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Five snap counts and judgments from Redskins' loss at Cowboys

Five snap counts and judgments from Redskins' loss at Cowboys

Time for our weekly review of the Washington Redskins snap counts, plus some big picture after the 31-23 Week 12 road loss at Dallas. 

♦ Matt Ioannidis, now a clear frontline option along the defensive line, played only 20 snaps after suffering a lower-leg injury. His absence thrust rookie Tim Settle into action. The former Virginia Tech standout only received 26 snaps from Weeks 3-11, but played 21 against the Cowboys – and he more than held up. According to the graders at Pro Football Focus, Settle rated as Washington’s top defender after finishing with three tackles including one for loss.

Settle played two more snaps than veteran Stacy McGee. Both could receive more snaps Monday night at Philadelphia If Ioannidis isn’t ready. Jay Gruden said Friday that the third-year lineman “landed on his calf and it’s bruised right now, a little bit of swelling.”

♦ Trey Quinn (73 percent) out-snapped Maurice Harris (57 percent) for the second consecutive game since the rookie returned from the injured reserve list. The real intrigue is less with this direct competition and more about Quinn providing the Redskins with an alternative for Jamison Crowder. The usual starting slot receiver is a 2019 free agent after earning $1.9 million this season.

Quinn, the final pick in the entire 2018 NFL Draft, signed a four-year, $2.5 million contract. He would only earn $750,000 in his fourth and final season on his rookie deal. Whether the front office and coaching staff would feel comfortable going from Crowder to Quinn is another story, but the monies involved are a major factor.

Crowder (ankle) hasn’t played since Oct. 8. Meanwhile the rookie scored his first career touchdown Thursday, though he only averaged 5.2 yards on his five receptions, and served as the punt returner.

“I was impressed with Trey and his competitive spirit both in the return game and obviously at receiver and blocking,” Gruden said. “He is a tough guy. I like him."

♦ Kapri Bibbs didn’t make the Week 1 roster despite a strong training camp and preseason. Injuries elsewhere eventually elevated him from the practice squad and into the rotation. Another rise came Thursday with Adrian Peterson dinged in game and the Redskins trailing. 

Bibbs played a season-high 56 percent of the snaps, most of any running back on the team, and had 36 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown on six touches.

That includes Byron Marshall, who beat out Bibbs for a final spot even with an injury that kept him sidelined for Week 1 and eventually landed him on IR. In his second game since rejoining the active roster, Marshall only played one snap.

♦ The decision to go with three rookies at cornerback is starting to become problematic. Quinton Dunbar played only 26 snaps over the previous five weeks, but went for 61 (87 percent) against Dallas. That sounds like good news, but Dunbar’s leg nerve injury flared up as the game progressed, and yet he remained in the game. Dunbar and Fabian Moreau allowed a combined eight catches on 11 targets for 193 yards and two TDs, per PFF.

"I think as the game went on [the injury] must have gotten a little bit worse,” Gruden said. “I can’t speak for Quinton right now. I know he didn’t finish the game very well and I know he was in some pain there in the very end.”

One has to think the Redskins would have gone with another cornerback if they felt comfortable with their other options. Greg Stroman and Danny Johnson have taken a whirl with the starting defense at times this season and showed good form at times. Stroman received one snap Thursday and Johnson only played on special teams. Adonis Alexander was inactive. Going with the kids works long-term. It's seemingly limiting options now as the Redskins pursue the NFC East title.

♦ Sign of the season: In terms of snap percentages, Tony Bergstrom (62.06), Harris (50.0) and Jeremy Sprinkle (29.27) have been on the field more than Crowder (28.05) and Chris Thompson (23.58). 

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Report: Bill Callahan to join Browns' staff as offensive line coach

Report: Bill Callahan to join Browns' staff as offensive line coach

Bill Callahan was not unemployed for long.

The former Redskins offensive line coach, who served as Washington's interim head coach in 2019 after Jay Gruden was fired following an 0-5 start, is joining the Cleveland Browns staff, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.

The 63-year-old will reportedly serve as the Browns' offensive line coach, a title he has over two decades of coaching experience of.

Callahan served as the Redskins offensive line coach from 2017-2019. He worked his way up the coaching ranks in both college and the NFL as an offensive line coach for over a decade before the Raiders hired him as offensive coordinator in 1998. He was later promoted to head coach in 2002 and spent two seasons at the helm before leaving for the same position at Nebraska.

After a four-year tenure as head coach at the University of Nebraska ended in 2007, Callahan returned to the NFL as an offensive line coach for the Jets. He spent the next 12 years as an offensive line coach for three different NFL teams before he was named the Redskins interim head coach in October.

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Scott Turner won the Redskins offensive coordinator job over Kevin O'Connell, per source

Scott Turner won the Redskins offensive coordinator job over Kevin O'Connell, per source

There has been plenty of speculation as to why new Redskins head coach Ron Rivera decided to hire Scott Turner as offensive coordinator, and now a source tells NBC Sports Washington the answer is simple. 

Turner won the job competition. 

Many expected 2019 Redskins offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell to maintain his position when the team hired Rivera as their new head coach earlier this month. That didn't happen. 

As Rivera moved quickly to assemble his coaching staff, the biggest question seemed to be running the offense and working with second-year quarterback Dwayne Haskins. Rivera interviewed O'Connell and Turner for the job, and asked to interview former Giants head coach Pat Shurmur. 

Shurmur declined the interview, and at that point, a source explained that Rivera then made his decision to go with Turner over O'Connell. 

So why Turner? 

Both candidates got their first experience calling plays last year after an in-season firing to the head coach. The results weren't great for either coach, but Turner's game plans involved more play action passing than O'Connell. 

Turner's resume working with Cam Newton and Teddy Bridgewater mattered, as did the plan Turner presented for working with Haskins. 

It's important to note that Rivera had years of experience working with Turner, as well as his father Norv Turner. That mattered too, and one source explained Rivera "believed" in Turner. 

While O'Connell landed in a strong spot as offensive coordinator for the Rams, he won't be calling plays. Coaches don't like giving up control, particularly offensive coaches giving up play calling. For O'Connell, maybe that will change in LA, but it will take time. 

Some Redskins fans have a bad habit of assuming the worst. That maybe Turner got the job because O'Connell passed on it. That's not the case, per multiple sources.

Ron Rivera wanted his guy, and that's why Turner got the job. 

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