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New Redskins defensive coordinator search update: 3 contenders but other names lurk

New Redskins defensive coordinator search update: 3 contenders but other names lurk

After the dismissal of Joe Barry last week, the Redskins search for a new defensive coordinator is moving briskly. Here's an update on everything we know. 

  • Gus Bradley still remains the leader in the clubhouse for the job, at least according to a number of reports. Though his teams struggled in Jacksonville as a head coach, Bradley was a strong defensive coordinator in Seattle and has ties to both Scot McCloughan from their days with the Seahawks and to Bruce Allen and Jay Gruden from their days in Tampa. One hiccup in the Bradley to Ashburn conversations: A report surfaced that Bills interim coach Anthony Lynn wanted to bring Bradley with him as defensive coordinator should Lynn land a full-time, head coaching job. As of now, Lynn has plenty of interviews to be a head coach, but no offers. 
  • The Redskins received permission to interview Panthers secondary coach and assistant head coach Steve Wilks. Carolina could have blocked the Redskins request for an interview, but elected not to. Wilks has also interviewed for the Rams head coaching position. Perhaps Wilks' greatest success has been the development of Josh Norman from late-round draft pick to elite cover corner. With Norman now in Washington, it's possible Wilks has a vocal supporter already on the Burgundy and Gold. 
  • Internally, Greg Manusky looks like the only coaching staff holdover with a chance to become defensive coordinator. He currently serves as the 'Skins outside linebackers coach, one of the few units that performed well on the Redskins beleugered 2016 defense, and his work with third-year pro Trent Murphy opened a lot of eyes in Ashburn. Further, Manusky has experience running defenses, as he was coordinator in Indy, San Diego and San Francisco in various stops earlier in his career. 
  • Cross Gregg Williams' name off the list. To many it seemed unlikely anyway that the former defensive coordinator during the Joe Gibbs 2.0 days in Washington would come back, now it is a done deal after reports link Williams to the Browns open coordinator position. Remember, when Gibbs resigned in 2007, Williams was considered a front runner to take over as Washington head coach. Instead, the organization turned to Jim Zorn. Yep, Jim Zorn. 
  • Another name to take off the list is Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther. Cincinnati denied permission when Washington requested to talk with Guenther, who worked with Gruden for years while both were in Cincy.
  • There has been zero movement towards him, but for the crowd that clamors for the vocal, brash Rex Ryan, don't expect him at Redskins Park anytime soon. CSN's Chick Hernandez reported that Ryan will likely head for the bright lights of television instead of coaching in 2017, a move that makes sense as the former Jets and Bills head coach can be entertaining when holding a microphone. 
  • The situation surrounding Wade Phillips continues to be interesting. With his contract as Denver's defensive coordinator set to expire, and head coach Gary Kubiak resigned, it looks like John Elway will go a new direction at head coach. Reports connect Miami defensive coordinator Vance Joseph as the front-runner for the Broncos top gig, and if that happens, it's unlikely Phillips gets retained. Should Phillips hit the open market, there will be plenty of suitors, and much speculation points to the Raiders. But remember, Phillips' son Wes is the Redskins tight ends coach. Don't count Phillips out quite yet. 


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Martavis Bryant could make sense for the Redskins, at the right price


Martavis Bryant could make sense for the Redskins, at the right price

A 2017 midseason trade for Martavis Bryant made no sense for the Redskins. A 2018 offseason trade for Martavis Bryant, however, might make sense for the Redskins. 

Bryant is on the trade block, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, and will be an intriguing prospect for receiver-needy teams across the NFL. In parts of three seasons with the Steelers, Bryant has 17 touchdowns and a 15.2 yards-per-reception average. 

A big play threat from any place on the field, Bryant would immediately make the Redskins receiving unit more athletic and explosive. 

It's not all good news with Bryant, though.

He was suspended for the entire 2016 season after repeated drug violations and caused some distraction for Pittsburgh during the 2017 season when he asked for a trade via social media. 


Is the talent enough to overcome the off-field distractions? Many would say it is. 

Last year, in just eight starts, Bryant grabbed 50 catches for more than 600 yards and three TDs. In their lone playoff loss to the Jaguars, Bryant caught two passes for 78 yards and a TD. 

Remember, too, the Steelers have an explosive offense, and Bryant is coupled with Antonio Brown on the receiver front along with Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback and Le'Veon Bell at running back. The Pittsburgh offense is loaded. 

Washington's offense is not nearly the prolific unit that the Steelers send out, but Jay Gruden does design a good offense. 

The real question surrounding any talk of trading for Bryant is the cost.

The Redskins are not in a position to send away any more draft picks this offseason after giving up a third-round pick, in addition to Kendall Fuller, to acquire Alex Smith. Bruce Allen and the Redskins front office need to improve their team in plenty of spots, and the team's draft picks are quite valuable. 

Bryant only has one year remaining on his rookie deal, and it's hard to balance that sort of short-term investment with the value of adding a rookie committed to the team for at least four years. Perhaps a late-round pick would make sense, but it would need to be a sixth-rounder. 

This could be one of those rare situations in the NFL where a player for player swap could work, though pulling that type of maneuver requires a lot of moving parts. 

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Need to Know: The most overrated Redskins events of 2017

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Need to Know: The most overrated Redskins events of 2017

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, February 23, 19 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

The overrated Redskin moments of 2017

Originally published 12/30/17

Sometimes in the NFL, something happens that grabs headlines and appears to be a momentous event that has ripple effects that will last all season and perhaps beyond. Other times something that is greeted with a yawn by fans and the media turns out to be something with lasting impact. Yesterday we looked at three events that were underrated at the time they happened. Here, in no particular order, are three overrated events from 2017.

Beating the Raiders—At the time, the Raiders were 2-0 and they still had the status of being one of the favorites to get to the Super Bowl. The Redskins whipped them 27-10 and the prevailing view was that the Redskins were on their way to a special year. But that loss started a four-game losing streak for the Raiders. They are currently riding a three-game skid and at 6-9 they are contenders for a top-10 draft pick, not for the Super Bowl. The win became less impressive for the Redskins as the year went on.

Signing Terrelle Pryor—There was plenty of excitement when the Redskins signed the Browns wide receiver, who had 1,000 receiving yards catching passes from a sub-mediocre group of quarterbacks in Cleveland. Imagine what he could do with a quality QB and a good offense around him. The hype grew when a fan captured him making this catch in training camp:

But the production was not there. In nine games before going on injured reserve with an ankle injury, Pryor caught 20 passes for 240 yards and a touchdown.

Su’a Cravens departure—There was a lot of concern about issues both on and off the field when Cravens abruptly let it be known to teammates that he intended to retire just after the Redskins finalized their 53-man roster on September 2. All offseason Cravens’ name had been written at the top of the depth chart at strong safety in Sharpie. When he walked away and was put on the Exempt/Left Squad list (and eventually on the Reserve/Left Squad list, ending his season), there was plenty of speculation about whether the organization botched the situation and, of more immediate importance, what would happen at safety without Cravens. We’re still not sure about what happened but Montae Nicholson and Deshazor Everett did a respectable job at safety.

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:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 6
—NFL Draft (4/26) 62
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 198