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Press release: Redskins hire Kotwica as special teams coach

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Press release: Redskins hire Kotwica as special teams coach

LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. – The Washington Redskins announced today that they have named Ben Kotwica (COT-wee-kuh) as Special Teams Coordinator.

Kotwica is entering his eighth NFL season after spending the first seven years of his NFL career in various coaching capacities with the New York Jets. Before assuming the role of coordinator in 2013, Kotwica assisted with the Jets’ special teams in multiple roles across the 2007-12 seasons.

The Jets accounted for 10 combined kick and punt return touchdowns during his time as an assistant, tied for most in the AFC and tied for second-most in the NFL. The Jets averaged a league-best 24.6 yards per kick return in those six seasons and had a kick returner finish in the Top 5 in the NFL in kick return four times (Joe McKnight, 2012; Joe McKnight, 2011; Brad Smith, 2010; and Leon Washington, 2007). Kotwica helped Leon Washington earn his first career Pro Bowl berth as a kick returner following the 2008 season.

In addition to his football career, Kotwica’s background includes his time as a decorated officer who spent eight years in the United States Army after graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point. His military career included operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Korea and Iraq. In 2004, he was deployed as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom II, serving as a Combat Attack Helicopter Commander and flying more than 1,000 combat hours in support of five maneuver Brigades within the 1st Calvary Division.

During his service, Kotwica was awarded with the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Bronze Star.

Kotwica played at Army from 1993-96 and was a three-year starter at linebacker. He was the captain of the only 10-win team in Army history, leading the Black Knights to a 10-2 record and the program’s most recent Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy in 1996.

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Final injury report: Three Redskins out for Sunday

Final injury report: Three Redskins out for Sunday

Redskins

Out

C Spencer Long (concussion)—He missed the second half of the Cardinals game and has been in the concussion protocol this week. John Sullivan will start in his place.

S Will Blackmon (concussion)—Blackmon also has been in the concussion protocol and has not practiced all week. Donte Whitner and Duke Ihenacho will handle the safety position.

DE Anthony Lanier (leg)—The reserve lineman missed the Arizona game with a leg contusion. Gruden said he was kicked in the lower leg against the Cowboys and the swelling is still an issue.

Questionable

G Shawn Lauvao (groin)—It was a surprise to see him watching practice on Wednesday as no injury had been reported for him. But he came in for treatment and did not practice on Wednesday and Thursday. If he can’t go, Arie Kouandjio will start at left guard.

OT Ty Nsekhe (ankle)—Fortunately Trent Williams is back from his suspension; Nsekhe was the starter while he was out. If Nsekhe is out, Vinston Painter will be the swing backup tackle.

TE Jordan Reed (shoulder)—After missing last week’s game with a third-degree separation of the AC join in his left shoulder, Reed was able to practice on a limited basis this week. If range of motion is still an issue he could sit or play very limited snaps. If it’s a matter of pain tolerance he will be a full go.  

G Brandon Scherff (ankle)—He has been limited in practice during the week but it seems certain that he will go against the Eagles.

DE Chris Baker (ankle)—Baker missed some practice this week but he should be able to go against the Eagles although his level of effectiveness will bear watching.

Also questionable for the Redskins: DE Ricky Jean Francois (knee), OLB Preston Smith (groin), ILB Will Compton (hip), TE Derek Carrier (knee)

Eagles

Questionable

WR Jordan Matthews (ankle) and RB Ryan Matthews (knee) were full in practice all week and it seems likely that the Eagles’ leading receiver and rusher, respectively, will play on Sunday. Up in the air is the status of WR Dorial Green-Beckham (oblique), who missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday.

RT Halapoulivaati Vaitai (knee) will miss his third straight game. He had a rough start in his NFL debut against the Redskins in Week 6 but he remained the starter until getting injured in Week 11. Since then the Eagles have moved LG Alan Barbre to right tackle with Stefen Wisniewski going in at left guard.

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast - WR Ryan Grant opens up about good and bad of NFL life

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USA Today Sports

New #RedskinsTalk Podcast - WR Ryan Grant opens up about good and bad of NFL life

Ryan Grant generates a ton of reaction from Redskins fans - and it's not always postive. The third-year wideout sat down with JP Finlay to talk about the ups and downs of life in the NFL. 

Click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates