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Press release: Redskins announce Fewell as defensive backs coach

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Press release: Redskins announce Fewell as defensive backs coach

The Redskins announced the hiring of Perry Fewell as defensive backs coach and Mike Clark as the strength and conditioning coach. Here is the press release via Redskins PR:

LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. – The Washington Redskins announced today that they have named Perry Fewell as Defensive Backs Coach and Mike Clark as Head Strength and Conditioning Coach.

Fewell is entering his 18th NFL season after having spent the last five seasons as defensive coordinator of the New York Giants, a stint that included a victory in Super Bowl XLVI. In Fewell’s five seasons in New York, his unit amassed 160 takeaways, second-most in the NFC and third-most in the NFL.

Fewell entered the NFL in 1998 as a defensive backs coach with the Jacksonville Jaguars, a position in which he served for five seasons. He went on to coach defensive backs in St. Louis (2003-04) and Chicago (2005) before earning his first defensive coordinator job in 2006 with the Buffalo Bills. In 2009, he served as the Bills’ interim head coach for seven games.

Prior to joining the professional ranks, Fewell spent 13 years coaching collegiately. During his college coaching career, he held various positions at North Carolina, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Kent State and Vanderbilt.

Fewell lettered as a defensive back at Lenoir-Rhyne (N.C.) from 1980-83 and was part of the university’s Hall of Fame class in 2011. A native of Gastonia, N.C., he was on the football and track teams at South Point H.S. in Belmont, N.C., and was inducted into the Belmont Sports Hall of Fame in 2001.

Fewell and his wife, Kathleen, have two sons.

Clark is entering his 12th NFL season after having most recently served as Strength and Conditioning Coordinator for the Chicago Bears from 2013-14. His previous NFL experience includes stints with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Seattle Seahawks. He was named the NFL Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year by American Football Monthly in 2005 and helped the Seahawks advance to Super Bowl XL.

Clark spent 23 seasons in strength and conditioning at the collegiate level, including 14 seasons at Texas A&M from 1990-2003. He added the duties of assistant athletic director in 2000. During his time with the Aggies, he was named the Strength Coach of the Year in 1993 and 2000 by the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association.

A native of Wichita, Kan., Clark played high school football at Oak Park H.S. in Kansas City, and continued as a center at Ottawa (Kan.) University. He and his wife, Kris, have three children, Matthew, J.J. and Alicia.

FEWELL FOOTBALL TIMELINE

  • 2010-14:          Defensive Coordinator, New York Giants
  • 2009:               Interim Head Coach, Buffalo Bills (final seven games)
  • 2006-09:          Defensive Coordinator, Buffalo Bills
  • 2005:               Defensive Backs Coach, Chicago Bears
  • 2003-04:          Secondary Coach, St. Louis Rams
  • 1998-2002:      Defensive Backs Coach, Jacksonville Jaguars
  • 1995-97:          Secondary Coach, Vanderbilt
  • 1992-94:          Defensive Line Coach, U.S. Military Academy at West Point
  • 1988-91:          Wide Receivers Coach, Kent State
  • 1987:               Defensive Backs Coach, U.S. Military Academy at West Point
  • 1985-86:          Graduate Assistant, North Carolina
  • 1980-83:          Defensive Back, Lenoir-Rhyne

CLARK FOOTBALL TIMELINE

  • 2013-14:          Strength and Conditioning Coordinator, Chicago Bears
  • 2010-12:          Strength and Conditioning Coach, Kansas City Chiefs
  • 2004-09:          Strength and Conditioning Coach, Seattle Seahawks
  • 1990-2003:      Strength and Conditioning Coach, Texas A&M
  • 1988-89:          Strength and Conditioning Coach, Southern California
  • 1983-87:          Strength and Conditioning Coach, Oregon
  • 1982:               Strength and Conditioning Coach, Kansas
  • 1981:               Strength and Conditioning Coach, Wyoming
  • 1979-80:          Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach, Topeka (Kan.) H.S.
  • 1977-78:          Graduate Assistant, Kansas

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Week 7 Redskins-Eagles Preview: Monday night means more than it usually does

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Week 7 Redskins-Eagles Preview: Monday night means more than it usually does

After five straight defeats, the Eagles decided enough was enough and beat the Redskins on their home field in Week 1. In a bizarre turn of scheduling, Washington will face Philadelphia for the second time this season before playing any other NFC East opponent. 

For the Redskins, that means the time for a win is now. Behind the arm of Carson Wentz, the Eagles have streaked out to a 5-1 record, not to mention 2-0 in the division. Jay Gruden's squad sits at 3-2 and 0-1 in the division. Another loss to the Eagles, even though it's still early in the year, would put a major dent in the Redskins hopes of a NFC East title. 

"It’s a big game. The NFC East, they’re in the lead. They’re 5-1 and we’re 3-2. I mean, just do the math," Gruden explained this week. "If you look at 3-3 and 6-1 and we’ve lost twice to them, that’s a big difference. 4-2 and 5-2 and we’re right there in the thick of things as far as the NFC East is concerned."

MORE: TEN TIMES PHILADELPHIA FANS WERE THE WORST

The coach knows the stakes. Redskins fans certainly do, too. All the coverage starts at 7:30 on NBC Sports Washington with Redskins Kickoff, and here are three storylines to watch for the game:

  1. Blount force - In the Week 1 loss to Philadelphia, the Redskins defense did a fine job of stopping the Eagles rush attack. Zach Brown and the 'Skins held Philly to just 58 yards rushing. In that game, LeGarrette Blount rushed 14 times for only 46 yards, averaging less than 3.5 yards-per-carry. Well, Blount and the Eagles run game looks mighty different now. In their last four games, Blount is averaging more than 6 yards-per-carry and posted more than 330 yards. Known for his strength between the tackles, Blount will present a problem for the Burgundy and Gold playing their first game without rookie star defensive lineman Jonathan Allen. The challenge will be real, and D-coordinator Greg Manusky knows it: "He does a great job of making people miss at the hole, in the hole. So we have got to make sure we get in his face and be able to get him down. He is a big-body guy." 
  2. No wiggle room - For the most part, the Redskins defense did a solid job against Carson Wentz in the first matchup against the Eagles. Unfortunately, with a mobile QB like the 6-foot-5, 240 lb. Wentz, a few broken plays can make a tremendous difference in the outcome of the game. Think back to early in Week 1, the Redskins forced Wentz from the pocket and as he scrambled, he kept his eyes downfield and connected with WR Nelson Agholor for a long touchdown. On that play, two different 'Skins defenders nearly brought Wentz down in the backfield. But they didn't. And the 'Skins secondary did a good job in coverage for more than eight seconds. In that ninth second, however, Wentz struck. He's been doing it each game since, as he's emerged as an NFL MVP candidate with more than 1,300 pass yards to go with 13 TDs against just 3 INTs through six games. His ability to escape trouble must be incredibly frustrating for defenders, and Eagles head coach Doug Pederson explained his passer's skill, saying, "He is strong in the pocket and usually the first guy, an arm-tackle guy, can’t bring him down. He usually sheds that block and can escape."
  3. 8 or more - Throughout the 2016 season, the Redskins frustrated their fans by getting out to slow starts. In 2017, the opposite has been true. In four straight games, Kirk Cousins and the 'Skins offense have scored a first quarter touchdown and taken early leads. In the second half, however, the offense has stagnated. While the Redskins average about 23 points-per-game, the team is only scoring about 8 points-per-game in the second half. Against a Philly team capable of scoring every time they touch the ball, Washington will likely have to score more in the second half to get a victory.

News & Notes

  • This will mark the Redskins 70th game on Monday Night Football, and their ninth MNF matchup against Philadelphia.
  • Kirk Cousins enters the game 3rd in NFL history in completion percentage (65.9) among players with at least 1,500 career attempts.
  • With 100 yards receiving, Chris Thompson could break a tie with Dick James, Craig McEwen and Larry Brown (two each) for the most career 100-yard receiving games by a Redskins running back in records dating back to 1960.
  • A win would snap a four game losing streak on Monday Night Football for the Redskins and give the Redskins their first Monday win since a 20-17 overtime win at Dallas on Oct. 27, 2014.
  • The Redskins rank first in the NFL and the NFC in fewest penalty yards (204).

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Can Brandon Scherff do something that no Redskins O-lineman has done since 1991?

Can Brandon Scherff do something that no Redskins O-lineman has done since 1991?

Those who doubted the wisdom of the Redskins drafting a guard with the fifth overall pick in 2015 (yes, I was one of them) should be preparing to eat their words.

On draft day and during the two and a half years since then, there has been plenty of talk that the Redskins would regret taking Brandon Scherff, who played tackle in college but seemed destined to play guard in the NFL, so early. Not that anyone thought that Scherff would be a bad NFL player but given that they left DL Leonard Williams and edge rusher Vic Beasley on the board, he needed to develop into an All-Pro caliber guard to justify such a high pick.

Well, don’t look now but Scherff is making his way towards becoming one of the best guards in the game. Not just Pro Bowl good; he checked that box last year. Scherff could become the first Redskins position player to be named a first-team All-Pro since Darrell Green and Jim Lachey earned the honors in 1991.

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Asked about Scherff’s play this year, Jay Gruden was effusive in his praise.

He’s reacting. He’s anticipating. He’s pulling. He’s pass-blocking. He’s run-blocking. He’s double teaming. He’s doing everything you want him to do out in screens, out in space. He’s the best guard out in space by far in this league. It’s fun to watch him.

You can listen to Gruden’s full comments on Scherff in the video above.

Gruden is not exactly an unbiased observer. But other, more neutral analysts also have been heaping praise on Scherff.

An article on Pro Football Focus said that Scherff had an “elite” game against the 49ers, not allowing any pass rush pressures and dominating as a run blocker.

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Two other analysts clipped some plays from the 49ers game to illustrate just how well he was playing.

This one from Brian Baldinger of the NFL Network shows one play, the 49-yard screen pass to Chris Thompson on which Scherff threw a key block.

I’m not sure what the scouting credentials Brandon Thorn has but he did put together a nice collection of clips of Scherff making quality blocks both in space and in the interior vs. the 49ers.

Will Scherff earn All-Pro honors? That could depend on how well the team does. While the All-Pro teams are supposed to be individual honors, it’s tough for an offensive lineman to get many votes if he’s not on a winning team, especially one like Scherff who would be trying to break into the club for the first time.

But the Redskins are not really worried about All-Pro votes. If he keeps playing the way he’s playing and he gets no such consideration it will be fine with them.

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.