Gregg Williams—Joe Gibbs, like all coaches, hates distractions and the potential departure of Williams could have turned into a huge one. The Houston Texans had already requested an interview with him for their vacant coaching position and, certainly, more calls would be coming soon. The three-year, $8 million contract is really a one-year deal as it doesn’t prevent Williams from seeking a head job in 2007, but it is as good a deal ass one could expect under the circumstances. The $2.7 million he’ll make next season is as much as he would have been paid as the head coach for at least half of the teams in the market for a new head coach. But all indications are that it’s not all about money. Williams likes his situation here. He has excellent relationships with both Gibbs and with Dan Snyder and he is reluctant to move his family again. And, although it’s likely that he’ll take the plunge again in the future, he didn’t really like the non-football aspects of being a head coach. Another year off from that will do him good.
Shawn Springs—Although he’ll probably be officially listed as questionable, it seems extremely unlikely that Springs’ groin injury will have healed sufficiently for him to be able to play on Saturday. That’s not good for the Redskins, but it’s hardly disastrous. For one thing, Carlos Rogers is likely to return to the lineup after missing three games with a torn bicep muscle, so he and Walt Harris will be starting. Also, you just have to learn to live with and adjust to injuries this time of year. Nobody is going to take it easy on you because your starting cornerback is out. If Dimitri Patterson and Christian Morton have to be out on an island at crunch time next Saturday, so be it. They’ll just have to step up and make plays like Aki Jones and Demetric Evans have done on the line this year and like Lemar Marshall and Chris Clemons did at linebacker last year.
Lemar Marshall—The offseason loss of middle linebacker Antonio Pierce to free agency was supposed to be a devastating blow for the Washington defense. Not. Marshall was one of a few potential solutions that were to be tried in training camp, but he found himself at the top of the depth chart posted on the eve of training camp and he has given the coaches no reason to remove his name from there. It didn’t take long for the move to pay off. In the first game of the season, the Bears trailed by two late in the third quarter and they had driven to the Washington 22. On first down Kyle Orton’s pass was deflected by Warrick Holdman and Marshall gathered it in a yard deep in the end zone. The threat was over and the Redskins held on to win. Marshall’s huge interception on Sunday provided a nice bookend to his season. The fact that he led the team in interceptions with four is more of an indictment of the inability of the defensive backs to get their hands on very many passes and to hold on to the ones that they did get near, but it’s still a nice accomplishment for a middle linebacker.
Of course, Kirk Cousins is disappointed the Redskins didn’t make the playoffs, but among the various things he’s done in the offseason, one of them is a little curious.
Sunday, Cousins wasn’t just watching the Falcons dominate the Packers, 44-21, in the NFC Championship Game. He sent out a picture on Instagram from the stands of the Georgia Dome.
“Watching two of the best in the world do what they do & taking notes to make it to this game next year -score a lot of points!” Cousins wrote.
But — especially with rumors that Atlanta offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan will be offered the head coaching position with the 49ers — is there more to this post than the Redskins’ quarterback simply watching the game?
Shanahan was the Redskins’ offensive coordinator from 2010-2013 and was reportedly “integral” in the team selecting Cousins in the 2012 NFL Draft.
So if Shanahan makes the move out to San Francisco and if the Redskins don’t put a franchise tag on Cousins, could the pair be reunited?
It’s possible, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, who said, “don’t be surprised if the 49ers make a run at Kirk Cousins if the Redskins do not make him their exclusive franchise player.”
There’s a lot of if’s involved for that to happen, but it’s possible. It’s also possible Cousins was just enjoying the NFC Championship Game and decided to Instagram about it.
MORE REDSKINS: Why Matt Cavanaugh makes sense for Washington
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:
- 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.
- 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."
- 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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