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Assistant coaches need action

Assistant coaches need action

Now that Jim Fassel has been put on the back burner, perhaps permanently, there is a sense that the Redskins are going to deliberate further on their choice for Joe Gibbs' replacement. It seems likely that a decision will not be made this week. There is talk—unconfirmed by the Redskins, of course—that Dan Snyder may wait until after the Super Bowl is over and have a chat with the Giants' Steve Spagnuolo.

The members of Redskins Nation, their finger weary and voices cracking from typing and speaking so much anti-Fassel rhetoric over the past 48 hours, seem to be fine with the break, too. Let things settle down for a while, seems to be the general sentiment.

It seems like a great idea. Retrench, revise the search criteria, take a deep breath, and go back at it next week.

It may seem like a great idea.

But it's not.

It's a terrible idea not because we're all tired of waiting or because the reporters who cover the team just want to be able to go home for a weekend. That's irrelevant in the long term.

Suffering long-term damage here are the careers of the twenty-some men who form the Redskins coaching staff. They don't know if they have jobs for this coming season. A new coach is likely to bring major changes to the coaching staff and even if Gregg Williams gets the gig he is likely to want at least to tweak the staff.

On top of that, every day that goes by means that assistant coaching positions around the league—and around college football for that matter—are being filled. The likes of Bill Lazor, Jerry Gray and others are hearing the sounds of doors closing every single day.

To be sure, most of them are under contract for 2008 and even if they are let go they will be paid. That takes care of the bills in '08.

But while sitting out a year and taking a long vacation at the beach and puttering around the yard in the fall might sound nice to a lot of us, it can be career poison for a football coach. In a highly competitive business where there are many more applicants than jobs the old saying "out of sight, out of mind" is a chilling phrase to these coaches.

If the answer to "what have you done lately" is "spent a month fishing in Florida and watched every one of both my kids' soccer games", you're not going to impress an potential employer in this business.

The flip side of this is that the Redskins will find a very small pool of new assistants to hire if they don't conclude their coaching search until mid-February. Even at this moment the logistics of finding new coaches with every other head coaching vacancy now filled might make the promotion of Williams, which would entail minimal coaching turnover, the only sensible course of action. We've seen the problems with finding assistants the past few days with the dramas with Jim Zorn, Rex Ryan, and John Ramsdell. Such issues will only get worse and worse as each day goes by.

Whether it's GW or Fassel or Meeks or Schwartz or any other mystery candidates, the decision needs to be made. Not only is leaving the staff twisting in the wind just plain the wrong thing to do, it's bad for business. You don't want to get a reputation as an organization that will do that.

Make the call, Dan. It's the right thing to do.

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Redskins Fan of the Year bracket: Which Washington supporter deserves the title?

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Redskins Fan of the Year bracket: Which Washington supporter deserves the title?

Every week during the 2017 Redskins season, NBC Sports Washington found two Redskins fans in the crowd and paired them in a head-to-head matchup on Twitter to determine the fan of the game.

And now that the season is over, it's time to take each of those winners, throw them into a NCAA Tournament-style bracket and let Twitter pick the Redskins Fan of the Year.

Starting on January 8 over on the @NBCSRedskins Twitter account, one matchup a day will be posted at 11 a.m., and fans will have 24 hours to vote for their favorite supporter by retweeting or liking depending on their preference. Week 1's winner will face off with Week 17's, Week 2's will play Week 16's, etc.

The winners will advance, and eventually, one member of the Burgundy and Gold faithful will stand above all the rest, earning the coveted title of Redskins Fan of the Year. 

Check out the results below, which'll be updated every day. To see the tweet that corresponded with each matchup, click the link after the date, but remember, retweets and likes submitted after the 24-hour period won't be counted.

January 8: Round one, matchup one

This was a close one that came down to the last-minute, but at the 24-hour mark, Week 17's winner garnered justtttttttt enough retweets to move on.

January 9: Round one, matchup two

In this tournament, a giant Redskins chain is apparently worth more than a giant football hat.

January 10: Round one, matchup three

In the tournament's third showdown, we have our first winner from the Likes side:

January 11: Round one, matchup four

Was there anyway she wasn't gonna win, especially with the little Hogettes nose?

January 12: Round one, matchup five

Our fifth matchup's winner earned the most retweets of anyone up to this point:

January 15: Round one, matchup six

These three 'Skins fans had to witness Washington's Thursday night flop in Dallas, so it's only fair that they get to advance to the second round:

January 16: Round one, matchup seven

There's still time to vote on this one:

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Who will be the Redskins' core offensive players three years from now?

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Who will be the Redskins' core offensive players three years from now?

Just before training camp, I took a stab at figuring out who on the Redskins roster would still be with the team and contributing in the year 2020. Now that the season is over, let’s revisit that look, move it up to 2021, and see how much the picture has changed. The offense is up today, the defense later this week.

The terms used here are mostly self-explanatory. If you want details you can look at this post from a couple of years ago.   

Offense (age as of Week 1 2021)

Potential blue-chip players: Brandon Scherff (29), Morgan Moses (30)
Changes from last prediction: Moses added, removed Trent Williams (33), Jordan Reed (31)

Scherff and Moses both are two young players who should get better with more experience. The right side of the line will be in good hands assuming the Redskins will be able to re-sign Scherff, who will be a free agent following the 2019 season.

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Williams will be 33 in 2021. He can play at a very high level at that age but I think he will be just below the perennial Pro Bowl status he enjoys now. Although I think that the Redskins can still get some good play out of Reed in the next couple of years, it’s hard to imagine him staying productive into his 30’s. He is under contract through 2021 but it’s hard to see him playing in Washington past 2020.

Solid starters: Jamison Crowder (28), Josh Doctson (27), Chris Thompson (30), Williams
Changes: Doctson, Thompson, Williams added, Kirk Cousins (33), Terrelle Pryor (32), Moses removed.

I’m probably higher on Doctson than most. I don’t see him attaining All-Pro status or catching 100 passes in a season but his physical talent is so good that he will be a solid, productive receiver for the next several years. The Redskins will need to find a third receiver but they will have two good ones in Crowder and Doctson.

Third-down back isn’t technically a starting position but Thompson should still be contributing as much to the offense as many starters.

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I think that Cousins will be a solid starter somewhere in 2021 but it is not looking like it will be in Washington. Pryor obviously did not work out and he is very likely to be playing elsewhere next year.

Potential starters: Spencer Long (30), Rob Kelley (28), Samaje Perine (25), Chase Roullier (28)
Changes: Added Roullier, moved Doctson up

Long could be a fixture on the O-line in 2021 or he could be signed by a different team in March. I don’t think that Kelley or Perine will be workhorse backs but either or both could be a part of a tandem. Roullier could move up to the “solid starters” category if he can repeat what he did in a small sample size (7 starts) in 2017.

There are other players who could end up on these lists a year from now. But we haven’t seen enough of 2017 draft picks TE Jeremy Sprinkle or WR Robert Davis to offer an intelligent assessment of where their careers are headed. It’s the same with undrafted linemen Tyler Catalina and Kyle Kalis. They might not make the team in 2018 or they could be competing for starting jobs in 2019.

There also are reserves like Ryan Grant (30) and Ty Nsekhe (35) who still could be on the roster but who would only be spot starters.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.