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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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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—D-line scoop, Alex Smith's big deal

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—D-line scoop, Alex Smith's big deal

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, March 24, 33 days before the NFL draft.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington.

Free agency update: What's next for the Redskins on the D-line? The Redskins have been casting out lines for defensive linemen since before free agency officially started but they haven’t been able to reel one in. Part of the issue might be that they know that Vita Vea and Da’Ron Payne are likely to be available in the draft. They have to balance spending big on a lineman vs. being able to get one pretty cheap for the next five years.

Redskins make a D-line contract change, gain roster flexibility—Speaking of the D-line, the team negotiated the removal of a salary guarantee for one player to give themselves more flexibility when it comes time to cut the roster down to 53 in September. See the post for details.

Redskins guarantee Alex Smith a whopping $71 million in new contract—In the words of Joe Biden, this is a big f-----g deal. It showed that the Redskins aren’t afraid to pay a quarterback big money if they think it’s the right guy. It should be noted that whether or not they chose the right guy is something that remains to be seen. Although the post shows that it’s plausible for the Redskins to terminate the deal after three years, I anticipate Smith playing out at least four if not all five years of the contract.

Redskins add another ex-Cowboy as they sign Scandrick—Orlando Scandrick has struggled with injuries the past few years and Redskins fans did not greet the news of his signing with great enthusiasm, to say the least. To point out the bright side, his contract is not pricey by NFL terms ($2.6 million cap hit this year, no guaranteed money beyond a $1 million signing bonus) and from what I have been able to gather it’s possible that change of scenery might give him a boost for a year or two.

Tweet of the week

Well before free agency started, I wrote that the Redskins’ top priorities in free agency should be to get extensions done for Smith, Brandon Scherff, and Jamison Crowder. They should have about $15 million to work with after a few more free agent signings and that would be plenty to get all of those extensions done. And if they do score a big free agent signing, it would be worth it to restructure the contract of someone like Ryan Kerrigan to get them done.

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


Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 23
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 124
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 169

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Eagles' Michael Bennett allegedly injured elderly worker; arrest warrant issued

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Eagles' Michael Bennett allegedly injured elderly worker; arrest warrant issued

Philadelphia Eagles lineman Michael Bennett has been indicted on felony abuse for allegedly pushing an elderly NRG Stadium worker during Super Bowl LI.

Bennett was indicted by the Harris County, Texas district attorney's office for injury to the elderly — which is intentionally and knowingly causing injury to a person 65 years or older, according to a press release from the Harris County Sheriffs' Office.

A warrant has been issued for Bennett's arrest.

The 66-year-old paraplegic stadium worker was attempting to control field access when Bennett allegedly pushed her. 

The maximum penalty Bennett faces is ten years in prison in addition to a $10,000 fine.


Bennett — whose brother Martellus played in that Super Bowl for New England — was a member of the Seattle Seahawks during the incident and was in attendance as a noncompetitive player.

The NFL has been made aware of the situation and is looking into the matter, according to Pro Football Talk.

The 32-year-old 10-year NFL veteran could potentially face NFL discipline under the league's personal conduct policy.