Redskins might try Breeland at safety. Some in the organization have believed for a couple of years that safety is his best position. Cravens announced that he would be moving to safety so that change is firm. Duke Ihenacho, who is a free agent, could be back but I think he moves along. Blackmon is a good veteran reserve who can play nickel also. Even though he made a key interception when forced into duty against the Eagles, it still seems that they don’t trust Everett at safety and perhaps a mid-round pick will replace him.

Specialists: LS Nick Sundberg*, P Tress Way, PK Dustin Hopkins

I predict that Sundberg will be the first of the team’s pending free agents to agree to a contract. Hopkins may get some camp competition but it is unlikely to be of more than the token variety.

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.