Jim Haslett recently talked about some pending free agents on defense that he would like to retain. He named linebackers Brian Orakpo and Perry Riley, lineman Chris Baker, and cornerback DeAngelo Hall.
Yesterday here we looked at the salary cap numbers on the defensive line. It is possible that their contracts will tie both Stephen Bowen and Barry Cofield to the team this season.
A picture of the 2014 Redskins defense is beginning to emerge and it is looking a lot like the 2013 unit. Let’s take a look:
Defensive line: Assuming Cofield and Bowen are retained and Baker is back, those three would join Jarvis Jenkins, Chris Neild, and probably Kedric Golston and your depth chart is identical to what it was in 2013.
Linebacker: There will be one hole in the middle, created by London Fletcher’s retirement. If Orakpo and Riley come back they would join Ryan Kerrigan and 75 percent of the linebacking corps would be returning.
Secondary: If Hall comes back he will be one starter at cornerback and 2013 second-round pick David Amerson likely would get the starting nod opposite him. Amerson played about two thirds of the snaps last year so that would be a very familiar look. Brandon Meriweather is under contract so there’s a good chance he lines up at one safety spot. The other one could be filled either Phillip Thomas or Bacarri Rambo or the team could bring in a free agent or another draft pick.
Under the very plausible scenarios here, the Redskins would wind up with two new starters in defense and perhaps a new nickel back. That doesn’t seem to be much of an infusion of talent that many think is needed to turn the defense into a playoff-caliber unit.
Well it looks like the name many considered to be the Redskins top choice at defensive coordinator is off the market. Adam Schefter broke the news of Gus Bradley to the Los Angeles Chargers.
The Redskins interviewed Bradley early in their process of selecting a new defensive coordinator. His latest gig ended poorly after he was fired as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, but Bradley's best success came as defensive coordinator with the Seattle Seahawks.
When he served in that role with Seattle, Bradley worked with Scot McCloughan. And prior to his coaching stint in Seattle, Bradley coached in Tampa, where he worked with both Bruce Allen and Jay Gruden.
Those connections, and his success in Seattle, had many fans hoping Bradley would take over for Joe Barry, who Washington dismissed more than two weeks ago.
The connection between Bradley and the Chargers comes as no surprise, and it leaves Washington still in need of a defensive boss.
Mike Pettine probably jumps to the top of the ranks of other coaches the Redskins have interviewed, but it still seems internal candidate Greg Manusky could be in position to move up to coordinator. Manusky spent the 2016 season as outside linebackers coach and has prior coordinator experience.
The Skins have also interviewed Dennis Thurman, last of Buffalo, Jason Tarver, last of San Francisco, Rob Ryan, also last in Buffalo, and John Pagano, last with the Chargers.
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The Redskins are reported to have a new quarterbacks coach. Normally that is not news that moves the needle much but if the report proves to be accurate the move has some big implications for the Redskins coaching staff.
First, about the coach. Kevin O’Connell was most recently an offensive assistant with the 49ers. Prior to that he was a quarterback who spent time with the Patriots, who drafted him out of San Diego State in the third round in 2008, Lions, Jets, Dolphins, and Chargers. He only saw the field the Patriots and he attempted just six passes. His addition as the Redskins’ quarterbacks coach was reported by Fox Sports.
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The thing is, the Redskins don’t officially have an opening for a quarterbacks coach. The job is held by Matt Cavanaugh. However, the Redskins do need an offensive coordinator since Sean McVay left last week to become the head coach of the Rams. Moving Cavanaugh, who played quarterback in the NFL for 13 seasons before starting a 23-year career in coaching, to offensive coordinator, seems to be the logical move to make to many.
If O’Connell’s addition to the staff does indeed become a reality, that would all but confirm that Cavanaugh is getting the promotion. Nothing is official until it’s official but this seems to be the way things are heading.
Stay tuned to CSNmidatlantic.com for the latest.
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.